The previous GOOD MUSIC signee released the second part of his ‘Man on the Moon’ album series back in the Winter of 2010. ‘Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager’, is one of the weirdest yet compelling sounding projects of his discography. Infusing a variety of genres and influences from Alternative Rock, Hip-Hop and Punk, Cudder created an album that explores all the nooks and crannies of his personal life; depression, drug addiction and relationships.
The majority of the albums production is handled by Grammy award-winning producer Emile Haynie, as well as Dot da Genius, one half of CuDi’s indie-Rock group WZRD, Plain Pat, Blended Babies, Jim Jonsin and others. CuDi also split the album into its five following areas to explore a deeper and more stripped back idea of the artist. They are, ‘The World I Am Ruling’, ‘A Stronger Trip’, ‘Party On’, ‘The Transformation’ and ‘You Live & You Learn’.
From the opening track “Scott Mescudi Vs. The World” featuring the OG CeeLo Green for some of the best high pitched vocals I could ever listen to. CuDi also displays extreme dark thoughts and ‘facts’ about his life, with drugs becoming more of a weight on his regular life, although he’s battling the addiction. The production on this track is purely phenomenal as well. Greens’ ad-libs, strings and breakdown of the beat from the 3:00 mark just do things to me.
While, the album does contain highly influenced Rock tracks, “REVOFEV”, “Ashin’ Kusher”, “Mr. Rager” and “All Along”, CuDi also delves into darker, psychedelically fucked up vocal arrangements and instrumentals for him to release the pain he was obviously feeling and expressing over the album. “These Worries” featuring the Soul legend, Mary J. Blige, is one of the latter songs on the album, however, the eerie guitar loop, monotone drum kick and CuDi’s taunted lyrics and vocals portrayed on this, makes it nearly not impossible for me to relate to the emotions sounding off of the track. Another track that stands out for its drugged-up dullness is “Mojo So Dope”, which has great vocal samples and the simpleness of the instrumental make CuDi sound motivated.
However, the track that stands out the most instrumentally is “MANIAC”. The weird synths, quick pump of bass and striking guitar strings create a beat that is as terrifying as it is captivating to the ear. Although my favourite track, in all off the album is “Marijuana” for its mellow simplistic keys make it easy to be a competitor for the theme song to starting ‘The Sesh’.
In all, this is one of the most revolutionary Hip-Hop/Rap albums that has come out within the 2010s. The clear passion, darkness, creativity and devotion that CuDi put in this album proves no doubt. While he does enlist some big names, as previously mentioned, their contribution to their featured tracks don’t overshadow CuDi’s talent as a vocalist and songwriter.