A decade ago, Kid Cudi delivered Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager, a sequel—just one year removed—to his debut studio album Man on the Moon: The End of Day. To say that both albums have extended a long arm of influence across music in the years since would be an understatement, as you can still hear a litany of examples of clearly MOTM-raised students from the Billboard Hot 100 to the underground.
With Cudi's new album, Man on the Moon III: The Chosen, the trilogy comes to a close.
Speaking with Zane Lowe for an extended 50-minute Apple Music special released on MOTM III eve, Cudi explained the care he took to ensure returning to this musical story was happening at a time where it felt natural and made sense.
"I was already in a really good place with Entergalactic, and I was going crazy on The Scotts shit [with Travis Scott], having that in the chamber, but then I was making something else that didn't fit those two projects," Cudi said, also pointing to conversations he had with Dot da Genius and manager Dennis Cummings as crucial moments along the journey to The Chosen.
A full breakdown of Cudi's lengthy interview with Zane Lowe can be found here.
The project includes production from the likes of Dot da Genius, Plain Pat, Mike Dean, Emile Haynie, Jenius, and Take a Daytrip, with features from Phoebe Bridgers, Skepta, Trippie Redd, and the late Pop Smoke.
Below, stream Man on the Moon III via Spotify. And for the ideal experience, consider carving out some time in the days ahead to listen to all three trilogy entries in sequential order.
Cudi also shared a fittingly cinematic video for "She Knows This," directed by Nabil and featuring—SPOILER ALERT IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN ALREADY—Will Smith.