Scott Mescudi Finally Finishes The Legendary Trilogy

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Spencer Nelson, Writer

The man himself, Kid Cudi finished his Man On The Moon trilogy just a few months ago. These albums capture the essence of Cudi’s greatness and play a huge role in his rise to fame. His debut studio album, Man On The Moon, shocked the world with hits like “Day n’ Nite” and “Pursuit of Happiness.” He later released Man On The Moon II, which also featured plenty of Kanye West’s production. This project featured hits like “Mr. Rager” and “Erase Me,” among many more. A decade later, he wrapped up the trilogy once and for all with Man On The Moon IIICudi did righteous work on this project with catchy hooks and spacey production by Dot and others. Some songs on this project aren’t it, and this is Cudi’s worst Man On The Moon project, but it still touches on greatness.  

The album kicks off with a new, modern Cudi sound. “Tequila Shots” has a bangin’ 808 line with a very creative chord progression and chromatic falls. The beat alone is amazing, and it’s even better when Cudi’s vocals come in. This is exactly how to kick off a Man On The Moon project. On this track, Cudi rants about the struggle he has with his impulse control relating to substances (not a new topic for the Cudder). He talks about how he’s in the same old place, and how the consequences creep up on him: “Lot of demons creepin up, they’re living under me.” The chorus sums up Cudi’s struggle perfectly. “Hear me now, hey, this time I’m ready for it. Can’t stop this war in me, can’t stop this war in me, in me, in me.” One of the most powerful lines in the track is right after the chorus, where he says in a walkie-talkie kind of voice, “I’ve been here before, hey hey, I’ve been here before.” Cudi isn’t trippin off that white anymore, but he still has his struggles with copious amounts of alcohol and drugs (mostly psychedelics and marijuana.)  

A few tracks later, “She Knows This” features a very cool beat switch at 1:40 that makes the song. The beginning can be a little hard to sit through with super autotuned vocals with an odd whistling instrumentalThe switch features an awesome arpeggiator that carries the spacey vibe that Man On The Moon needs. Cudi’s vocals sound much less artificial with the second part of the beatand the hook line starts to catch on: “And she see me she knows this. And she screaming she knows this.” Without the beat switch, this song would not click 

Skipping to the ninth track on the album, the infamous “Solo Dolo” comes out in its third form. The whole concept of Solo Dolo captures the dark side of Cudi’s life in isolation. As the first Man On The Moon’s narrator states before the start of Solo Dolo, “You are now entering Scott’s most unstable part of his imagination. So intense he cannot perceive his dreams from reality. This is the rise of the night terrors.” “Solo Dolo pt. III” captures the dark essence with a slow, minor jam. All the beats on this project are spacey, but there’s something about this track that makes me feel I’m flying through the atmosphere. The intricate and minute details in the production elevate you to an out of body experience. Cudi keeps a constant hook throughout the song that unfortunately leads me to think he could be back on harder drugs again. “Yeah I take it they don’t need to know about itYeah I take it I don’t need nobody. Deep in hell and dark corners. Deep in my dreams perceived, nah.” Cudi already overcame a cocaine addiction that tortured him through his Man On The Moon II days, so it’s sad to think he may be back in that spaceOf course, lyrics are all up to interpretation.  

Right after “Solo Dolo pt. III,” Cudi kicks off “Sad People” with his signature humming. The chords in this track sound like they’re from MaOn The Moon IIThe production on this song is phenomenal, with driving bass and spacey melodies. Cudi gives the song meaning through his powerful lyrics on this one, obviously talking about sad people. He starts the song off with “In the dead of the night I have these dreams. What will happen to me? Will I burn out? Have I been wrong? What does it mean? All these things, can’t understand why.” Cudi also speaks about how he struggles to become a better, and new man. I’m in search of, nights I’m sitting, wishing, I can find love in me. Then go this ain’t livin’ I swim in pain. Never drown keep my head up above the waves.” Cudi still seems to be in the same old place, but he also mentions how he’s not giving up on finding love and peace within his soul.  

The 13th track, “The Void,” is the definition of a Cudi song. It kicks off with hums that send chills down your back, and it has a catchy repetitive hook that hits you in the feels when combined with the instrumental. Cudi really went back to his roots with this track. Raw vocal takes in the hook make this song amazing and gripping. The hook goes “I will fall in the void, fall in the void, just to avoid anything that can bring me down or f*%& with my flow.” It’s such a cool concept, how he uses the void to escape his rage episodes and drug cravings. I will admit, the verse on this song can be weird to sit through with the autotune and weird EQ on the vocals, but the hook makes it all worth it. Cudi nailed the verse lyrically though. Of all the songs on this project, “The Void” would be my number 1 recommendation for people to check out, just for the catchiness of the hook and the emotions it sparks with his raw takes. Cudi was singing from a place of elevated confidence and intensity. The hook is hard to beat and is one of the best in his career.  

The last track on the album, “Lord I Know,” has one of the coolest beginnings I’ve ever heard. Its seriously one of the most creative beats ever with many details adding to its complexity. The beginning modified arpeggiator stays constant throughout the song and it drives the track. However, once the bass kicks in, it starts to become more of a banger than a ballad. It’s a simple bassline, but it gets speakers on all devices bumping to their absolute max. Cudi’s autotuned vocals sound the best on this track, and especially at the little hook he creates. “Start to show, the best things in my life. Lord I know, you can make it right.” Cudi really put his all into the vocals. The flow, pitch, and tone – all of it is amazing. It’s a perfect way to end an album on a good note and in a positive mindset. This isn’t new for Cudi. He seems to prefer ending his albums with a positive mood. For example, the first Man On The Moon ends with “Up Up & Away” in which he talks about how he ignores people’s judgements: “I’ll be up up and away, up up and away cuz in the end they’ll judge me anyway, so whatever.“ Lord I Know” is a great parallel to “Up Up and Away” because both end their respective projects on a positive note, and both are bangers.  

Overall, Man On The Moon III didn’t live up to his previous projects, but it is still deserving of its title and success. There were highs and lows throughout the album, but the highlights really stick out to make this project a solid 7/10. Cudi’s legacy has only grown with the release of this album. We hope to see more from Cudder before the end of his days in the music industry, and we hope that day doesn’t come anytime soon.

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