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Friday, January 15, 2010

What to Do Tonight: Kid Cudi

Posted By on Fri, Jan 15, 2010 at 9:00 AM

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You won’t find any rhymes about what a badass Kid Cudi is on his debut album, Man on the Moon: The End of Day. This glasses-wearing rapper (who's originally from Shaker Heights) is all about kicking back, toking up and flipping through his existential angst. Kanye West produces a couple cuts (including the all-star single “Make Her Say”), but contributions by hipster faves Ratatat and MGMT reveal Cudi’s real alliance. Taking Lupe Fiasco’s nerd-rap into darker, spacey territory (he talks about self-esteem issues), Cudi comes off like a zit-speckled teen simultaneously bemoaning and celebrating his underdog status in his bedroom. The best cuts here — the spare, spooky “Solo Dolo,” “Day N Nite”’s haunted-house stroll — musically match Cudi’s laments. Split into five acts, Man on the Moon rides a vague central theme about anxiety and isolation for nearly an hour. It’s quite a trip — into new-wave hip-hop and into Kid Cudi’s tormented mind. He plays the Agora Theatre (5000 Euclid Ave., 216.881.2221, clevelandagora.com), with Chip tha Ripper opening at 9 p.m. The show is sold out. —Michael Gallucci

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