Kid Cudi, born Scott Mescudi, recently released his sixth studio album, titled Passion, Pain, and Demon Slaying. After his last album, Speeding Bullet 2 Heaven, was a commercial flop, Cudi is looking to regain the acclaim from his first album Man on the Moon. The new album starts off with a typical Kid Cudi song, “Frequency.” Melodic rhythm is cut through by quick rapping, which leads to the quintessential Kid Cudi track.
Cudi received criticism for deviating from his style in his last album. Instead of the catchy tunes that led to his critical acclaim, such as “Pursuit of Happiness” and “Erase Me,” Cudi decided to create a rock focused theme, where he showed off vocal skills that were not cool and unique like Kid Cudi usually is, but utterly awful. In “Passion, Pain and Demon Slaying,” Cudi gets back to his roots.
“Goodbye,” despite a 30-second break in the rapping, is a good reminder of how enticing Cudi’s voice can be, with catchy lyrics and pleasant beats. “All In” almost mirrors a pop song with the chorus, but remains on the fence between alternative and rap that Cudi has straddled his whole career.
I personally think that “Surfin” will be this album’s biggest commercial success, especially with Pharrell making a small appearance. The song is very catchy, but it borders on annoying as “I ain’t got no waves” is repeated over and over. This song will likely find its way into radio stations’ go-to tracks for the weeks to come.
Cudi’s new album is definitely an improvement from the Speeding Bullet 2 Heaven atrocity, but it is not at the same level of his old stuff. This album is good, but it isn’t great. Cudi has never been known for his vocal prowess, but if he can reclaim his niche as an unique artist, who uses different beats and melodies with fast lyrics, including rap, he can reach the pinnacle once again.
Sadly for Cudi, his personal troubles have rendered any success mute at the moment. In the past week he has checked himself into rehab after having what he described as “depression and suicidal thoughts.” In 2011, Cudi gave up drinking, smoking and other drugs such as cocaine, due to the birth of his child, and his wanting to not be associated with “the stoner lifestyle.”
In 2013, Cudi discussed his issues with suicide, saying he has dealt with it for “five years.” Sadly, yet another celebrity has found themselves affected by the harsh lifestyle that can accompany a life of fame.
Cudi’s newest album is not the best, but in a way it captures the Cudi of right now perfectly. He is a man fighting his personal demons, trying to come back. He isn’t there yet, but he is getting there. When Cudi checked himself into rehab he stated on his Facebook page “#brb,” or “be right back.” That is exactly what I expect him to do.
Right now Cudi is grounded in reality, but I expect the Man on the Moon to soar to new heights very soon. His album Passion, Pain, and Demon Slaying is a perfect launching pad for Cudi to get back to the top.