Kid Cudi Remains Brilliant and Vulnerable on New Album 'Man On The Moon III: The Chosen'

With guest features from the late Pop Smoke, Skepta, Phoebe Bridgers and more.

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Kid Cudi has finally dropped off his highly-anticipated studio album, Man On The Moon III: The Chosen.

The stellar 18-track project arrives a full decade after its predecessor The End of Day, and serves as the final installment in his revered Man On The Moon album series. Clocking in at almost an hour, The Chosen hears Cudi collaborate with the late Pop Smoke and Skepta on “Show Out,” Phoebe Bridgers on “Lovin’ Me” and Trippie Redd on “Rockstar Knights.” He also reunites with producers Dot Da Genius, Plain Pat and Emile — the former produced “Day N’ Nite” and serves as the executive producer of The Chosen, while Plain Pat and Emile contributed to both Man On The Moon and The End of Day.

The musician/actor shared in an extensive interview with Apple Music’s Zane Lowe that he created a dozen songs for this album in a span of two weeks, the first three being “Tequila Shots, “Another Day” and “She Knows It.” He added, “I was already in a really good place working on Intergalactic, going crazy on the Scotts sh*t, had that in the chamber. But then I was making something else that didn’t fit those two projects. And I think after two or three songs, I was like, ‘Whoa, this sh*t really feels like a Man On the Moon.’ Like this is what the universe is telling me to make here.”

Cudi also touched on working with Kanye West for their KIDS SEE GHOSTS side project, revealing that while he wrote his 2016 album Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin’ from a hopeful place, he “was still completely miserable” during the record’s creation. “So that’s why Kids See Ghost was so big because it was for the first time in almost forever in the history of my career, I was really excited about doing some new sh*t that was positive, and wasn’t a downer, and it was like uplifting. And like the one thing that Kanye said he wanted to do was make a spiritual album. And I was like, ‘Yes, that’s exactly what I want to do,’” he said, adding, “I think the fact that we were both dealing with the same things at the same time is what made it such a solid thing…I think we were both feeling like we were entering new chapters in our lives. We just shed old skin and we’re starting new.”

Another big venture Mr. Rager was busy working on during the gap between The Chosen and The End of Day was his collaborative THE SCOTTS project with Travis Scott. He explained that he feels like his abilities as a lyricist are overlooked, but he received encouragement from Scott who told him how much he loved his rapping. “I kept that in mind,” Cudi said. “I said, ‘Okay. Travis is saying my raps are good. That must be something that the kids like. I’ll keep that in mind.’” Using Scott’s praise, Cudi was able to elevate and evolve both his rapping and singing while keeping things authentic.

Stream Kid Cudi’s Man On The Moon III: The Chosen on Spotify, and watch his full interview with Zane Lowe above.

Elsewhere in music, Travis Scott received his first platinum plaque fo “SICKO MODE.”

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