Kid Cudi Finally Completes The Man On The Moon Trilogy With ‘The Chosen’
It’s been a decade since the last instalment, but Kid Cudi’s Man On The Moon III: The Chosen has finally dropped, completing the trilogy. Loaded with ten years of anticipation, and carrying the weight of the success of MOTM I and II, this album was met with exceedingly high expectations. After releasing projects over the last ten years that didn’t receive the acclamation he was used to getting with seminal projects like MOTM I and II, Cudi had a lot to prove with this album. In The Chosen, Cudi raps, sings, adlibs and hums his way back to where he belongs: on a pedestal as one of the most influential and respected figures in hip hop.
The album is split into four acts, taking us on an hour-long intergalactic journey through his darkness and demons. Act I, Return 2 Madness, is sure to appeal to the new generation of hip hop heads as Cudi experiments with new sounds, heavily influenced by the current young generation of rap and trap. These tracks prove his ability to adapt to the changing sound of hip hop, but longstanding fans will be glad the following acts are a humble return to familiar sounds from earlier MOTM volumes.
In Act II, The Rager, The Menace, we meet Mr. Rager again, Cudi’s hedonistic alter ego who we’ve watched him spend years trying to escape from, with tracks dedicated to telling his story of depression and despondence. It’s in this act that we’re gifted with what might be one of the hardest collaborations of 2020 – ‘Show Out’ featuring Skepta and the late Pop Smoke; a line-up that rivals ‘Make Her Say’ with Kanye and Common back in 2009 on the original MOTM. Cudi was actually last to join ‘Show Out’, and although his contribution to the track wasn’t the highlight of it, it served as an opportunity to hear him MC and gain the album UK traction.
Act III, Heart of Rose Gold, ends with a killer collaboration with indie babe Phoebe Bridgers on ‘Lovin’ me’, whose delicate vocals were needed at this point to inject some lightness after some heavy, dejected lyrics and signalled the birth of some hope that is carried into the final act, Powers. It’s in these final four tracks that we get a sense that Cudi has arrived to where he needs to be. The final track ‘Lord I Know’ ends with Cudi’s daughter whispering “to be continued”, which might allude to another volume for MOTM, or that he’s not yet done with his constant cycles of losing himself to Mr. Rager and finding his worth within his family again.
The Chosen puts Cudi in a position to claw back the respect he deserves as a musician. Sitting at the intersection between rap, indie and rock, with injections of trap and a healthy dose of features, this album will appeal to many and will definitely gain him new loyal fans too. Man on the Moon III: The Chosen has all the hallmarks of a MOTM project and breeds a warm sense of nostalgia: we meet Mr. Rager and Mr. Solo Dolo, hear Cudi hum us into a sweet lull, and learn of Cudi’s troubles of the last decade and beyond. Packed with jams perfect for late night drives, this album is set to soundtrack a lot of special memories for listeners, just like earlier instalments did.