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Man On the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager

by Kid Cudi

Released November 9, 2010 via Dream On / GOOD MUSIC

Reviewed November 5, 2020

Top tracks (based on community voting)
Mr. Rager (84%), GHOST! (43%), Erase Me (37%)

On Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager, then-newfound-star and current hip-hop legend Kid Cudi delivers a homerun of a sophomore effort. Cudi doubles down on the massive success of his debut album—Man on the Moon: The End of Day—and crafts a sequel that is comparable, and arguably even greater, in terms of quality. While his debut most certainly set the scene for a new wave of alternative hip-hop, MotMII feels decidedly more adventurous. Cudder bared his soul into every bit of MotMI, but he still managed to maintain a pop sensibility and mass appeal on the several tracks that catapulted him into the headphones of millions. Aside from “Mr. Rager” and “Erase Me,” this record doesn’t take that approach at all. With a darker sound that feels as equally rock-influenced as it does orchestral, Kid Cudi drifts further into the realm of psychedelia and deeper into his psyche as he discusses a multitude of personal issues he’s faced: depression and anxiety, isolation and loneliness, addiction and alcoholism. This vulnerability not only resonated with and provided comfort to so many who were secretly struggling with the same issues, but years later would prove to carve a new lane in hip-hop that made it acceptable and even encouraged to be honest about these hard-to-confront issues. – Dominick (8.8/10)

Artists who conjure and create from the spaces in their mind left coldest and most bewildered, forgoing therapy for public catharsis, are often the most beloved and remembered among their peers. Kid Cudi was surely aware that his music wasn’t for everyone, and his sophomore effort represents perhaps the best balance of his vintage sound and his desire to evolve. It is fascinating, because it’s clear that Scott is unraveling at the seams while Kid Cudi peaks artistically on MotMII. This sequel is a mile-long jump from the original in terms of technicality and transcendent music skills, and it bears a greater weight of transparency while hoarding some of the most robust and spectacular songs the Cudder discography has to offer. – DeVán (8.6/10)

On Kid Cudi's sophomore record, the thrilling hyperdrive of Man On The Moon wears off as he approaches a modest cruising speed; one where his reality is able to catch up to and eventually consume him. Never quite as celestial as its cover art implies, MotMII’s intergalactic production themes sport a darker, persistently drabber palette that borrows from popular rock sounds of the time. As these moodier beats apply pressure, Cudi maneuvers through drug dependency, personal demons, and the weight of existence, desperately trying to transcend it all. This push-pull dynamic creates a claustrophobic tension that's never too far out of sight. Perhaps not blowing away listeners from a rap technician’s standpoint, the repeat success of such exploratory ideas positioned Cudi as a visionary in the genre. – Enth (8/10)

Dominick: 8.8/10 | DeVán: 8.6/10 | Hadley: 8.5/10 | Daniel: 8/10 | Enth: 8/10

Jared: 8/10 | Alan: 7.8/10 | Cam: 6.8/10


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