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

KIDS SEE GHOSTS – Self-titled review

https_images.genius.comab12a4c1a2dac8543b1279063a135dd3.768x768x1

KIDS SEE GHOSTS is a midwest hip hop duo consisting of the renown yet polarizing Chicago legend Kanye West & Cleveland recording artist KiD CuDi. The 2 have worked with each other numerous times dating back to when Yeezy signed CuDi to his GOOD Music record label in 2008 & let him co-write 4 songs on 808s & Heartbreak later that same year. KiD CuDi has contributed to every Kanye album since then. More recently the song “Ghost Town” on his latest album ye, which is a prelude track to this album over here. CuDi even released his first 3 albums with GOOD Music before he left on amicable terms in 2013 to form his Republic Records imprint Wicked Awesome Records. The duo would later have a brief falling out in the fall of 2016, but they would eventually reconcile after the St. Pablo Tour was cancelled due to Kanye‘s hospitalization for stress & exhaustion.

The album opens with “Feel the Love”, which is pretty much being dominated by Pusha T. He definitely goes in, but the gunshot adlibs from Kanye are VERY annoying. I also like the spacey keyboards & the later added drums that come through in the instrumental. The next track “Fire” actually sees the 2 getting together & responding to everyone who criticize them for their failures in the past over some militant drums & an eerie guitar in the background. The song “4th Dimension” has a prominent Louis Prima sample & as for the content, they pretty much talk about sex. I loved Kanye’s references to Master P & Rick Ross’ signature adlibs during his verse & I actually laughed harder than I should’ve when I first heard the line about him trying to have anal with the woman he’s sleeping with. The track “Freee (Ghost Town, Pt. 2)” with a brief Ty$ appearance tells the audience that that’s exactly how they feel right now over a killer guitar, but the way the say the titular word does get old after a while.

The song “Reborn” is easily my favorite one on the entire album. The lyrics are all about moving forward from their pasts & the uplifting instrumental is a serious throwback to CuDi’s 2009 debut album Man on the Moon: The End of Day. The self-produced title track has a surprising yet solid Yasiin Bey hook & the instrumental has an intergalactic atmosphere to it that’s very pretty. Lyrically, KiD CuDi‘s verse about how he can’t be stopped & that he’ll be finding heaven in a matter of time while Kanye’s talks about fame. The album then finishes with “CuDi Montage”, where CuDi tells God to save him & Kanye gets insightfully conscious over a fitting sample of “Burn the Rain” by the late Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain.

As a whole, I think it’s on the same enjoyability level as ye. The pop rap production is a lot more refined & given the recent hospitalizations of both members, the chemistry between KiD CuDi & Kanye West is stronger than it ever was before.

Score: 4/5