#TBT: Kid Cudi "Man On The Moon" Phase

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Cudders gets the throwback treatment, highlighting his "Man on the Moon" phase.

This may make you feel a little old, but Kid Cudi's career-launching mixtape A Kid Named Cudi is about to turn seven years old. While the "Day 'n' Nite" artist has released much music since then, many fans long for the alternative-minded rap the Cleveland kid layed down on his first two albums.

Man on the Moon, both part one and part two, helped to define a generation of rap. Helping to extend the vision that Kanye West brought to the mainstream, Kid Cudi provided the link between Mr. West and artists like Drake to release emotional hip-hop that draws from a wide variety of indie inspiration. Cudi's music got spacey and weird, but at this point we can start throwing the word "classic" in the conversation, at least for that debut LP.

With Speedin' Bullet To Heaven expected to be released this year, it's time Kid Cudi got the throwback Thursday treatment. Focusing on his first two albums, Man on the Moon, let's look back at ten killer cuts Cudi created.


Kid Cudi - Soundtrack To My Life 

#TBT: Kid Cudi "Man On The Moon" Phase

The second track off Man on the Moon: The End of Day is a perfect example of what made Kid Cudi so captivating. His mix of emotional rhymes with hip hop flavor was new for a lot of people, and despite the fact that he admitted to having nearly 100 women problems, it was fresh.

The line about splitting shrooms and seeing the universe was also a huge part of his appeal, and you could make the case that Cudi's aesthetic led to hip-hop's infatuation with psychedelics. Obviously, we see a lot of that happening today.

"I got 99 problems and they all bitches
Wish I was Jigga Man, carefree livin'
But I'm not Shawn or Martin Louis
I'm that Cleveland nigga rolling with them Brooklyn boys"

Kid Cudi - Day 'n' Nite

#TBT: Kid Cudi "Man On The Moon" Phase

We may not be creating this list if it wasn't for "Day 'n' Nite," the smash single that propelled Cudi into the mainstream. The super-catchy song, paired with the experimental music video, changed the trajectory of music, even if only slightly.

Kid Cudi - Sky Might Fall

#TBT: Kid Cudi "Man On The Moon" Phase

This is another defining track from Cudi's early career. Bittersweet production, this time handled by Kanye and Cudi, paves the way for some deep rapping.

"Still I fell my heart stronger then it's ever been
Strong will till my journey ends
'Til then I roll More then I've ever rolled
Not pills but the Mary, though
Still I feel my eyes heavy when the days go
Nothing helping with my head dose
But I ain't sleep Awake in another state
Living in a new space
Still fell my mind running at a steady pace
God help me so I'll win the race 'Til then I call"

Kid Cudi - Pursuit of Happiness

#TBT: Kid Cudi "Man On The Moon" Phase

Well we all loved this one for a minute there. Then it got remixed by Steve Aoki and probably overplayed. The hype has died down by now, and this highly inspirational tune can once again be appreciated for the genius it is.

Kid Cudi - Up Up and Away

#TBT: Kid Cudi "Man On The Moon" Phase

Indie meets hip hop...who knew it would have worked out so well? I bet Raury was stoked when this one came out... 

Kid Cudi - Marijuana

#TBT: Kid Cudi "Man On The Moon" Phase

Although we've spent the majority of this list talking about Cudi's indie tendencies, we can't forget that he was stoner rapper's biggest artist for a second there. He constantly referred to his smoking habits in his tracks, but never as blatantly as the love song "Marijuana."

Kid Cudi - Erase Me featuring Kanye West

#TBT: Kid Cudi "Man On The Moon" Phase

Cudi does his best Hendrix impression in the video for "Erase Me," a poppy, rocky, hip hop hybrid. Oh, and Kanye came along to kick a verse on this one.

Kid Cudi - Maniac featuring Cage & St. Vincent

#TBT: Kid Cudi "Man On The Moon" Phase

Cudi invited alt-rapper Cage to go in on an upbeat, although dark, track.

"No worries; I love the darkness yeah
I'd like to marry it - it is my cloak it is my shield
It is my cape! I love the dark maybe we can make it darker
Give me a marker"

Kid Cudi - Mr. Rager

#TBT: Kid Cudi "Man On The Moon" Phase

The second single from Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager, was kind-of-sort-of the title track. Along with its artsy music video, the spacey single took Cudi's artistry to the next level.

Kid Cudi - These Worries featuring Mary J. Blige

#TBT: Kid Cudi "Man On The Moon" Phase

"These Worries" was another classic Cudi cut. It's dark, druggy, melancholy, but incredibly musically. Mary J. Blige helps to take the chorus to the next level with her soulful croon. 

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