Here’s a new one for you. Ever since he burst onto the scene Kid Cudi has brought a style to hip-hop like none other. With his Man on the Moon albums, Cudi created a world where darkness and light battle through his beats and rhymes. This has worked with tremendous effect before with Man On The Moon II: The Legend Of Mr. Rager showcasing his incredible range of abilities and the beats that match the world he takes his listeners to. Naturally, I was very, very excited about his new album Indicud, but after a few listens I find myself wanting to like the album a lot more than I actually do.
This album is unlike anything he has done before, the closest comparison being his debut album Man on the Moon: The End of Day. This is a very atmospheric album whose ambiance you may get quickly sick of. The introduction “The Resurrection of Scott Mescudi” sets the tone for the album, creating the atmosphere with deep bass and synthesizers that will become very familiar to you by this hour-long album’s end. With his previous albums Cudi had Emlie and Dot Da Genius producing the music, but this time around he handles the production himself and by and large fails to achieve the level of production that was present when he had help in this department. Something is missing from Indicud. This is most obvious in “Solo Dolo Pt. II,” the follow-up to one of his debut album’s staples. His production is vastly simplistic throughout the album and it does not work for every song – particularly with this one. It features Kendrick Lamar, who could not save the track.
The simple production does work for some tracks however. “Immortal” is carried through by the talent of Cudi’s singing and how well he makes it work with the beat. This happens again with “Cold Blooded,” which is my favorite track on the album. It’s a short but sweet song that makes a statement while showcasing some of Cudi’s best rapping heard in a long time. Sometimes the beat gets repetitive and tiresome, particularly in “Mad Solar.”
There’s also some great guest spots on Indicud. A$AP Rocky, RZA and Michael Bolton (seriously) make appearances on the album to liven things up. “Afterwards” is an interesting nine minute-long journey through space with similar-sounding synths and drums we’ve all become quite accustomed to at this point. It’s pretty interesting to listen to, especially since Bolton is on it. King Chip also pops up on this track as well as two other times. This longtime friend of Cudi, despite being given so many chances to impress, fails to once again. It’s much like his previous collaborations with Cudi – while he’s not bad by any means, Chip isn’t good; he’s just kind of there.
This album is not going to be a standout like Kid Cudi’s previous releases. His first time out producing is full of repetition and occasionally bores. Vocally, he is at his best. Even on some of the tracks where you can’t stand the beat, he delivers a great performance. The dark, self-loathing content of his music is balanced out with some brash tunes like “Unfuckwittable,” one of the album’s best. Indicud is the kind of album fans may not enjoy all of, but there are definitely some worthwhile songs on here. It’s good, but far from Cudi’s best. He has stated that he wants to work with his old producers when he concludes his Man on the Moon trilogy. Here’s to hoping he does and blows us all away once again.