Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager is one of those sequels that don’t suck. In this album, Cudi spends more time reflecting on his coke addiction and touches on the troubles of this past year as Mr. Rager, the name attached to his personality after fame.
Kid Cudi returns with his highly anticipated second LP under Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music Label. Man on the Moon II:The Legend of Mr. Rager is a continuation of his first studio album MotM: The End of Day, released last year. On the last album he ends with a uplifting song preparing you for his reign. Now he finds himself as a dark, depressed soul as Mr. Rager.
Imagine Jimi Hendrix dropping his Fender Stratocaster after playing “Voodoo Child” and replacing it with a microphone and a drum machine. Kid Cudi approaches music in an unrestricted, pure manner that can easily be underappreciated until time slowly catches up. Cudi is so honest in his lyrics. He addresses his older brother leaving his wife with kids. He snorts coke on the song “These Worries” and it sounds so creepy. He has a sad, bleak, tone throughout the album that makes you want to tell him “It’s alright man, don’t beat yourself up.” Only two things about this album kept me from giving it a perfect rating. One of them was the hook on “Wild’n Cuz I’m Young.” It is redundant and reflects of all those songs we hear on the radio. The chorus alone took away the creativity and what we would expect from the song.
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The production on this album is, put very simply, a trip. A trip into the subconscious movement of ideas and emotions. Most of the production is handled by Man on the Moon producer Emile. There is a noticeably less No I.D. influence, he produced “Simple As…” and “Soundrack 2 my Life” on the first Man on the Moon. The music is very spaced out and airy. The album’s genre feels like an alternative rap and rock fusion. It often switches up on you but in a weird way it still connects. Kid Cudi’s voice is also a very important instrument in these songs. Not a traditional singer, Cudi brings life in his words with a harmony made of a high man’s drawl.
There are very few guest features. Mary J. Blige lends her voice on “Don’t’ Play this Song” and “These Worries.” Cee-Lo sings the chorus in “Scott Mescudi vs. the World.” The great thing about having R&B singers on spacey songs is that they can be made to fit in perfectly with the sound of the song. Rappers on the other hand take a little bit more of a push to blend in with songs where they are featured. GLC and Chip the Ripper have good verses on “The End” but they don’t necessarily tap into the production and theme of the song or the album as a whole.
Highlighted Songs and Quotes
Scott Mescudi vs. The Word, “Take a minute to adjust to the wondrous
clusterfuck of fun and enchantment”
REVOFEV, “But where will you be for the revolution?”
Don’t Play This Song, “All I wanted was to be a human being /and show all the world some new colors and scenes”
Mojo So Dope, “Wishin I could tell my brother/Somethin for some motivation to get him out that gutter/He’s leavin behind a family and a mother /Damn~! You must understand/What I speak about in song is how I really am”
These Worries, “Yeah, the crazy the wizard/So much whiskey all in my liver/I really like the punch it delivers/Makes me warm while I high five sinners”
Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager is one of those pieces of music that can be overlooked the first time around. To appreciate its sound you must enter the album and shut the door behind you. Take the trip with Mr. Rager as he shows you his soul in an effort to enter yours and maybe even corrupt it as well.
Album Rating: 4 ½ out of 5
Pros: Lyrical Content, Production, Concept
Cons: Guests on “The End,” Chorus on “Wild’n Cuz I’m Young”