20 November, 2010@10:03 pm
Let’s discuss a trend that has been circulating in hip-hop for a little while now, the sequel album. It seems as If a lot of artists right now are coming out with the “sequel” to either their most critically acclaimed or commercially successful albums. Now, at first there was nothing wrong with this concept, but as of late it seems to be getting used and abused by that mainly the sequel has nothing to do with its predecessor. Something only to be used as a marketing tool to entice the general public into buying the album in hopes that it will be reminiscent of the first (or in some cases, the first and the second, etc.). This does not seem to be the case for Kid Cudi’s Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager, a brilliant, yet dark and eclectic reflection of his current life that abstractly brings you into his psychedelic world, all serving as a contrasting extension of his first LP, Man on the Moon: End of Day.
As a sequel album, MOTM 2 serves as a continuation from the first by that on MOTM, Common narrated that, “The end is never the end. A new challenge awaits, a test that no man could be prepared for, a new hell he most conquer and destroy, a new level of growth he must confront himself…” In addition, Scott Mescudi himself defined this project as being dark by nature and oppose from being his dreams that he was discussing, this time he touches on his life and career up to this point. All of this can be seen in the contrast musically of both intros from the two albums respectively “In My Dreams (Cudder Anthem)” and “Scott Mescudi vs. The World” (ft. Cee-Lo Green), as the latter opens with a sample of the former and Cudder saying, “What up, how’s everyone doing, you are now in the world I’m ruling…” which is ironically the title of Act I. This again is an extension of the previous album by that it is once again broken up in acts, with the first one concluding with the album’s unofficial first single “REVOFEV”, a dark and rhythmic track that will have you thinking, “where you’ll be for the revolution…” as if you were Winston Smith from 1984.
The next act takes you on “stronger trip” in which it gets into the artist’s love of being intoxicated/inebriated, mainly justifying it periodically on why he does and how he enjoys being so as exemplified on “Don’t Play This Song” featuring Mary J. Blige with, “I’m in a maze/I’m in a daze/I’m losing it/I’m rockin’ in my rocket ship, I be a blimp on your radar bitch/Feels like things can’t be covered/Until the day I’m above myself hovered…” Act II continues with “We Aite (Wake Your Mind Up)”, a melodic song that gets you ready for the high of the Bone Thugs inspired “Marijuana”, leading to the concluding song of this act, “Mojo So Dope”, that will have one feeling that they are ridin’ on their way to Act III to “Party On” with Cudi and Chuck Inglish of the Cool Kids on the groovish “Asher Kusher”. This is also home to the album’s first single “Erase Me”, a crusin’-ish track that is truly astounding except for the subpar guest appearance by Mr. West (peep all the “Ria” references, etc.). Act III concludes with the rebellious “Wildin’ Cause I’m Young” and the hypnotizing party-esque observant “The Mood”.
Act IV gets straight to the point of the his “transformation” with the electronic “MANIAC” (ft. Cage and St. Vincent) (the latter being artists that perform the song to which this track samples), followed by the highly impressive namesake of the album, the official second single “Mr. Rager”, an abstraction of a masterpiece of care-free living that is an expression of fun and freedom. The act concludes with the no regret “These Worries” (ft. Mary J. Blige) and “The End” (ft. GLC and Chip the Ripper) which takes you into the next act that discusses how “You Live and You Learn” with the reflective “All Alone” and the self expressive “GHOST!”, but the album ends with what might be the crowning jewel, “Trapped in My Mind”, which basically paints the whole picture of where he is at right now in his life, he does not know, and it is beautiful for one to express that, it is like someone saying that they don’t know the answer to a general question, the honesty is truly refreshing, and the artist knows this and accepts it, which only makes it better…
Overall, MOTM 2 is truly the “Blueprint” (not 1, 2, or 3…) to how a sequel album is supposed to be with its consistent production (another excellent job by Emile who produces the majority of the tracks on the album, who contributed heavily to the first MOTM…), and outstanding sequencing of tracks that just all seem to gel together additionally following the acts entirely, all the while serving as an extension to the first LP while at the same time being a total contrast, showing the maturation of “Mr. Solo Dolo” to “Mr. Rager” in a transformation that improves from the former with less self deprecating and overly redundant analysis of his life only to address more of his inner thoughts in an abstract way that some might find confusing, to where it might be hard for some to follow due to it being very vague and evasive, but at the same time, enticing, which will garner more listens to the album so one would understand it more clearly, but maybe that is the whole point, to take you on another wonderful trip to the moon…
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