The world is shocked by the new release of “Man On the Moon III: The Chosen” by rapper Kid Cudi. Considering it’s been an entire decade since the last installment of MOTM, The Legend of Mr. Rager (2010), and it’s been four years since he dropped his last album altogether, Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin’ (2016), for years fans have speculated or questioned if Kid Cudi would drop another album or finish the MOTM trilogy. Cudi has been busy in his acting career and other aspects of life, so this album came as a huge surprise as it dropped out of nowhere December 11th, 2020. The album is fully stacked with 18 songs and only four features including, Pop Smoke, Skepta, Phoebe Bridgers, and Trippie Redd.
The Man On The Moon albums all express Cudi’s struggles with addiction and depression and how he overcomes his demons and the weight of the world. “The Chosen” as a whole has an entirely different vibe than what we’re used to from Cudi, with influences of Travis Scott evident.
The albums begins with a short tape intro entitled “Beautiful Trip,” which transitions with an astronaut countdown leading into first main track “Tequila Shots.” Serving as a letter to his loved ones, Cudi announces that he’s ready for the fight against the war inside himself. His soft vocals whisper, seemingly to himself or just anybody who’s willing to listen, “Here me now, this time I’m ready.”
“She Knows This,” my personal favorite track, has a unique ABA structure that makes it stand out from the rest. A hard-hitting verse is sandwiched between a chill intro and outro, complete with the iconic low and grumbly Cudi vocals we all love.
“Mr. Solo Dolo III” seems to be a song in which Cudi reminds himself of all his goals and dreams, even through the dark times or thoughts. He says he’s not slipping; he’s been tested and he’s meant for more. Echo-ey verses and low chorus melodies flow smoothly over the simple, consistent drum beat that carries the song to the end. It’s one of those songs you bump in your headphones when you’re getting your head straight.
“The Void” provides insight to Cudi’s work ethic. He says, “I will fall in the void just to avoid anything that can bring me down or fuck with my flow.” He emphasizes that he’s trying to be the best man he can be. This song has a ballad feel and ends with a lovely piano outro with windy synth sounds and a message of gratitude: “Thank you for never leaving me. It’s gonna be okay, I promise you.”
Trippie Redd features on “Rockstar Knights,” giving it more of an emo-rap sound but still with fun, uptempo beat and flow. It’s a good tune about being true to yourself and knowing you’re doing better than you could have for yourself if things had gone differently.
These were just a few of my favorite moments from the album, but the whole thing is fantastic. Man On The Moon III: The Chosen is an entire vibe and should respectfully be listened to in its entirety. This is the album for you to throw on when you need an evening to just burn down and contemplate life. It ends with a message “to be continued,” so this is either a vague metaphor that Kid Cudi isn’t done yet in his career, or even more specifically, perhaps there will be a Man On The Moon IV…