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Have you ever waited 10 years for an album to release? After a decade, the concept album series of a Kid named Cudi finally has its third installment in Man on the Moon III: The Chosen. The long-awaited follow up to Kid Cudi’s debut LP, Man on the Moon: The End of Day, and his sophomore release, Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager, MOTM3 finally dropped last Friday, marking his seventh solo studio LP to date. Much like its predecessors, this album showcases Kid Cudi’s unique style of hip-hop, mixing in plenty of other familiar forms of the genre as well. And with production by Dot da Genius, Plain Pat, Finneas, Take a Daytrip, Nosaj Thing, FnZ, Teddy Walton, Mike Dean, WundaGirl, Kid Cudi himself, and more, there is a lot this album has to offer for both old and new fans. With all that said, how does this entry hold up after such a long wait?

Return 2 Madness

There is a seamless transition from the dark themes in MOTM2 to MOTM3, but featuring noticeable growth. Beginning with the familiar “Cudder Anthem” melody, the intro leads into "Tequila Shots", the first true song on the tracklist, and features narration reminiscent of Common’s contributions to MOTM. "Another Day" has an early Cudi style, while "She Knows This" takes a hard turn. "Dive" is another strong track, featuring samples from Tame Impala, and displaying the fluid style Kid Cudi masters so well. This first act sends the listener back into Kid Cudi’s convoluted mind, with sprinkled references to past albums.

The Rager, The Menace

"Damaged" is a dark ballad with an emotional hook, as the album slides deeper into Kid Cudi’s mental state. "Heaven On Earth" and "Show Out" dive into familiar hip-hop styles from recent years, while maintaining an undeniable Cudi personality. Show Out also features Skepta and posthumous vocals by Pop Smoke. "Mr. Solo Dolo III", is the third part to "Solo Dolo" (from MOTM) and "Solo Dolo, Part II" (from Indicud), and is just one of the highlights from this album. This act shows how Kid Cudi’s music has evolved, as he takes influence from artists who initially took their influences from him.

Heart of Rose Gold

"Sad People" is another track that feels fitting for the times in style, but still uniquely Cudi. "Elsie’s Baby Boy" recalls Kid Cudi’s past, and utilizes a familiar sample from The Animals rendition of "House of the Rising Sun". This section of the album takes a breath with "Sept. 16". Then, "The Void" has a groove switched up from the songs immediately prior, and its outro calls back to "Marijuana" (from MOTM2), more references to the previous entries in this concept. This act initiates a turning point in the album, with "Lovin’ Me", which features Phoebe Bridgers.


The final act presents Kid Cudi’s triumphant return with "Pale Moonlight", "Rockstar Knights", featuring Trippie Redd, and "4 Da Kidz", all of which are more upbeat, and mix the classic styles Kid Cudi is known for with the more experimental routes he’s taken since, wrapped up with influence from the various forms of “rockstar” hip-hop that’s hot today. The album concludes with "Lord I Know", with a relatively positive message behind it.

Altogether, Man on the Moon III was an appropriate next step for this concept, and was a beautiful showcase of emotion and mental hardships. So, does it hold up after such a long wait? The truth is, it’s difficult to meet everyone’s expectations after a decade of anticipation, but this album stands as one of Kid Cudi’s best. It goes back to the roots, without forgetting the growth, and provides something for Cudi fans of any preference. Man on the Moon III an instant classic.


Be well and keep groovin'!    Hunnypot Approved!     Overall Rating:  8.8 out of 10

Artist:  Kid Cudi,  AlbumMan on the Moon III: The Chosen  Release Date: December 11th, 2020,  LabelRepublic Records


Jo Higginbotham

Writer - Dallas

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