This LP is very special to me for too many reasons to count. Kid Cudi (Scott Mescudi) is my all-time favorite artist and I can relate to him on a very personal level, and his 33rd birthday just passed (Jan. 30). I have bought every single one of his physical and digital albums as they have been released, but for the longest time, strangely, I never owned his first album. I thought that it was only right to purchase the vinyl edition of Cudi’s Man on the Moon I: The End of Day.
This groundbreaking debut really paved a new road for hip-hop and music in general. When I first discovered Cudi, I couldn’t quite put my finger on what kind of artist he was. He was rapping, but he was singing too, but not entirely. He and Drake could be the first rap-sung artists to cultivate this balance of rapping and harmonizing it, and though they often get the credit, it should really be credited to Kanye West.
While Cudi is one of the pioneers of this sound, he manages to stay original and distinct in his style. Man on the Moon I was a pretty dark and monotone album, and though it may not be for everyone, it fully encapsulates the sound of the transcendent anomaly that is Kid Cudi.
Standouts from this record like “Soundtrack 2 My Life,” “Pursuit of Happiness,” “Make Her Say,” and “Hyyer (Up Up & Away),” are the tracks that give this LP it’s personality and color. To me, what makes this album great are those deep cuts like “Simple As,” “Solo Dolo,” “My World,” “Enter Galactic,” and “Cudi Zone,” and the story that goes along with the album as narrated by fellow label-mate at the time, Common.
SNL star Pete Davidson said in an interview that this album “saved his life,” and as a Cudi fan it is completely understandable, and I am sure many others feel the same. Though it wasn’t this particular album that saved my life, it did make me a fan for life. Cudi has gone on to make some of the most eclectic music we’ve ever heard. He’s had his disappointments and made his mistakes, but that’s part of what makes him relatable, and why his fanbase is so loyal.
This album will probably go down as an underappreciated classic, but a classic nonetheless. No one can do what Cudi does, whether you like it or not. Spin The Man on the Moon I below via Spotify: