As I listen to “Soundtrack 2 My Life,” I can’t help but feel as vulnerable as I did 12 years ago.
Lines like “I got some issues nobody can see” and “a happy ending would be slitting my throat” speak directly to the me as if forcing acceptance of an emotion I’ve been working to muffle.
September 15, 2020, marked the 12th anniversary of Kid Cudi’s debut album, Man On The Moon: The End of Day. This album features a display of extreme emotions that are too relatable to ignore.
The vulnerability of tracks like “Day ‘N’ Nite” and “Solo Dolo” make them feel handcrafted for each individual listener. Focusing on the highs and lows of depression through Cudi’s lens instead of an outside observer made for digestible and genuine music.
Mental health is a fight that lasts forever, for myself and millions of others. Depression being an internal battle sometimes makes it hard to notice.
Often in urban/low-income communities signs of depression are misunderstood and ignored due to ignorance of the topic. With the release of Man On The Moon in 2009 Cudi introduced a conversation into a community that otherwise wouldn’t have cared.
The album spoke directly to millions of kids without answers.
Knowing there was someone of his fame dealing with similar issues was comforting and gave clarity in a sea of uncertainty. Speaking on his loneliness, insecurity and paranoia Cudi manages to make those who feel different have a moment of normality.
Rather than damning these emotions or working towards a change, Cudi instead simply speaks on them as an active participator.
“There are people starving and homeless, you have no reason to be sad” is a statement too familiar to many children. Not understanding mental health, it’s easy to dismiss children as “ungrateful” for feeling unhappy.
On “Soundtrack 2 My Life” Cudi’s purpose is clear “I try to look at myself as a sacrifice just to show the kids they ain’t the only ones who up at night.”
With Man On The Moon, Cudi was aiming to bridge the gap between confusion and acceptance that many children are often plagued with as they grow up.
Cudi’s debut album successfully fulfilled it’s purpose in 2009, earning him an incredibly devoted fanbase, some that credit it as the album that saved their life. Being 12 at the time of the album’s release it served as my daily reminder that everything takes time.
The track “My World” deals with Cudi’s insecurity being overcome by his success and drive to be the man. His drive fueled my own, throughout all the downs on the album there were always reminders of ups to look forward to.
Throughout the years as I’ve grown, so has the album. Songs that I couldn’t totally relate to began to make sense further cementing this album as a bridge for its listeners.
Songs like “Day N Nite,” which I thought of as just being the catchy single, transformed into a dark story about loneliness and drug use. Listening to it as I write this I can’t help but laugh at how accurate every lyric is.
“The lonely nights, they fade away he slips into his white Nikes, he smokes a clip and then he’s on his way… to free his mind in search of–“.
That’s life right there and I’m definitely not the only person who can relate.
With age comes new discoveries inside Man On The Moon that you couldn’t pick up until you were in the appropriate space. The album is dynamic and shows you exactly why it’s considered one of the most important albums of our generation.
To have your music continuously impact someone for 8 years straight speaks to the love and care that went into this project.
With mental health becoming more discussed in hip-hop with artists like Logic and Earl Sweatshirt leading the forefront we can never forget about the album that started it all.
Every modern artist will claim Kid Cudi as a huge inspiration for what and how they do what they do.
With Man On The Moon Cudi made a project for an entire generation to grow with and on it’s 8th anniversary we celebrate the impact it has made not only on music but the lives of millions of people.
Long live Scott Scott Mescudi!