Dark Side of the Man on the Moon

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The Spectrum

Artist: Kid Cudi

Album: Man on the Moon 2: The Legend of Mr. Rager

Release: Nov. 9

Label: Universal Motown, GOOD Music, Dream On

Grade: B+

In the mere 14 months since Man on the Moon: End of the Day was released, Kid Cudi has blown up significantly. Somewhere between touring relentlessly and being featured in a Vitamin Water ad, Cudi had time to make a sequel to his story.

Cudi picked up right where the story left off. The Legend of Mr. Rager further proves that he is one of the most dynamic hip-hop artists today.

The Legend of Mr. Rager continues to display Cudi's ability to transcend genres. What made End of the Day such a great album was Cudi's capability to make a connection with such a broad spectrum of people.

The album starts off with the first of five acts, "The World I'm Ruling." While this act is only two songs long, it is one of the better acts on the album.

The opening track, "Scott Mescudi Vs. The World," begins the journey through Cudi's mind. The ominous feeling that the beat produces is perfectly complimented by the tormented lyrics Cudi and Cee-Lo Green present to the audience.

"Revofev" is the other song that gets the listener's feet tapping in the first act. Both songs in the act show the progression Cudi has had in the past year.

As the album matures, so does the depth of Cudi's music. While the second act, "A Stronger Trip," does not have any songs that really stick out, every pothead will appreciate the trippy anthem "Marijuana."

During the third act, "Party On," Cudi lightens the mood a little bit. As the title implies, all of the songs during this section are very danceable. This is the act where the first single of the album resides.

"Erase Me" is the perfect single for The Legend of Mr. Rager. It embodies the progression Cudi has seen. The song is more pop-punk than hip-hop, with Cudi taking the reigns of lead guitar on the song.

The pinnacle of the album is the fourth act, "The Transformation." Cudi opens up more than he ever has in this act, making it incredibly easy for people to connect with the music.

The best song on the album is during the fourth act. "These Worries" has Cudi rapping about life kicking you while you're down during the verses, and then Mary J. Blige's soulful voice sooths the listener's aching heart during the chorus.

The fifth and final act, "You Live & You Learn," shows off Cudi's singing ability. All three songs have him singing rather than rapping. Luckily for Cudi, he can sing as well as he can rap.

While The Legend of Mr. Rager does show off Cudi's ability to progress the genre, he also seems nervous deviating from his formula. There are several songs that sound very similar both in the beats and the lyrics.

On End of the Day, many of the beats were drastically different, which gave each song its own personality. While the beats on The Legend of Mr. Rager are still some of the best being produced, many sound similar to one another.

Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager might not be as dynamic as its predecessor, but it is still one of the best hip-hop albums of the year. This is one album that will grow on you the more you listen to it.

E-mail: arts@ubspectrum.com