Kid Cudi’s debut album is an imperfect classic that helped push hip-hop forward.





5. Simple As…

“Simple As…” is so stupid, it’s good. 

Kid Cudi went from sad as hell in “Soundtrack 2 My Life” to cocky and ready to flick his haters aside like they were some cigarette ashes in “Simple As…” Though the hook lazily straddles the line between sounding clever and simple, it’s still catchy as f**k. I also accept the body blows the beat delivers, and the cocky demeanor Kid Cudi raps with from start to finish. I think I just like seeing Cudi happy.

I wanted to put “Up Up & Away” as this fifth spot. Oh well. 



4. Make Her Say (Ft. Kanye West & Common)

Goddammit, I miss the days when regular Kanye West, Common, and Kid Cudi were all cool!

“Make Her Say” is probably the most traditional song on this album. If I were to guess, it was made for Kid Cudi’s close-minded fans. That doesn’t mean the song wasn’t good, though. The Lady Gaga “Poker Face” reference is laid down perfectly, Kid Cudi simply ad-libbing her is genius, the funky, old-school hip-hop beat is fire, and of course, in their unique ways, Cudi, Kanye West, and Common hit us with dope-ass verses about money, recklessness, and the poking of women that were at least 18.



3. Soundtrack 2 My Life

“Soundtrack 2 My Life” ended up being the soundtrack to many people’s lives (Particularly people from the hood, trailer parks, or slums).

I hate the intro to this album, “In My Dreams (Cudder Anthem).” It reminds me of some Sonic The Hedgehog special zone s**t. I believe Man on the Moon: The End of Day starts once “Soundtrack 2 My Life” comes on. 

In “Soundtrack 2 My Life,” Kid Cudi talks about his mother’s tough mindset, taking drugs to feel normal, and living in a very dark place. Though the song boasts melancholic vocals and lyrics, there’s something about it that actually feels uplifting. After listening to it, I felt like I just finished hearing someone courageously pour their heart out in an AAA meeting. 



2. Pursuit of Happiness (Ft. MGMT & Ratatat)

I used to almost cry listening to “Pursuit of Happiness.” Yes, I was a b*tch-ass dude in college.

Rappers got vulnerable in the past (See DMX in “Lord Give Me A Sign”), but there was something about the vulnerability that Kid Cudi showed in “Pursuit of Happiness” that felt different. His words feel pessimistically optimistic (Or optimistically pessimistic), and his vocals feel like they were laid down after he finished a strong crying session. The production feels beautifully perplexing and refreshingly nimble. This is simply a great song about being imperfect.

Do you know what always cracks me up? How popular the upbeat, party-flavored version of this song (Steve Aoki’s version) is. Like, muthaf**kas breakdance to this version of the song.  



1. Day ‘N’ Nite (nightmare)

F**k you talkin’ bout, this is one of the greatest hip-hop songs ever!

Only a few songs have a melody that never gets old, a beat that excitingly f**ks with your head, and lyrical content that will go over your head like a pass from Jameis Winston. Kid Cudi brought us into his lonely, outer space-ish world, and the result was some weird s**t that people who claim they don’t like weird s**t f**ked with.

“Day ‘N’ Nite” might be the best first single of all time (OK, I’m exaggerating just a bit here).


1. In My Dreams (Cudder Anthem) (3/5)

2. Soundtrack 2 My Life (5/5)

3. Simple As… (4.5/5)

4. Solo Dolo (Nightmare) (3.5/5)

5. Heart of a Lion (Kid Cudi Theme Music) (4/5)

6. My World (Ft. Billy Craven) (3.5/5)

7. Day ‘N’ Nite (5/5)

8. Sky Might Fall (4.5/5)

9. Enter Galatic (Love Connection, Pt. I) (3/5)

10. Alive (Nightmare) (Ft. Ratatat) (4/5)

11. Cudi Zone (4/5)

12. Make Her Say (Ft. Kanye West & Common) (5/5)

13. Pursuit Of Happiness (Nightmare) (5/5)

14. Hyyerr (Ft. Chip Tha Ripper) (4/5)

15. Up Up & Away (4.5/5)




Kid Cudi has always been one of the most intriguing hip-hop artists in the game. Though his style doesn’t feel as foreign to folks these days (Mainly because a bunch of people have copied it), when he came out with Man On The Moon: The End Of Day, it certainly was. When I heard the album for the first time fourteen years ago, I was stunned by how vulnerable his lyrics were, how much he didn’t rely on rapping, and how peculiar his production sounded. Also, listening to it, I learned so much about myself. I found myself relating to Cudi’s words about being in a dark place and finding ways to search for self-worth. I found myself understanding how dope hip-hop can sound when artists decide they don’t want to be boxed in. I found myself realizing Kid Cudi’s style was completely made for the future. Though the album does have its flaws (Songs like “Hyyerr” feel purposeless, “Solo Dolo (Nightmare)” sounds too ambitious, and “Enter Galatic (Love Connection, Pt. 1)” sounds stupid), I think it’s an imperfect classic. 

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