Release Date: Feb 25, 2014
Record label: Republic
It’s hard not to feel a bit sorry for hip-hop experimenter Scott Mescudi, better known as Kid Cudi. Since cutting ties with Kanye West last year, splitting from his former collaborator’s GOOD Music rap powerhouse, the cult Clevelander’s career has continued along strange parallel lines to the man he once described as his “creative big brother. ” First there was 2013’s ‘Indicud’, Mescudi’s own beautiful dark twisted fantasy – a 70 minute-plus lyrical epic massive in scope and devastating in introspection, featuring a hirsute indie troubadour (Father John Misty to ‘Fantasy’’s Bon Iver) amid an impressive roster of hip-hop A-lister guests.
If there’s one thing Kid Cudi has proven throughout his atmospheric rise, it’s that he’s not afraid to take a road less traveled, regardless of if the risk is worth the reward. Along the way, the Cleveland, Ohio native has become somewhat of a Rap anti-hero, as he explores themes and musical styles that aren’t typically championed within Hip Hop. Kid Cudi continues this ambitious streak on SATELLITE FLIGHT: The journey to Mother Moon, which serves as his most cohesive album, as well as the furthest he’s navigated away from the boundaries that have been set for Rap artists in its current era.
"It should be in the Bible/Middle finger up to the people who don't like you," Kid Cudi declares on his first release since splitting from Kanye West's G.O.O.D. Music. He's a cult hero comfortable enough in his weirdness to keep fans cheering and foes guessing: While inconsistent spacedusted instrumentals coat the first half of this self-produced LP, the back half brings high points from the silky Raphael Saadiq guest spot "Balmain Jeans" to the brooding, acoustic "Troubled Boy." Cudi's Satellite signal needs some descrambling, but his core cadets likely read him loud and clear.
Take a look at the album title: Kid Cudi's heading back to the moon. The timing makes sense. His first two albums took place there, both of which went gold. Now that he's drifted away permanently from the G.O.O.D. Music axis, a return voyage probably seems appealling. The first track, "Destination ….
In a move that caught us by surprise, Kid Cudi released his new project Satellite Flight: The Journey to the Mother Moon late on the night of Tuesday, February 25. Starting off as an EP, Satellite Flight was expanded into a ten-track LP and now serves as a prelude to the third instalment of his Man on the Moon series. Known for taking ambient sounds and clashing them with heavy guitar riffs, Kid Cudi opens the album with the instrumental "Destination: Mother Moon," shortly followed by the title track, "Satellite Flight.
Once you’ve got a few successful releases under your belt and you’ve established yourself as an artist, you’ll be given the green light to create whatever you want without questioning. If any other rapper released Satellite Flight: The Journey to Mother Moon it would come as a surprise, but at this point, this is exactly the album we’ve come to expect from Kid Cudi. Meant to bridge the gap between the second and third chapters of the Man on the Moon series, Satellite Flight is an album with a lot of ambition that lacks in execution.
Kid Cudi originally intended Satellite Flight to be a short EP, bridging the gap between his ill-received Indicud and the forthcoming follow-up to his successful breakthrough Man on the Moon series. What resulted instead was a 10-song, full-length record of new tracks, which he dropped Beyoncé-style in a surprise midnight iTunes release on the same day one of hip-hop’s most anticipated albums (ScHoolboy Q’s Oxymoron) was set to come out. This breezy method of releasing an album might emphasize Cudi’s reputation as an anti-establishment slacker, but more likely it was calculated.
Cudi released Satellite Flight: The Journey To Mother Moon—the EP turned LP—through a digital-only drop with little warning. It felt like Cudi was sticking to his mantra that he does what he wants, when he wants. But this was no impulsive decision. Satellite Flight is the quest of Cudi getting back to the moon for MOTM3, which serves as the overall theme of the album.
Skrillex, Recess Man, I feel old. Is this what the kids are listening to these days? (I’m 22.) There’s something tremendously uninspiring about so-called “brostep,” even distasteful – its desecration of the U.K. bass cultures to which it owes its existence, maybe, or a lack of subtlety so pronounced it’s almost aggressive. I’ve read eloquent defenses of the big “drop” as the postmodern EDM equivalent of a classic rock guitar solo, which makes sense but doesn’t really redeem decades of bad guitar solos, if you know what I mean.