Kid Cudi was like screw the games and just went independent. Hopped off GOOD Music, went ahead and did an album all by himself. That’s great, but was that necessarily a good idea? Well he has the fanbase for it, but this album could be a driving force in the concept of how much creative control should an artist have.
Kid Cudi is known for having catchy songs with nice melodies, good hooks, etc. He still has that ability on this album despite the different, murky sound of the album. You generally get the feeling that Cudi still has the ability to do what he did with his first two albums. “King Wizard” is a great example of this despite its random weird tempo breaks, plus it has a tight beat switch. “Immortal” has you humming along to it also, but he goes off key with his singing. Another one is “Just What I Am” with King Chip. Why he singing like that dude who took choir class for free credit though… “AHHHWAHHHNAGIT HAHHHHH YAHHHHH!!!!111”
Speaking of Chip, he killed all his features on here. Matter of fact, all of the rap features did (sans my mans Too Short smh). It just seems like when Cudi stays in that general rap lane and doesn’t try to get all freaked out and stuff he wins on this. I mean, easily one of the best songs on here was “Beez”, which is kinda embarrassing. Cudder’s songcrafting abilities just aren’t really at the point he’s trying to make them. I can respect his desire and drive to make an album all by himself, but it’s just not his lane, especially not the production. With “Girls” the verses are like off tempo with the looooong hooks (which were the best part of the song) and Too Short didn’t fit the song AT ALL. It wasn’t his style, just like Misty and Bolton didn’t fit theirs. He even botched some of the songs with only himself. “Mad Solar” made my stomach churn with its excruciating, boring, and long verses and whack hooks. Kid Cudi, as a fan, please look for outside production and be safe with your song structure.
You don’t go into a Cudi project expecting to be amazed with lyricism, but there are moments in this album that are particularly underwhelming. “Girls” is a cool song, but the lyrics are jah creep status type stuff. “Young Lady” is the same, like what drugs does this dude take exactly? Besides that it’s pretty cool, but the other rappers sort of take too prominent of a place in this album. His crooning style is something you expect to enjoy from a Cudder project, though, and geez. “Cold-Blooded” sounding straight like a parody the way he’s singing. Then there’s other stuff like what I already mentioned with tracks 3 and 6. Besides that it’s decent.
The main thing holding this album back is the production, like I said before. The first song just gives you a teaser of how much the instrumentals will irritate you. I literally got violently angry a minute into da song.
The whole album seems to have a real distorted background sound that reminds you of the cover for some reason, and at many moments the guitar is choppy. The production has its decent moments though, like “Beez” and the guitar solo on “Unfuckwittable”.
In this experimental venture of Cudi’s he barely manages to meet the challenge of conducting an album himself. His creativity seems to extend beyond his actual talent in composing songs which makes this sound like he’s getting ahead of himself. Nonetheless a good amount of this album still is an enjoyable experience. Considering this album more of an experience than music itself makes it a little more enjoyable.
Album Grade: D