Release Date: Dec 11, 2020
Record label: Republic
In October 2016, Kid Cudi had hit rock bottom. He checked himself into rehab and shared a heartbreaking letter on Facebook in which he described himself as a "damaged human swimming in a pool of emotions." Four years later, the man who was once "on the pursuit of happiness" before going to hell and back on the road to mental clarity has seemingly found the peace he needed -- making Man on the Moon III: The Chosen's hour-long journey that much more fruitful and impactful. While he's released numerous projects over the years, Kid Cudi's Man on the Moon series stands as his most revered work. The first two instalments were released a year apart (The End of Day in 2009 and The Legend of Mr.
In essence, The Chosen is a concept album, picking up where its two predecessors left off. As its liner notes explain, Scott Mescudi is continually plagued by dark thoughts, which manifest themselves in the form of his imaginary nemesis, Mr. Rager. Segmented into four 'acts' demarcated by short bursts of noise, the album tells a story and increasingly rewards listeners for their patience, with Cudi "fighting to win back his soul" and gradually finding his stride over the course of the project.
Can't lose 'em in the third act. There's something about Kid Cudi that makes my analytical brain want to shut down, pack up shop and take a long break from reading Genius annotations and ranking the entire run of Bojack Horseman. Sure, his music takes me back to being 13, hearing "Day 'n' Nite" for the first time again, as it probably does for you if you're listening to a Kid Cudi album in 2020. But there's something else at play - some part of his corny, ridiculous music that I can never seem to conceptualise an argument against.
The Lowdown: In an unprecedented year, 2020 has managed to surprise us yet again with a highly anticipated album from Cleveland's master of mood rap, Kid Cudi. As one of the godfathers of emo-rap, Cudi has been an open book with well-publicized battles with drug addiction, depression, anxiety, and bouts with loneliness. His superpower as an artist is the ability to lay bare his emotional state, whatever it may be at the moment, as a conduit for his artistic expressions to flow through.