It’s a great time to be a Kid Cudi fan right now. Not only has he announced his most highly anticipated project to date, Man On The Moon III, but he’s taken up several acting roles as Scott Mescudi, all just this year.
If you’re anything like me, in light of this news, you’ve been running through all of your favorite Kid Cudi Merch tracks in anticipation for the forthcoming final chapter of the Man On The Moon trilogy. The memories that these songs bring back are easily some of the fondest of my teenage years, and to finally get closure with the MotM III coming—after ten long years—is enough reason to dive into a full-on nostalgia bender.
I dove back deep into Kid Cudi’s discography and decided to put forth a list of Kid Cudi’s best songs ever, and why.
I’ve spent a LOT of time listening to this man’s music, watching him rise, fall, and rise again, and to finally come up on top to deliver what all of his fans have been patiently waiting for. Before we receive the final chapter of Man On The Moon (we actually don’t know when that will be), let’s take a look at the music that made him one of the most beloved artists of a whole generation.
Without further ado, below are our rankings of the best 10 Kid Cudi track of all time.
10. Just What I Am (feat. King Chip)
Throughout his career, Kid Cudi had a love-hate relationship with cannabis. Love it or hate it, he was essentially a prophet for stoners during this period. On this track with his partner in crime, King Chip, Cudi finally acknowledged that smoking weed was just a part of who he was, and wrote a profound track about it. He also channeled his own production perfectly into his already established style.
9. The Prayer
Few would think to flip Band Of Horses’ “The Funeral” into a hip-hop track, but Kid Cudi, alongside Plain Pat, did just that—and masterfully. So much so that this tune ended up launching Kid Cudi fandom for many of those who weren’t fully onboard with “Day N Nite.”
8. Wild’n Cuz I’m Young
One of Cudder’s most sinister tracks, “Wild’n Cuz I’m Young” details the lifestyle that he was caught up in during 2010. He rarely glorified his substance use, but Cudi was brutally honest about his partying habits on this track behind a minimal but menacing beat. He even ends the track with a haunting, hidden message that, when reversed, says: “Sometimes you just don’t care. Sometimes you just don’t give a fuck.”
7. Day N Nite
The track that started it all. Simply put, nobody sounded like this in 2008. “Day N Nite” would launch the career of one of the most influential artists of the past decade. Hundreds of thousands of kids all over the country connected with this song on another level. Check details on Neconnected.
6. Alive (feat. RATATAT)
Kid Cudi and RATATAT once again show that they are a force to be reckoned with when they come together. This tune also exemplifies Kid Cudi’s talent for switching between singer and rapper on a dime. After singing the entire track he slips effortlessly into a rapid-fire verse.
5. Cleveland Is The Reason
In an homage to his midwest roots, Kid Cudi branches out on one of his most psychedelic tracks. Even though this is only off his debut project, his confidence seems to be at an all-time high, coasting effortlessly on mind-bending production. The way Kid Cudi made everything look so easy is often overlooked.
4. Soundtrack 2 My Life
For those that got to grow up with Kid Cudi, “Soundtrack 2 My Life” was an unskippable staple. Becoming an adult has never been an easy part of life, and Kid Cudi seemed to articulate that sentiment in the most relatable way. This one also contains one of the best Kid Cudi bars he’s ever written: “The moon will illuminate my room and soon I’m consumed by my doom.”
3. Pursuit Of Happiness (feat. MGMT & RATATAT)
“Pursuit Of Happiness” is one of those tracks that defined an entire era for some. This one is simply about, regardless of what’s bringing you down, striving to have a good time, making it one of the greatest party songs ever.
2. Man On The Moon
“Man On The Moon Shirt” was Kid Cudi’s biggest statement of his career. It was an anthem dedicated to outcasts, and helped reel in fans that may not have even enjoyed hip-hop at all in the past. There’s a reason why Kid Cudi’s subsequent projects were based on this track: it’s soaked in value and nuance and is a beautiful message to those that lived life on the outside looking in.
1. Mr. Rager
Still, years into Kid Cudi’s massive success, he remains an extremely troubled individual. So much so that he’s created an alter-ego by the name of Mr. Rager, who he speaks to throughout the track. The entire album, MotM II: The Legend Of Mr. Rager can be viewed through the lens of Kid Cudi addressing this alter-ego, who, depending on the perspective, is his either his friend or his enemy.
Either way you look at it, it’s a beautiful, painful song that is accompanied by some of the best production by Emile we’ve ever heard (who’s been alongside Kid Cudi for most of his career). It was soon after this project that Kid Cudi came out to the pubic about his struggle with addiction, depression, and anxiety. Since then, he’s been able to recover and heal from those wounds and embrace happiness once again. And now, ten years later, he’s ready to write the final chapter to the Man On The Moon series.