In honor of the classic mixtape resurfacing on streaming platforms, I decided to do a full-blown review.
Honorable Mention. Down & Out
I love that Kid Cudi opens up this album kicking ass. For the folks that were asking if Kid Cudi was a rapper or a singer at the time, he answered that question with this song. In “Down & Out,” Cudi’s aggressive rap deliveries are mixed with lyrical content that explains who he is, what motivates him, and why he should be loved. The song feels like the perfect introduction to the man of the hour.
5. Is There Any Love (Ft. Wale)
“Is There Any Love” was the first track from this album that caught my attention.
Not because I think it’s an amazing song, but because it features Wale. Coming from DC, anything Wale was on at the time was getting spins. It turns out that “Is There Any Love,” with its Good Times-Esque hook, fraternity beat, and valiant verses, ended up being one of Kid Cudi’s rawest and most legit rap joints of all time. Oh, and Wale kills s**t on the song, too.
4. Cleveland Is The Reason
How big is “Cleveland Is The Reason?” The other day, the Cleveland Cavaliers used the title of the song to announce their new jerseys.
So, “Cleveland Is The Reason” probably won’t leapfrog “California Love” as the greatest state anthem ever created. What it did accomplish is put Cleveland on the map for cool kids, rappers, and black people.
From a musical standpoint, this song sounds sluggish in a very methodical and enjoyable way. The song also has a complex chorus that features both sly Cudi and singing-ass Cudi.
3. Man On The Moon (The Anthem)
I remember being blown away listening to this song for the first time…
Back in the day, rappers weren’t making songs like this; they were too busy making sure the candy paint on their cars was clean.
“Man On The Moon (The Anthem)” merges genres fearlessly, puts you in an enjoyably discombobulated state, endorses susceptibility, and relates to the so-called weirdos of the world. Since I was a certified weirdo, I played this song over and over again in my dorm room in college.
2. The Prayer
“The Prayer” will invade your body and put your soul in a headlock.
When I heard “The Prayer” for the first time, I legit asked myself “are people really this troubled in real life?” I was only 19, so I hadn’t paid any major bills or been told I ain’t s**t by 1000 women yet.
Interestingly, “The Prayer” is actually about some optimistic s**t. In it, Cudi talks about being a savior for those with struggles and finding his footing in a world that tries to throw nothing but haymakers at you. The chorus just makes me want to happy and sad cry (Bro, this s**t is sad as f**k!).
1. Day ‘n’ Nite
We can all agree that “Day ‘n’ Nite” is one of the best hip-hop tracks of all time, right? Alrighty then. Let’s argue about how we can fix the Lakers now!
I truly believe that “Day’ n’ Nite” is one of the most important hip-hop songs in the history of time. Its sole focus on melodies helped paved the way for the melodic raps that we hear today. Would we get Travis, Uzi, or A Boogie without this song? I don’t think so.
SONG BY SONG RATING
1. Intro (N/A)
2. Down & Out (4.5/5)
3. Is There Any Love (5/5)
4. CuDI Get (3/5)
5. Man On The Moon (The Anthem) (5/5)
6. The Prayer (5/5)
7. Day ‘n’ Nite (5/5)
8. Embrace The Martian (4/5)
9. Maui Wowie (4/5)
10. Whenever (4.5/5)
11. Pillow Talk (4/5)
12. Save My Soul (The CuDI Confession) (4.5/5)
13. T.G.I.F. (3/5)
14. CuDi Spazzin (4.5/5)
15. Cleveland Is The Reason (5/5)
16. Heaven At Nite (4/5)
There are a handful of albums that helped make me love hip-hop: A Kid Named Cudi is one of them. In the album, Kid Cudi shows the world that rappers can be vulnerable, but can also kick your ass in a battle. He also showed the importance of melodies, intricate songwriting, and simply having fun in the studio. Ironically, by releasing A Kid Named Cudi, we got a chance to know the names of so many other peculiar people like him that were hiding in the cut.
Quincy is the creator of Ratings Game Music. He loves writing about music, taking long walks on beaches, and spaghetti that fights him back.