Sunday, December 27, 2009
Top 10 ALBUMS OF 2009
3. Kid Cudi- Man on the Moon: The End of the Day
It is immediately evident that "Man on the Moon" is not a normal mainstream hip hop album. There's the spacey cover artwork, featuring Cudi's head bloated to planetary size, the accordingly spacey arrangements, and of course, Cudi himself. In a rap world where emotions other than anger and lust usually see about as much light as the dark side of the moon, the Kid (as Common says in one of his several awesome voiceovers on the album) speaks of "vulnerabilities and other human emotions and issues never before heard so vividly and honest." Where some dismiss this phenomenon as "emo rap," I fail to see any of the pomp and circumstance that is so prevalent in the emo genre. Instead I see a young dude who kicks it with his homies, has a good time, but is still constantly nagged by his insecurities about life- aka your average 25 year-old man. And where other artists hide behind gun-toting braggadocio or, on the other end of the spectrum, guyliner to conceal their true identity, Cudi pulls a pretty balls-out move by - get this - speaking his mind. "Man on the Moon" may not be a lot of things other great albums are, but it exudes honesty, something I view as one of the most admirable qualities in songwriting. Anyone can write a decent song, it takes an artist to write a decent song that is also introspective and self-revealing. We follow Kid Cudi through his rabbit hole of weed, self-loathing and female troubles (the source of one of the best lines all year "I got 99 problems/and they all bitches" - a sort of one-upping of Hova) and come out in a Wonderland. A place where Kanye smiles from above as the Cheshire Cat, Common sits on a mushroom smoking a hookah and spouting prophetic speeches, Ratatat and MGMT Mad Hatter it up, and Cudi just keeps taking those "Eat Me" pills.