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Kid Cudi can’t beat hype

Cleveland’s Kid Cudi did not live up to the hype that surrounded his sophomore album “Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager.” It comes off like more of a recovering drug-addict’s sob story than a legend of any kind.

In fact, the featured artists on the album overshadow Cudi. The guests include Kanye West, Chip Tha Ripper and Mary J. Blige.

The album does take a more introspective look at Cudi’s life than many of the misogynistic and money-hungry hip-hop artists of today, but it is more appropriately described by Cudi as a “clusterf— of darkness and evil” during the album’s first track, “Scott Mescudi vs. The World,” which features Cee-Lo Green.

Cudi pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine in June and has since admitted to having a problem with the drug, which he used in the past to get through interviews and performances. He said recently that he has stopped using the drug, however, this album seems to suggest that he might have created better music under the influence.

The first official single from the album, “Erase Me,” is a cheesy confessional about missing a girl. The song attempts to match the mood of Cudi’s earlier work, such as “Pursuit of Happiness,” but comes off like a crappy pop-rock song with Kanye’s verse as the sole redeeming quality.

Cudi has never been the conventional rapper, often utilizing spacey beats and intriguing guitar riffs, but this album seems to be more of an emo-rocker’s confessional than a banger hip-hop album.  

Kanye and Chip spit the best rhymes on the album, while Cudi utters lines such as “I am the maniac, I am the ghoul, I’m in the shadows in the corner of my room,” in “MANIAC,” which is unimpressive at best.

The production of the album remains solid as is the case with much of Cudi’s work, featuring bright spots such as the beats on songs like “Marijuana” and “The End.”

Ultimately, the constant vulnerability of Cudi makes the album as a whole seem like more of a plea for pity than any sort of hot new hip-hop.

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