Retroactive Classic: Kid Cudi 'Man on the Moon: The End of Day'
Wed, 08 Jul 2015 09:33:46
A look back at the game-changing hip-hop space opera from Cleveland's finest.
Kid Cudi took hip-hop to a galaxy far, far away with his full-length debut album, Man on the Moon: The End of Day. The record crash landed to #4 on the Billboard Top 200 and eventually achieved gold status. It also made Cudi a star in his own right and rightfully so. Let's think back to 2009 when it dropped. Hip-hop didn't sound this way and the only indication of veering left came on Kanye West's 808s & Heartbreak, which Cudi actually figured into and served as his formal introduction to most mainstream fans. The genre typically didn't utilize live instrumentation or adopt indie rock spaciness in this fashion until the Post-Man on the Moon era, which we live in now.
This album proved to be a groundbreaking game changer straight up. It solidified the artist as a voice for a disenfranchised, smart, and vulnerable planet of outcasts as he got brutally honest on the likes "Soundtrack 2 My Life," still one of his best songs. The propulsive beat beneath his smoky delivery fueled this rocket ship with lines such as "and a happy ending would be slitting my throat," while the likes of "In My Dreams (Cudder Anthem)" gave an ethereal haze to the entire project broken up into five distinct acts.
"Simple As..." showcased his flavor for clever rhymes and equally catchy hooks, and "Solo Dolo (Nightmare)" saw rap get darker than ever as it maintained a certain charisma and confidence. Then, there's "Heart of a Lion (Kid Cudi Theme Music)." It gave the record a mantra and an empowering moment with some sharp teeth and even sharper bars as well as a big refrain.