KiD CuDi – “Man on the Moon III: The Chosen” review

KiD CuDi is a 36 year old rapper, singer, songwriter, producer & actor from Cleveland, Ohio who blew up in 2008 off his debut mixtape A KiD Named CuDi as well as his songwriting credits on his mentor Kanye West’s 4th album 808s & Heartbreak. This was followed up with his groundbreaking debut & sophomore albums Man on the Moon: The End of the Day & Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager the next year & the year after that respectively but then 3 years later, CuDi would leave G.O.O.D. Music amicably to form his own Republic Records imprint Wicked Awesome Records after releasing the self-produced & overlooked Indicud. However, I found Satellite Flight: The Journey to Mother Moon to be mediocre at best & who could forget when CuDi attempted to go alt-rock on the critically panned Speedin’ Bullet 2 Heaven? Luckily he would redeem himself on his previous effort Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin’ in 2016 along with the eponymous debut album from him & Kanye as the duo Kids See Ghosts a couple summers back. But after a couple of loose singles throughout this year, KiD CuDi is ready to finally close out the Man on the Moon trilogy on his 7th full-length album.

After the “Beautiful Trip” intro, the first song “Tequila Shots” talks about internal conflict over a psychedelic trap instrumental from Dot da Genius & Take a Daytrip whereas the following track “Another Day” talks about how ain’t much changed in him over a spacious beat. The song “She Knows This” gets sexual over a voluptuous instrumental while the track “Dive” talks about a sadness in him over a cavernous beat from none other than Kevin Parker.

The song “Damaged” talks about being a broken man over a befuddled instrumental while the track “Heaven on Earth” talks about living alright over a nocturnal, bass-heavy beat. The song “Show Out” with Skepta sees the 2 flexin’ over a rubbery instrumental while the track “Mr. Solo Dolo, Pt. III” talks about somethin’ twisting him over a cloudy beat from Plain Pat & WZRD.

The song “Sad People” pays tribute to everyone out there who’s depressed over a glitzy instrumental while the track “Elsie’s Baby Boy (Flashback)” looks back on his childhood over a rock-flavored beat. The song “Sept. 16th” talks about searching for love over an instrumental with some wavy synths while “The Void” talks about falling in an abyss over a downcast beat from Mike Dean & WZRD.

The track “Lovin’ Me” is a gorgeous duet with Phoebe Bridgers about self love down the euphoric instrumental while “The Pale Moonlight” talks about people who think they know him over a vibrant beat. The song “Rockstar Knights” with Trippie Redd finds the 2 talking about the luxurious lifestyles they live over a ghostly trap instrumental while the penultimate track “4 da Kidz” is a dedication to the chosen few over a fiery beat. The album ends with “Lord I Know”, where CuDi talks about being a warrior over an atmospheric instrumental.

I didn’t think this day would actually come, but I’m sure as Hell glad that it did because it’s a great finisher to the trilogy that got KiD CuDi where he is currently. You can definitely hear the Travis Scott influence but simultaneously, he does a phenomenal job at recapturing the vibes of his first 2 albums from the sounds provided by the original producers of those records to the concepts throughout.

Score: 4/5

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