Kid Cudi emphasizes atmosphere on “Man on the Moon III”

Luka Turanjanin, Sectional Editor

As 2020 began to come to a close, popular hip-hop and rap artist Kid Cudi dropped his latest album and his newest addition to the Man on The Moon Series, “Man on The Moon III: The Chosen.” In contrast to his previous two Man on The Moon albums, another phase in Kid Cudi’s life is unraveling on “Man on The Moon III.” Compared to the other two predecessors, “MotM III” focuses more on trippy and smooth sounding psychedelic sounds. 

While the first “Man on The Moon” record used a blend of alternative rock and hip-hop to supplement both the highs and lows in Kid Cudi’s life, “Man on The Moon II” focused more on a grim level of the rapper’s mentality. This newest “Man on The Moon III” record explores a sense of where Cudi is today. 

It’s a sort of weird transition at first. 

The first half of the album uses a lot more of modern trap beats one might find in other hip-hop songs. I know not many people may agree with me on this, but I personally don’t believe a trap beat makes a song better. (Not that trap is bad, but I feel like Kid Cudi’s way of making music has a sense to it that is more unique than trying to use trap-type beats).

Oe issue I have with the album is that the songs are shorter than they could be. Not including the intro, there are five songs that are less than three minutes long. Despite the shortened length, these tracks place an emphasis on quality over quantity.

I almost wished this album at least had a feature from Kanye West. The two collaborate frequently, including on the previous two “Man on The Moon” albums. The features, thankfully, on this recent release don’t disappoint, as drill rap artists like Pop Smoke and Skepta make appearances. 

On a better note, the second half of the album starts to sound more like Kid Cudi’s traditional sounding songs, and man, do they hit hard. “Mr. Solo Dolo Pt. III,” with its euphoric atmosphere and its stark and smooth sounds, is a highlight, and the record takes a better turn from here. It just feels good to listen and feel the vibe of the album, with its magically softer atmosphere resonating with my soul.

Other highlights include songs like “Elsie’s Baby Boy” and “Sep. 16.”

Ultimately as an album, “MotM III” is pretty solid. Despite some minor tweaks that could be made because they don’t fit with the album overall, I find this recent release to be excellent. As usual, Kid Cudi doesn’t disappoint with the music he makes and the vibes that they carry.