Scott Mescudi, or as most know him as, Kid Cudi, has continued to be a social icon for many generations for the past decade or so. What makes him so interesting is, the fact that he has gone through so many different phases in his life.
He arguably released one of the most influential rap albums ever, "Man on the Moon", back in 2009 which was then followed by another innovative album, and a kind of downwards spiral when it came to his music. The last album he put out in 2015, "Speedin' Bullet 2 Heaven", was a huge disappointment for most critics mostly because he experienced too much with the alternative rock category. It wasn't his thing.
Kid Cudi's last album
Immediately following the disappointing album, Cudi started to battle depression and also battle Drake and Kanye. This drama was all mixed in with the fact that he continued to promise his sixth studio album titled, "Passion, Pain, and Demon Slayin'." Even though most thought that Cudi had lost his touch, his album was still highly anticipated considering the circumstances.
His album had to be postponed to a later date because of his depression problems. It went from having a release date in September, to being delayed all the way until his definite release date, December 16. The three songs that came out prior to the full album, "Surfing'", "Baptized in Fire", and "Frequency", all had that vintage Cudi sound that so many loved. I was getting excited.
In my opinion, Kid Cudi is like beer, he's an acquired taste. You have to listen to his music multiple times to really appreciate what he does. After listening to his new album a second time, I enjoyed it a lot better.
The production on his sixth project is unique and quite impressive. His beats were definitely different from each other, and you could tell the that he took a lot of time with the instruments. He sets the mood nicely with each song's production. For example, in "Surfin", Cudi and Pharell use up tempo horns and synthesizers to set a dance and enjoyable mood.
Now a song like "Surfin" is actually one of Cudi's few positive songs. The album is otherwise pretty bleak and depressing. But it works, because it describes his life perfectly at this specific time. There are songs like "Wounded", and "Rose Golden", where Cudi revisits his past of being called the "Chosen One", while also discussing his perseverance through depression.
It's almost as if he sounds depressed but he is clearly trying to cope with it. The title is perfect as well. He obviously puts a lot of passion in this project, he still has pain bottled up, but he will fight his demons. It's hard not to respect that.
What the album lacks is, a song that really stand out outside the three he released. Having Pharell, Travis Scott, and Andre 3000 were all great moves and were used effectively. However, there are too many weak songs. With the clever and unique beats, it's disappointing that he sounds monotone and almost boring at points over this production.
As much as I loved "Surfin", it felt out of place with regards to the message on this album. It should have just been kept as a single. With nineteen songs, it's tough to have all gems however, when your a veteran like Cudi, you are expected to not have any awful songs. And that was a problem.
I'm not going to rag on the guy. If your a Cudi fan, you will love this album. This is probably his third best behind his first two he put out. He obviously put his blood, sweat, and tears into this project, and that is definitely something that we need to acknowledge. He just came up short on a few aspects. But overall, it was nice seeing Cudi doing well for himself.