Kid Cudi – “Man on the Moon III: The Chosen” Review

Story posted December 16, 2020 in Arts & Entertainment by Caelan Chevrier.

After over a decade, Ohio rapper and songwriter, Kid Cudi has released his long-awaited and final installment to his “Man on the Moon” trilogy, “The Chosen.”

In the past 10 years, Cudi has been through several lows with him ending up in rehab for depression and suicidal tendencies in 2016.

Along with his record of that year, “Passion, Pain and Demon Slayin’” and the one before, “Speedin’ Bullet 2 Heaven,” branching into alternative rock and mediocrity, fans thought that the moon man himself may never come back. In 2018, fans were given a small glimpse of even more potential from Cudi on his seven-track joint album “Kids See Ghosts” with mentor Kanye West.

On “The Chosen,” Cudi blissfully returns to form, expands on his previous sound to deliver an album that exceeds expectations and ascends listeners to outer space.

The album is broken into four different acts that all sound distinctive from each other.

The first act, “Return 2 Madness” is made up of psychedelic trap beats that seem to pull influence from Travis Scott. “Tequila Shots” stands out the most with high-quality delivery coming from Cudi and excellent production from Take a Daytrip.

“Hm, I been here before | Can't stop this war in me” he exclaims. In this act, he doesn’t feel like he should be where he is, and he is trying to find inner peace.

The second act, “The Rager, The Menace” has some of the most interesting cuts on the record. “Show Out” featuring Skepta and the late Pop Smoke shows versatility as they rap over a hard New York drill beat with Plain Pat production. Skepta outshines both of them but collaboration as a whole is a great success.

On “Solo Dolo, Pt. III,” Cudi presents one of the most lonely and beautiful tracks in his career. He opens up about his mental illness over swirling piano and synthesizers, leaving everything earthly behind and shooting into the stars.

Act three: “Heart of Rose Gold,” is the slowest part of the record but really gives Cudi time to shine with clever lyrics and vocal performance. “Thank you for listening | Thank you for never leaving me | It's gon' be okay | I promise you” he speaks on the end of “The Void,” another standout track on the album. It is one of the five tracks on “The Chosen” produced by Mike Dean who is responsible for some of Kid Cudi’s and Kanye West’s greatest hits.

Act four brings back the energy, and is a powerful closer wrapping up the album's themes. “The Pale Moonlight” shows off how incredible Cudi’s humming ability is and is reminiscent of “Reborn” on 2018’s “Kids See Ghosts.” The next track, “Rockstar Knights” has an incredible Trippie Redd verse, and the synthesized outro makes for an introspective banger.

On “The Chosen,” there are not as many standout hits as there were on the previous two entries, no “Day ‘n’ Nite” or “Pursuit of Happiness” is to be found here. Ultimately, this doesn’t matter as the album as a whole makes up for the lack of singles. Besides a few underwhelming tracks here and there, the record is a standalone near-masterpiece.

From the stellar production from over a dozen notable producers to all of the carefully crafted features to Cudi himself, there is so much to love.

The last line of the record whispers, “to be continued…” so it looks like Scott Mescudi won’t be stopping anytime soon. Judging from this album's high quality and persistence, “Man on the Moon III: The Chosen” will be remembered as a phenomenal closer to the trilogy, and an incredible record as a whole.

Rating: 8/10

Reviewer’s Favorite Songs: “Tequila Shots,”  “The Void,” “The Pale Moonlight,”

Reviewer’s Least Favorite Song: “Elsie’s Baby Boy (flashback)”

Caelan Chevrier is a freshman majoring in journalism. To contact him, email cjc6789@psu.edu.

About the Contributors

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Caelan Chevrier

Freshman / Journalism

Caelan Chevrier is a first-year student in the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications at Penn State University studying broadcast journalism with the goal of graduating with a bachelor’s degree in four years. His plan is to get involved in numerous media-related clubs during his stay. His career goal is to spread informative, meaningful and entertaining content across various platforms and to be a positive impact on the community. If you’d like to contact him, email him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).