The Panther Knows Best: Man On the Moon Anniversary: A Story of Running From Your True Emotions

Michael Angee, Design Editor

The buildup of a psychedelic symphony fills your ears… “You’re in my dreams,” Kid Cudi delicately sings over a production reminiscent of a sweet ending to a film. Common’s narration at the end of the intro begins the storyline of Cudi acting as the mentor for the listener on their travels through space. 

The studio album “Man on The Moon: End Of The Day,” was released in 2009 by American rapper Scott Mescudi, also known by his stage name Kid Cudi. One year later, on Nov. 9, 2010 “Man on The Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager,” delighted fans as an arguably perfect follow-up album. 

The concept of muffled emotion seen throughout the two projects with lines such as “I got some issues nobody can see” express how vulnerable and lost Mescudi felt when writing the projects. 

The influence of Kid Cudi on many modern day rappers tends to be blatantly overlooked in the music industry. His willingness to be one of the first rappers to put all of his emotion into his various projects proved to many artists who felt the same that they did not have to shield those emotions. 

However, Cudi has a darker tone in the second MOTM. Although the first album in the series seems more hopeful, both contain lessons about depression, detachment, loneliness and isolation. 

“Whether life presents you with the loss of a family member, battling emotions and problems within yourself, or are unable to attend social events, everything added to your life can be stressful and these feelings of loneliness and detachment are a common outcome” Miami Palmetto Senior High sophomore Ashley Chwast said. 

Tracks like “GHOST!” and “Trapped in My Mind” eloquently demonstrate the overall themes of the projects. Repetition of the line “I’m trapped in my mind and I’m going crazy” throughout the final track on the second MOTM shows this concept to its fullest. 

Other than the messages presented within the MOTM series, Mescudi was one of the pioneers of the usage of 808s in the modern day mainstream music scene. 

An 808, an electronic bass drum, replaces an actual drum set by many artists in modern day production. The technology stemmed from the Roland TR-808 Rhythm Machine which debuted in 1980. 

“Kid Cudi released his hit album, Man on The Moon, in 2009 which pushed the electronic bass drum further into the hip hop and rap industry,” Chwast said. “Along with further advances in beat synthesis within other music genres.” 

On Oct. 26, Mescudi announced the third album in  the “Man on The Moon” series. He wrote on Instagram, “THE TRILOGY CONTINUES… SOON.” The caption, presented under a video compilation of a performance by Cudi, is followed by an exploding car and finally, Cudi staring intensely into the sky and looking into a blood red moon. The moon acts as an allusion to the artwork of the first “Man on The Moon” album. 

The third installment has fans hoping that it contains the same uplifting, yet somber tone that presented in the first two projects of the trilogy.