It has been almost two years since Kid Cudi‘s last solo effort, Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager. With that album, he took a darker turn with his sound and gave fans an alternative vibe as he crossed over multiple genres. Although it was an ambitious effort, the album received mixed reviews and saw little commercial success. After exploring other forms of entertainment and music, his work with WZRD and acting début on HBO‘s How to Make it in America, Cudi returns this month with hit latest LP “Indicud”. With this album, Cudi stays true to his eclectic sound but takes a more ambitious effort with features from Kendrick Lamar, Too Short, A$AP Rocky, and many more.
It seems that brief hiatus brought Cudi back to life, musically. As he becomes more experimental with his sound, he still maintains the same metaphorical cloud with a silver lining mood. He declares that the outside drama doesn’t phase him on the moody but confidence-boosting “Unfuckwittable” and makes no excuses for his alleged casual drug use on the lead single “Just What I am” featuring King Chip. The heavy rock influences from his time with his band WZRD can be heard throughout Indicud. From guitar solos on his latest single “Immortal” to the heavy bass guitar rips throughout many of the tracks on the first half of the album. However, the mix of rock and rap doesn’t always pay off, as the track “Burn Baby Burn” misses the harmony between the heavy bass guitar and Cudi’s words.
Although rock plays a heavy part in this project, Cudi still delivers some infectious rap tracks. The heavy bass driven chorus of “King Wizard” really makes it stand out and the His recently leaked collaboration with Kendrick Lamar on the “Solo Dolo pt II” track has to be some of the best work we have heard from both artists to date as they spit over the sampled Menahan Street Band sampled “The Traitor” beat. The track is such a gem for the album that the following “Girls” featuring Too Short is catchy but falls short in innovation or creativity. He eventually slows it down with a more chill vibe on the throwback vibe on “Beez” featuring RZA and brings a laid-back, gritty track about how to treat your fellow man on “Brothers” featuring A$AP Rocky and King Chip.
With all the rock and rap sounds, Cudi still finds time to stick in a few experimental tracks. Switching up the vibe, Cudi takes a step away from the mic on the synth and psychedelic “New York Rage Fest” and shows off a softer, more atmospheric sound on the female band Haim accompanied tune “Red Eye”.
There is no denying that Scott Mescudi wants to take a journey into the inner workings of his mind on this effort. Seizing creative control by writing and producing 16 of the 18-track album, he makes sure that listeners really understand his point of view. Since his sophomore album dropped, Cudi has had an interesting past couple years. From mixed reviews to moderate commercial success of his last effort, starring in a hit HBO show “Made in America” to an abrupt cancellation, baby momma drama to publicized custody battle, a Twitter rant of his songs not getting enough radio play that eventually led to his shocking departure from G.O.O.D. music, Cudi’s professional and personal life has definitely gone through an emotional rollercoaster. But that kind of drama is what fuels great material and the Cleveland emcee delivers solid work on his third opus. Although he starts to lose a little momentum when he claims to be “Cold Blooded” but wonders why he is “Lord of the Sad and Lonely”, he still delivers this contradiction with some great production.