mr_rager

The progression of Scott Mescudi’s artistry is lined with controversy and misconstrued notions of his personal life.  After a brush with fame and critical praise for his 2009 debut, Man On The Moon, KiD CuDi became the center of attention in the tabloids for his outlandish statements and drug-fueled persona.  A bout with cocaine addiction, a proceeding arrest and video evidence of his out of control partying has seldom stopped Cudi’s career from flourishing.   Some may say Cudi is a modern day rock star who has cemented his image in order to embdy his lyrical content. Picking up where he left off, Kid Cudi awakes from the nightmare that he painted on Man On The Moon to discover it wasn’t a dream after all.

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The Legend Of Mr. Rager is as musical as it is theatrical.  Split into five acts, the album is a realistic journey through the psyche of Mescudi.  On top of the world, Cudi promises us “some generation next sh*t” on the gloomy Cee-Lo assisted “Scott Mescudi vs the World.”  The lonely stoner doesn’t lead us astray, as the indie rock-inspired chants of “REVOFEV,” soothe the nerves as listeners gradually enter an ensuing trip on the following four tracks.    Assuming his listeners are as disobedient as himself, Kid Cudi dubs Act II’s opener, “Don’t Play This Song.”  Illustrating his lack of appreciation for people’s advice, Cudi alongside Mary J Blige facetiously sings, “people think they’re really being helpful by telling me ‘please be careful.’  Yeah, right.”  Reminiscing on his gateway experiences, CuDi tells listeners, “I remember when I first had trees, smoked out of a Black n mild, so dumb of me” before teetering on controversy by claiming to be suicidal. This introverted ballad is appropriately balanced by the ode to herb, bluntly titled, “Marijuana.”   Emile, who handles a bulk of the production on Mr. Rager provides another instrumental that pinpoints the grime of early 2000s electronica on “Mojo So Dope.”  The aforementioned album cuts are exceptional, breaking the barrier of hip hop, rock, and techno solidifying CuDi as a musical enigma, rather than your run-of-the-mill pretentious rapper.

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Once, Act III (Party On) gets underway, it’s apparent that Kid Cudi had a vision all along.  The moniker Mr. Rager is pertinent, not only because of the artist’s personal life, but due to the manner in which he conveys this body of work as a concept album.  The previous tracks were nothing more than the pre-game, a pre-cursor to the main course, if you will.  The Cool Kid’s Chuck Inglish pivots into a production that is vastly up-tempo in comparison to the earlier sounds of MOTMII. While other songs hit their mark with greater precision than the party fare of “Ashin’ Kusher,” it’s a notable confirmation of Cudi’s versatility.  After the pseudo pop-rock dud, “Erase Me,” Cudi returns to his electro roots on minimalistic “Wild’n Cuz I’m Young.”  Although the verses are lackluster, the hook has the capability to gain buzz with each repetition.  With that said, the final verse is a close-up on Mescudi’s busy schedule and coinciding drug use, as he proclaims, “taking trips to Australia; do some blow and I can make it through the show.”  “The Mood” finds Cudi painting a portrait of indulgence as he goes on a binger with a group of foreign models.  Although Hip Hop purists will frown upon Cudi’s inexplicit lack of flow, this is one of the most captivating tracks on Mr. Rager.  Teaming up with the equally unpredictable Cage Kennylz, Kid Cudi serves up an eclectic offering on “MANIAC.”  As one of the album’s standout cuts, “MANIAC” blends styles in order to please even the most refined palate.  Cudi’s personality somehow transcends his monotone delivery, while Cage dishes out a discerning verse over the guitar-laden instrumental.  The title cut, is an escapist melody featuring the Ohio native wishing to soar to the heights of birds.  While the melody is on par with any of his previous work, a careful examination of the chorus yields lackluster findings (“Mr. Rager tell me where you’re going, tell us where you’re headed/off on an adventure/Mr. Rager tell me some of your story tell us of your travels“).

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Through all these voyages, it seems like Mescudi is elevating listeners up to the peak of a plateau; and by this point we have reached the edge, where descent is inevitable.  The nature of each track becomes tiresome.  For every subtle nuance of experimentation, there’s a plethora of similarity between every tune.   However, The Blended Babies-produced “The End” is one of the more memorable joints on MOTMII. Entering the final act on “All Along,” Mescudi becomes reacquainted with sobriety only to realize reality was what he wanted to escape from.  The previously mentioned “All Along” and the remaining two songs (“GHOST!” and “Trapped In My Mind”) are not particularly remarkable, but stay true to the mood Cudi tries to set throughout the entire LP

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Kid Cudi’s voice is one of his strongest assets.  For that reason, it’s actually beneficial that he rarely raps on this album.    Although Cudi manages to bring listeners into his mind with an array deep lyrical pieces, his work is inconsistent and often times redundant, as is the case with many great artists.  The Legend Of Mr. Rager is a valiant follow-up to the album that made the world perceive Kid Cudi as such a fascinating individual.  Without a doubt, the content on Mr. Rager will do as much to fuel the speculation on Mescudi’s personal life as it will to increase the debate over what he was intending on this one.

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35mics

3.5/5

Purchase Man On The Moon II: The Legend Of Mr. Rager On iTunes