Let me take you on trip into Mr. Solo Dolo’s debut album. Short after co-writing several songs on Kanye’s 808’s and Heartbreak album, Kid Cudi (after threatening to retire) released his first ever album with songs that would be remixed, remastered, played in clubs and in the cars/bedrooms of stoners everywhere. The basic theme of Man on The Moon : End Of Day is : Cudi is sad, Cudi does drugs, Cudi gets famous, Cudi is still sad. With songs like “Make Her Say” ft. Kanye and Common, “Pursuit of Happiness”, “Day’n’Night” hitting the charts and becoming staples in every urban music lovers playlists, Scott Mescudi has brought us a new wave of music. To take you an a true trip through Kid Cudi’s debut album, I’m going to run you through the rise, the high & the comedown (Cudi himself broke it down into five).
This album begins with the very moody, personal, dizzying track “In My Dream” setting the perfect tone for the album; getting you into a hypnotic, dreamy state of mind. We then get into “Soundtrack 2 My Life”, the lyrics make you feel at home. The concept of this song goes into discussing his admiration for his mother’s work ethic, his father’s death and his depression. This song really hits the mark and truly feels like Kid Cudi waking up from his dream, giving us a glimpse of his life and why he is this tortured soul. Cudi somehow gives us a very easy listen with some of the darkest subject matter “a happy ending would be slitting my throat”, showing his true darkness over a solid drum/electro beat. “I don’t have nobody, but what I might feel are the sounds of sanity, hoping what I hear loops continuously” , “Solo Dolo” truly captures the loneliness Cudi feels and how his gateway into music has been his escape and what keeps him sane. This song is haunting (as it should be), it was sampled from The Menehan Band, who are known for the funk/soul tones in their instrumentals. The line begins to be blurred from what Kid Cudi feels is his dream and what his reality is.
“Day ‘n’ Night”, Cudi’s first ever single released in 2008, and to this date his biggest track. It reached number 3 on the US Billboard charts selling 3 million copies in the US. With the beautiful sounds of the 808s, a catchy hook this song is Kid Cudi in his second nightmare of the album. The electronic undertones in this dark song about a “lonely stoner” create such a captivating feel. The lyrics webbed with drug and depression references have been paired with the most dark but electrifying strong bass line that really gives you the energy of a drug addicted lonely kid. The feel of loneliness continues through “Alive” which would be his third nightmare. The dogs barking, the rain, the auto tune, if you close your eyes, you can truly sense the nightmare.
Kid Cudi has a strong way of making you zone out and forgetting your worries while listening to this album and that was most definitely captured on songs like “Cudi Zone”, “Alive” and “Enter Galactic”.
“Make Her Say” the “Poker Face” (by Lady Gaga) remix featuring Kanye West and Common is one of the more commercial, catchy songs on the album, it is so out of place. This song is a filler marketed towards the radios and club djs, it takes you out of the hypnotic state you are put in at the beginning of the album. Kanye and Common put in two incredible bars on “Make Her Say” which is great for the song, but it hurts the album, after almost 15 minutes listening to Kid Cudi describe his trials and tribulations. ” Pursuit of Happiness” is the song that inspired a generation of stoners and was the backdrop to many teens first drug experience. The hypnotic song puts you at ease, the guitar solo after the second verse gives you an almost out of body feel like you are truly floating through a dream. This song has been remixed and redone over fifty times, but nothing will ever compare to hearing Mescudi ask you, “tell me what you know about night terrors”. This song is Cudi on his arrogant, ignorant run, “people tell me slow my roll, I’m screaming out f**k that”. This is truly Kid Cudi realizing what makes him great is the stories he has to tell and that he can do whatever he wants.
“Hyyerr” is a true stoner anthem featuring, Chip Da Ripper from Cudi’s hometown of Cleveland. This song puts you in a very euphoric state of mind, that bliss you feel waking up from a nightmare knowing it wasn’t real and you’re okay. The way Kid Cudi uses the RnB piano sound, the mellow drum beat with subtle guitar chords along with the insane imagery in his lyrics has you calm and forgetting about the worries he expressed earlier. This song shows you how drugs made Cudi feel, whenever he smoked he was back to living the dream, out the nightmare he was stuck in.
“Up up and Away” the perfect ending to this album. “In the end they’ll judge me anyway”, Kid Cudi comes to terms with himself and his fame. Mescudi after taking us through this roller coaster of emotions of where he was in his life, he ends the album in the most happy “f**k that” attitude. The more pop/easy rock beat is exactly what you would need after a drug, nightmare filled night, carefully placed this song was used beautifully.
With the exception of a few songs, this album holds up very well 8 years after its initial release. Kid Cudi did what you are supposed to do with your debut album ; let people into who exactly you are and build your sound. Kid Cudi, an amazing producer showed that he has a unique sound and will use his weaknesses as strengths in his musical career. Through amazing beats, metaphors laced in with hypnotic hooks about drugs, depression and women, Mescudi has created one of hip hop’s most unique albums.
FINAL GRADE : 8/10
Favourite Songs : Make Her Say, Pursuit of Happiness, Soundtrack 2 My Life, Day ‘n Night, Up Up and Away