Dot Da Genius and Kid Cudi have entered rareified air. Since 2006, the two friends and musicians have been turning to each other for inspiration, slowly becoming one of music history’s legendary production duos in the process. But where other partnerships have been waylaid by ego, fame, and music industry intrigues, Dot and Cudi have pressed on. Nearly 15 years and seven albums since “Day ‘N Nite,” last month’s release of Man On The Moon III marked their most evolved and sonically sophisticated collaboration yet. And they did most of it amidst a pandemic. 

Granted, making the album was a little more complicated than simply quarantining together. After an early session with ascending production duo Take a Daytrip, Cudi and Dot had three tracks from which to build, including the first and last song. They just needed to fill in the middle. 

So Dot began a painstaking process of refinement, creating tracks with Daytrip that would then be passed along to one of Dot’s inner circle (another camp of production icons). When their additions came through, Dot would bring the song back to Cudi for finishing touches. 

That could include instrumentation, vocals, and maybe a movie reference or two. Cudi is, by Dot’s estimation, a walking movie encyclopedia, able to pull quotes or pick up a scene at random. One of those quotes came from Michael Cera’s Scott Pilgrim.

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