Hard-set on producing all of his own music, it seems Mr. Rager’s latest album attempts to live up to the commercial success of 2009’s “Man on the Moon: The End of the Day,” looking for the next “Pursuit of Happiness.”
But try as he might, the pursuit continues, as Cudi falls just a bit short on “Indicud.”
While he will not gain any new fans, he will certainly entertain those that have been waiting for new music since the launch – and failure – of 2012’s WZRD.
Since the “Man on the Moon” series, Cudi has set out on a new beginning from the lamenting he once sang about. Now, the inert focus has turned to rage and a self-proclaimed triumph.
In one of his more powerful tracks, “Just What I Am” Cudi belts out, “I’m just what you made God, not many I trust / I’mma go my own way, God, take my fate to wherever you want,” and continues on to talk about his stoner habit, a signature for the artist.
Another verse from “Immortal” goes, “Spent the last month feeling bad ‘bout myself / I couldn’t speak anything of real hope / And the day came when it hit me like lightning through my veins / A sudden change in my groove, in my walk,” indicating how far he has come from “The Prayer” in 2008.
Though the album starts off strong for much of the track list’s first half, the listener may grow tired of the textural sounds and synthesizers Cudi plays around with, indicating that “Indicud” may have needed a bit of reorganization.
Still, the album pays homage to everyone that has helped him since his amicable split from G.O.O.D. Music, with tracks featuring good pals Kendrick Lamar, King Chip and A$AP Rocky.
Perhaps the best verse, one reminiscent to Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, is given to A$AP Rocky in the minimalist track “Brothers,” as he admits, “Max with the homies try to teach them things / Teach them how to make a piece of change, even keep the change / But they neva change, bought a set of chains with another chain.”
Luckily there are still elements of 2009’s Cudi scattered throughout the tracks of the album, hidden behind all of the texturally intriguing production.
If fans can adjust to his new profession, then they may be satisfied with the few gems found in the album. For die-hard Cudder fans, the leak of “Indicud” one week before its initial release date could not have come early enough.
Robert Penalber can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.