Review of Kid Cudi’s “Man on the Moon III: The Chosen”

Kid Cudi recently released

Kid Cudi recently released “Man on the Moon III: The Chosen.”

Kid Cudi takes his listeners on an intergalactic journey to the moon with his newest album Man on the Moon III: The Chosen. After 10 years of fans starting to lose hope of a third installment of the series, alternative trap artist Kid Cudi surprised us all. A decade later, does Kid Cudi still have the creativity and inventiveness we saw on Man on the Moon: The End of Day?

Right off of the bat, Cudi throws a bright and colorful album cover, contrasting with Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager. Especially in the first half of the album, we are met with a high energy and consistent trap beat, matching the colorful aspect. However, halfway through, beginning with “Sad People,” the album changes course and displays a slower, more relaxed energy. Still, it manages to continue to connect with the space theme we have seen throughout the trilogy. 

Based on Spotify’s streaming data, the most popular songs on the album are “Tequila Shots” and “Show Out.” “Tequila Shots” seems to have a Travis Scott-like flow, which we see throughout the album. The song is catchy, but lacks the uniqueness of his other albums. However, this is definitely one of the songs we enjoyed more. Next, “Show Out,” featuring Pop Smoke, as well as Skepta, comes out as a fan favorite. This feature was a smart move by Cudi, but with poor execution. Pop Smoke has recently been gaining popularity after his tragic death. Because he will no longer be putting out new music, this track had the potential to prolong his legacy. For us, this song was exactly like Pop’s other popular songs. There were the same ad-libs, the same beats, and even some of the same lyrics. On top of this, Cudi’s flavor was completely drowned out as he followed Pop’s flow. In an interview, Kid Cudi admits that when he was offered the song by Pop Smoke’s manager, he could not turn it down because he wanted his fans to have something unexpected. He succeeded in the unpredictable aspect, but once again, it lacked the uniqueness that we hear from Cudi on tracks like his popular “Day ‘N’ Night (nightmare).” 

Cudi’s other collaborations feature Phoebe Bridgers and Trippie Redd. Phoebe’s feature definitely added to “Lovin’ Me.” The song itself would be average without her voice. Trippie’s verse on “Rockstar Knights” was impressive for him, however the song as a whole was not the best. It seems as if Cudi does his best work with others, some of our favorite tracks being features, including “Pursuit of Happiness” ft. MGMT and “Reborn” ft. Kanye West.

The final verdict? Kid Cudi put out a pretty average album that lacked in certain areas. Although Cudi effectively made us feel like we were on a journey to the moon and certainly grabbed our attention with the unique introductions, the lyrics fell short in terms of substance and creativity and were extremely repetitive. The album turned out to be another mainstream trap album, instead of the masterpiece of Man on the Moon: The End of Day. 

This album may not meet the expectations or standards Kid Cudi fans hold his music to be at, but the artist still has a chance for Man on the Moon IV. At the end of the final song of the album, a childlike voice whispers, “to be continued.” We can only assume this means new music in the future. Will it take another decade for a mediocre album or will Cudi use this as an opportunity for redemption?