*Kid Cudi swoops in to save 2020.*
The trilogy continues, and with it, shows that healing is not a linear process.
Scott Mescudi has always been an open conversationalist and artist in regards to his mental health. He’s equally transparent about his good days as he is his depressing days. He’s truthful about his spiritual journeys, often self-induced by some sort of psychedelic. His beliefs in the power of the Universe are clear and appreciated. He’s made himself completely relatable, and he’s hard not to love.
In a recent interview with Wonderland, Mescudi speaks of the idea for a trilogy and what each chapter represents:
“I remember in kindergarten, my teacher took us to the planetarium and I was obsessed with the stars. That whole experience really rattled my soul, so since I was a kid I’ve always been obsessed with the planets and astrology. With the first album, I was like ‘How can I make this a real personal opus? How can I really put the Scott Mescudi DNA all through this shit?’ And I thought I am a spacey dude — I was smoking weed like every day writing music, so I was this lonely stoner. I put it all together and was like ‘Man, I feel like I am on the moon, away from the world, in space.’ After I did that, I was thinking about how would I wrap this off as a sequel. How could I miss the sophomore slump? That whole curse of the second album being terrible and not as good as the first. So I had this idea: I want to do a trilogy. I feel like it needs to be what I’m dealing with right now, and the next year what I’m dealing with then, and the year after what I’m dealing with then. Hopefully there’ll be some type of arch, a story that would take people on a ride. I was writing my life, I was literally living it and writing it down. All the Mr. Rager stuff, the darker shit, that wasn’t me creating some character and being witty. That was me trying to explain what I was feeling at the time.”
And because he’s simply the best, he dropped this album right when he knew we needed it most.
Cudi’s collaborative album Kids See Ghosts with Kanye, and his No. 1 single THE SCOTTS with Travis Scott were barely enough to keep us tied over since Man On The Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager, which was released ten years ago in 2010. The anticipation around this release was HIGH since news broke there was a third part coming of our beloved Rager’s journey.
We can’t blame him, though — our man has been booked and busy. Beyond releasing this album, there’s also sneaker collabs, a television series with Netflix, magazine covers, shooting movies with Leonardo DeCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Jonah Hill, and Ariana Grande, and launching his own production company, too. He’s been spending time with Shia LeBouf, Timothée Chalamet, and Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker, and I so desperately need to be a part of his inner circle.
Man on the Moon III: The Chosen feels like a warm, fuzzy hug. Beautiful Trip sets the tone for the album — the opening sample is from Scott Mescudi Vs. The World, Man On The Moon II, as listeners settle in to experience the ride.
“As he falls back deeper, into a state, The return…”From “Tequila Shots”
Tequila Shots opens the album and immediately I was taken back to the good ol’ high school days. The song feels like I’m right back in 2009, listening to Man On The Moon: The End of Day at a party or driving around with friends, freshly licensed. I was in the tenth grade when MOTM was released and have vivid memories from that era of my life to that particular soundtrack, with people whose friendships are extremely special to me. I suppose Kid Cudi’s music has that reminiscing-on-simpler-times feel to it these days. Anyways, the beginning of the album took me back, and for that, I already loved it.
Man On The Moon III features songs with Pop Smoke and Skepta, Pheobe Bridgers, and Trippie Redd. However, the album is mostly solo tracks that were cooked up during quarantine. Cudi’s approach in selecting trippy beats is part of what makes his music stand out and this release does not disappoint, as evident in Damaged, Heaven On Earth, Sad People, and The Pale Moonlight.
Plus, his humming is on point, as always.
One of my favourite tracks, She Knows This, also came with a surprise music video which features a red supermoon, a lit Cudi, and Will Smith:
A special lil’ moment on the album is the song 4 Da Kidz, a message to us from our “big brother” who is always looking out for us — he knows his fan base has grown up with him and is aware that we’ve gone through, or are currently going through, some of the same issues he’s faced. This life is not easy and is only becoming increasingly difficult during trying times. He really does this shit for us, just as much as he does it to help himself.
The last fifteen seconds of Lord I Know, the closing track, gives us hope that this isn’t the end of the story. As we’ve learned from Cudi over the years, healing is not perfect, it’s not always cute, and it can be really, really hard. He is proof that you can be feeling your best, then fall off the track. It’s a never-ending cycle, but there’s always a way out — Up, Up, and Away — and I hope he continues to let us in on his life as he navigates his way through its highs and lows.
Honestly? Man On The Moon III rules from start to finish. You can laugh to it, you can cry to it, you can party to it, you can meditate to it. It’s universal.
Thank you again, Cudi. You keep saving us.
Follow my playlist below for my favourites on the album and more of what I’ve been listening to as 2020 finally comes to an end.