The "lonely stoner" comes back with his sophomore effort, The Man On The Moon II: The Legend Of Mr. Rager, and he sounds lonelier, more self-absorbed, and darker than ever. Featuring beats by Emile Haynie, Plain Pat, and Dot Da Genius, the album is divided into five acts with each act describing Kid Cudi's confrontations/dealings with fame, lots drugs, and himself. "Scott Mescudi Vs. The World" starts the album off with the G.O.O.D. Music rapper bragging about the world that he is "ruling" over a simple mid-tempo, strings-driven beat and Cee-Lo Green singing the hook. Next up is "Revofev" in which Cudi offers up his solution to the world's woes ("so high up and I like it - some how I feel okay") through simple and repetitive lyrics delivered using his trademark singing style. Mary J. Blige contributes vocals on "Don't Play This Song" as Mr. Solo Dolo opens up about the sides of fame and money that have been eating away at him constantly, and the lyrics become the focal point owing to the simple, stripped down beat. The only pop moment in the album comes courtesy of "Erase Me" featuring Kanye West, and the fresh, rock-inspired beat plays well with Kid Cudi's fun, "fucking around" lyrics. "Wild'n Cuz I'm Young" follows, and the rapper retreats back to the "deep downer" tone, which continues through the rest of the album with songs like "Mr. Rager" and "The End." Is The Legend Of Mr. Rager full of cuts you can play out? No. Is it better than The End of Day? It remains to be seen. What we can tell you is that Kid Cudi has brought us another impressive release that isn't formulaic or conventional, reminding us why he has been able to secure such a solid, dedicated fanbase. Double LP, gatefold cover with art direction/design by Kid Cudi. Recommended.
- music label: Universal Motown 2010