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

Kid Cudi got famous in 2009, and it all of the attention turned the former lonely stoner into a monster by the next year. Themes of depression, drug abuse, and newfound insights on women and the world would make up the bulk of his sophomore album, Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager, which arrived in November 2010.

On "Maniac," Cudi raps, "I love the dark, maybe we can make it darker" and succeeded in just that. The album is more focused, cohesive, and frankly, disturbing than his debut—and we wouldn't have it any other way. What resulted from Cudi's lows was an album that's far more developed from a sonic perspective (there's still nothing in modern music that sounds like "Ghost!") and more engaging content wise (there are several songs that capture the pinpoint isolation of the original Man on the Moon's "Solo Dolo").

Cudi's ambitious five act structure actually works here, with a second attempt at narrative-driven sequencing that comes across as more effective and convincing. Reviews of the album were all over the place, from lauded to panned, and it only makes sense. Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager is a difficult, distorted look into the twisted mind of Scott Mescudi. The people who relate turned this album into a cult classic, and the people who don't only heightened the misunderstood aura that surrounds this album's legend. — EB

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