2009 saw the rise of one of the most noteworthy artists going into the next decade. Scott Mescudi released his debut album Man On The Moon: The End Of Day on September 15, 2009, after working on it for two years. The album was received well and had decent sales, but to some this album was an answer to their calls for help. Kid Cudi is notably someone who speaks out about mental health in his music and with young teens and adults starting to be open with their problems in the 2000s, Kid Cudi was their savior. This record is relatable, fun, and deep as it features Cudi discussing his childhood, mental health, and overall wellbeing over a 58-minute album. Being under the wing of Kanye West, Scott Mescudi was given the tools to voice his message to the world. While MOTM: TEOD is certainly a staple of modern hip-hop but what makes it so acclaimed and respected 10 years later?
Cudi creates this first act titled The End of Day as an introductory dream sequence in which he can do, say, and think whatever he wishes knowing there will be no consequences for his actions. This section of the album features Cudi introducing himself to the world as a troubled man who has flaws just like everyone else in the world. While he wasn’t a huge celebrity at this point, he paints himself as just an average man who’s voice can make an impact on society. “Soundtrack 2 My Life” and “In My Dreams” show us that Cudi is full of emotions especially love, sadness, and hope. With these three emotions in tow, Cudi uses them to his advantage when detailing his life and how he copes with the issues that life throws at him. After these tracks, we are greeted to the transitional track, “Simple As…” which ends with Common ushering the listeners into the Rise of the Night Terrors section.
The Rise of the Night Terrors act has Cudi exploring his weaknesses and how his mistakes have shaped him into the man he is today. On “Solo Dolo”, Cudi questions why he can never win in the world even when he does everything properly in life. The song ends with Cudi realizing that he has never once taken his own advice and continues to create problems for himself without even realizing it. This prompts the next song, “Heart Of A Lion” to serve as the first internal fight that Cudi has with himself. While he claims to have the heart of a lion, he never fully embraces it because his mind is in a constant battle with itself. The repetitive “no’s” and “yeah’s” that make up the chorus serve as this battle that he is consistently struggling with internally. After this struggle is highlighted and shown, Cudi sets out to create his perfect plans for the future on “My World”. Cudi describes what he would do if he had full control of his dreams and actions where he inevitably hopes to own the world and run it in his image.
After Cudi’s plans are revealed, we are once again reminded that he may never actually achieve these goals due to his internal struggles pressing on each and every day. In order to deal with his mind, Cudi turns to drugs, notably marijuana so that he may ease his mind in order to enact his dreams in the real world. Act III is labeled Taking a Trip as that’s exactly what Cudi does in order to suppress his negative thoughts. “Day ‘N’ Nite” is perhaps the best example in this act where we get to see a calm and reasonably happy form of Scott Mescudi. Turning to drugs has given him the strength and courage to face the world confidently. “Sky Might Fall” is where we see this new incarnation of Cudi dealing with the end of the world with full confidence and no worries at all. Cudi has received a boost of determination when it comes to dealing with cataclysmic events in his life and mind. “Enter Galactic” once again reminds the listener that Kid Cudi has become reliant on drugs in order to solve his problems as we venture into the fourth act, Stuck.
Stuck shows Cudi at his peak upon drug use and how he has become fueled with energy to take over the world. “Alive” shows this surge of energy and confidence well as he compares himself to a werewolf when he’s on a high. This comparison makes sense as both Cudi and a werewolf are a raging monster at night. After a song full of strength and excitement, Cudi introduces us to “Cudi Zone”. “Cudi Zone” is an upbeat song where he continues to ride his wave of confidence and energy. This energy that Cudi exerts come to full fruition when he, Kanye West, and Common team up for “Make Her Say”. This song features Lady Gaga as the three men surf on the beat to showcase how much fun they have when they’re free to do what they want. But, after their fun and shenanigans, Cudi once again continues his search for peace and happiness on “Pursuit Of Happiness”. The song “Pursuit Of Happiness” sets out to accomplish exactly what its name implies. Cudi searches for happiness everywhere but ends up finding out the hard truth that not everything that shines is truly gold. Cudi understands the lowlight that plagues his career, life, and future. But, what he knows is that he will eventually find peace within himself and be able to appreciate his life and all that he has.
With this new revelation, the album enters its final Act titled A New Beginning. The first song after his new enlightenment is “Hyyerr”. With newfound knowledge and self-purpose Cudi tackles drug use with a better mentality. Instead of using drugs as a crutch, he decides to use them to better his creativity. Cudi closes out the album with “Up Up & Away” which serves as a conclusion to the Man On The Moon: The End Of Day story. Scott Mescudi has been through a lot since the album’s beginning and has fallen into many holes that he was forced to dig himself out of, however, in the end, he came out on top. Kid Cudi confronted his demons, found a new purpose, and discovered a new way to live life. In 15 songs Cudi managed to accomplish what many strive to do in their whole lifetime. However, this story is far from over as his demons and problems eventually return in the second part of the story, Man On The Moon II: The Legend Of Mr. Rager. Scott Mescudi’s life is full of ups and downs but at the end of the day, he always strives to live a better tomorrow for his friends, family, and most importantly himself.