REVIEW: Kid Cudi’s “Man On The Moon II: The Legend Of Mr. Rager”

Photobucket Kid Cudi is not a bad rapper, but I have yet to have a grasp on his music like others have. However, I found Man On The Moon II: The Legend Of Mr. Rager (Universal Motown) to be an improvement over Man on the Moon: The End of Day.

Kid Cudi sings a lot, or at least what he calls singing. It’s very dry and droll, and maybe that’s meant to sound like he’s emotional and melancholy. At his best, he comes off like a sharp dancehall reggae artists. He stands out because there aren’t many who are making music like him, at least not in hip-hop. It’s hard to tell at times if artists who create this music are trying to cash in on being pop, or they think this is what pop audiences would like to hear out of hip-hop. If you view him as a pop artist, this album is probably just under the latest projects from N*E*R*D. If you want to view Kid Cudi as someone who wants to make left-of-center hip-hop, he’s okay at it but what’s missing is the demented and freaky factors. Maybe mentioning suicide is odd in terms of hip-hop, and Kanye West has already milked it this year. I don’t know if the perception is “if white people can talk about suicide on their music and no one throws an issue, maybe they can lure them with our references.” If so, it’s corny, so stop.

I think half of these songs have the replay factor, I’d want to hear them again and if I heard them somewhere, I wouldn’t want to run out of the room. In this case, his many collaborators outshine him: Cee-Lo, Mary J. Blige, St. Vincent, and the aforementioned Kanye West. They are popular people to work with, but when you forget that it’s a Cudi album, that’s when it may have been too much.

I like what I like, but what I don’t like could be reconstructed into something very interesting. For me, Man On The Moon II: The Legend Of Mr. Rager is half interesting, and I’m sure he’ll continue to make solid halves before he reveals a concrete hole.

VIDEO: Cage’s “Captain Bumout”

Oh Cage, what have you done? This is the new Cage, and it’s already causing a shitstorm of comments from those who feel “it’s about damn time” to “now you’re acting white and privileged as you always have, welcome to the sellout club”, but he has always been someone who was left of left of center. Is he moving in a different direction, or simply continuing with his movement? Hell’s Winter this isn’t, but he hasn’t been back to that in years. Welcome (or not) the next phase.

VIDEO: Cage becomes one of the few artists to get any rotation on MTV in 2009

So is this MTV’s way of trying their best to find another white rapper to be their next Eminem-type discovery, or did the dying cable network finally wake the fuck up? Well, truth be told, it’s MTV2 but they have slowly molded into a carbon copy of what MTV is today.

But they occasionally squeeze out actual music, and they’re hyping up Cage this time with his new video, directed by Shia LeBeouf, but pfftt, is that what it takes to get hyped? With luck, people will finally wake up to the greatness that is cage, but we’ll see.

MTV2 is into this project so much, that Cage has made it possible for everyone to download his brand new I Never Knew You EP for free by heading to the MTV-affiliated