I have severe abandonment issues and I distrust my loved ones with the intense paranoia of a schizophrenic conspiracy theorist. Over the past few months, I’ve been digging through my mind to try to find out WHY I have these issues.
And then, one day, out of the blue, I had an epiphany: Kid. Goddamn. Cudi.
I’ll always be a Kid Cudi stan. Cudi could release a three-and-a-half hour album of nothing but humming and I'd buy 11 copies. But much like my ex-girlfriend with one arm, Cudi has single-handedly ruined my life.
That lonely stoner turned professional humming enthusiast has caused me unparalleled emotional distress with his critically acclaimed, classic album Man on the Moon III. Mainly because, well, he never fucking released it.
Kid Cudi’s debut album, Man on the Moon, is easily in my top three all-time favorite albums. Unless, of course, movie soundtracks count, and then those spots are occupied by the Shrek soundtrack, the Shrek 2 soundtrack, and the Shrek The Third soundtrack. (The Shrek Forever After soundtrack is trash, though.)
When MOTM dropped in 2009, Cudi went from “that guy who sings 'Day N Nite'” to, for many fans like myself, an all-time favorite artist. The album is a road trip through Cudi’s tortured soul, painfully vulnerable and uncomfortably relatable. At that time, I was a 16-year-old with bipolar disorder, suffering from PTSD after my best friend passed away in a gory freak accident; to say I related to soul-shattering, emotional grenades like “Soundtrack 2 My Life” and “Solo Dolo (nightmare)” would be an understatement.
I’m far from the only one, either. Man on the Moon helped a generation of kids wrestling with depression. It was more than just an album, it was a sonic therapy session.
A year later, Cudi released Man on the Moon II. Even more experimental than the prototype, Cudi continued the themes of confusion and loneliness with a dash of THC, while mixing up genres like a musical chef. This includes the impossibly catchy pop-rock jam “Erase Me,” where Kanye raps a diarrhea pun that I’ve spent eight years trying to Eternal Sunshine out of my mind.
Then in 2016, he dropped a bombshell: Man on the Moon III was never going to happen. It was THE most shocking moment of 2016. Okay, fine, the second most shocking moment.
The epic conclusion to his trilogy and the album fans were clamoring for with the ecstatic urgency of nerdy virgins lining up two weeks early for a Star Wars premiere had suddenly become the Toy Story 3 of rap albums. (Also, I'm pretty sure this is the first time the words “the Toy Story of 3 of rap albums” have ever been written... I need a Pulitzer.)
Cudi went in a different direction for his next few albums, including the insanely polarizing Speedin Bullet 2 Heaven, which, while mediocre for a Cudi album was an incredible anti-drug PSA. This decision left a massive legion of passionate MOTM stans with our jaws on the floor, stabbed in the gut by an unprecedented feeling of betrayal.
How could I ever trust someone EVER AGAIN? I had spent years patiently waiting for Man on the Moon III but it was shelved into oblivion, much like Dr. Dre’s Detox or Bill Cosby’s 2014 Netflix special.
My girlfriend and I argue constantly. With the vulnerability of a lonely puppy, I say, “You’re not gonna leave me, right?” and she replies, “Drew, what are you even talking about?” Eventually, I stand up and point at my Kid Cudi poster, screaming: “THIS MAN HAS RUINED US.”
My therapist tells me I need to just move on. That there are other good albums coming out. I say, “Wait, like Tha Carter V?” to which he replies, “...let’s not go through this again.”
The full titles for the first two installments in the MOTM series are Man on the Moon: The End Of Day and Man on the Moon II: The Legend Of Mr. Rager. Since it’ll never be released, I took the liberty of coming up with a few unofficial titles for the threequel:
- Man on the Moon III: Will Never See The Light of Day
- Man on the Moon III: The Stress of Trying to Ignore Kanye’s MAGA Hat
- Man on the Moon III: Meanest Thing I’ve Done Since Speedin Bullet 2 Heaven
- Man on the Moon III: If You or a Loved One Are Suffering From Mesothelioma You Could Be Entitled to Financial Compensation
- Man on the Moon III: I Don’t Care About Drew’s Feelings
I’ll always love Cudi. I’ve even been blasting KIDS SEE GHOSTS every day for the past three months. And so I forgive him.
...But I will never forget.
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