Man On The Moon II: The Legend Of Mr. Rager Kid Cudi
It’s difficult to work up much sympathy for Kid Cudi. He mumbles his lazy rhymes and hooks (“Hey, my mojo so dope, bitch / my mojo so dope”) with the kind of would-be insouciance that just makes him sound entitled and smug. Especially when he spends time going after—good guess—haters on “These Worries,” the least believable song of its type since Chris Brown’s last album: “These worries are heavy / They rest on my shoulders / My body won’t let me / fall victim no more.” Poor thing. But paranoia isn’t the only problem with Man On The Moon II; it’s that Cudi doesn’t have much grasp of any of the styles or modes he tries out. The album is listenable—the bassy production glides by effortlessly, ready to take its place on frat shelves near Bob Marley, Pink Floyd, Cypress Hill, and the two-footer. But the songs have little going on beyond it, particularly on the tracks that move toward rock: “Erase Me,” a godawful Kanye West collaboration, and the more introspective “Maniac,” which features the odd-couple pairing of rapper Cage and rocker St. Vincent. Those guest spots neither add nor subtract from the total effect. They’re simply more window dressing on a piece of work that needs all the help it can get.