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The 50 Greatest Sophomore Albums in Hip-Hop History

38. Kid Cudi, Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager (2010)

Label: Dream On, G.O.O.D. Music, Universal Motown

In the wake of the success of his first album and the inevitable backlash that a hit single can often bring, Cudder explored the darker side of his personality and aired out some demons without losing his appealing blend of childlike wonder and anguished old soul that made the first Man On The Moon so compelling.

Continuing to push himself thematically, Cudi presents a bleaker worldview without losing himself to absolute cynicism. Recorded between L.A. and Hawaii, it delivered Cudi's familiar harmonious sound while introducing some new angles. As producer Emile told us in 2012: "I think 'Ghost!' could be the first step towards the next material we're gonna hear from Cudi. We were actually in the studio just listening to trippy psych records from the late '60s, early '70s, and that sample came up and he was like, 'Yo, that's ill right there, let's do it.' It's a lot more aggressive and harsh than records like 'All Along' or 'Solo Dolo' or 'Heaven At Night,' which all have that classic Cudi harmony. This is more of a new tone for him. It's a harsher feel, and I think it's a good beginning for his new sound."

Regardless of the obstacles that may lie ahead in the real world, we can rest assured that Kid Cudi will find a way to channel it into another dark, beautiful, twisted fantasy of an LP like this.

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