Kid Cudi’s music has always contained elements of self-reflection and melancholy. On his earlier albums he hid his darker moments behind the veil of beautiful synth driven production and memorable hooks. If you listened closely enough, Scott Mescudi never shied away from this vulnerability: he has always embraced it.
Speeding Bullet 2 Heaven is an experimental journey, composed with somber guitar chord progressions and gritty acoustic ballads all accompanied by murky sometimes incoherent vocals. This album revisits many of Cudi’s old themes but the sound is more aggressive. This album hits you over the head with themes of drug addiction and loneliness while rock music is used as Cudi’s latest sound bed.
On the second track of the album, “Confused,” Cudi sings, “Who am I/ Who are We/ All I want is to feel complete.” These moments of introspection are prevalent throughout the album. He asks himself and the listener to look inward; whether or not you find Cudi’s message worthwhile is completely personal, but it’s hard to deny his passion. He often delivers his vocals like an apparition, appearing in each song as a haunted ghost guiding the listener and then quickly fading into another track.
“Adventures” is track 6 of the album, and it begins with a bold guitar intro and thumping drums. The song gives the impression of floating and then quickly plucks you into Cudi’s nightmare. He sings, “Lost in my reflection, how do I chill.” The song is a sonic journey through Cudi’s reflective and destructive mental state.
On the last track of the album, “Embers”, Cudi finally uncovers the duality of his emotions. The one side that is desolate and hell bent on destruction and the other side that is afraid to fade away because of this inner turmoil. “I really don’t wanna leave/ realize there are no answers/ to ride me of this cancer/ see I really gotta leave.” The production on the song is piercing and the guitar adds the perfect eerie atmosphere to end the album along with Cudi’s wounded vocals.
“Hold my hand in heaven/ count the heartbeats and count the seconds/ I really don’t wanna leave.”
You could argue that Cudi was never the greatest rapper, but one of his greatest abilities was the rawness in which he rapped. He had the perfect mixture of bravado and self-awareness to address all his flaws.
Kid Cudi’s latest album manages to confront his emotional moments of sadness with conviction. Despite the change in sound and production, as a listener you could always connect with him and feel something. On this album, Kid Cudi makes you feel something once again.