Kid Cudi is an artist who has always changed up his formula with every project he has released. Well known and critically acclaimed for his first two “Man On The Moon” albums, he wasn’t willing to settle by any means. Even as projects moving forward would tend to flop in the eyes of critics and fans or get mixed reviews, Scott Mescudi, or “Kid Cudi”, still continued in doing what made him happy. While “Speedin’ Bullet 2 Heaven” received negative and mixed reviews as well, over time, fans have come to appreciate how deep and different the album is compared to Kid’s other projects. Even Andre 3000 as well as other notable artists Kanye West and Erykah Badu gave the album high praise. When friend of mine mentioned to me that this is a punk rock album by Kid Cudi, as some one who loves punk rock music and its culture, I was curious to see how this record would be overall.
While this album isn’t something that hasn’t been tried before, for Kid Cudi it is something almost completely different. If you are expecting any hip hop elements in the mix here of this album, you may be disappointed. However, you may at least appreciate the title track “Speedin’ Bullet 2 Heaven”, which sounds like something off of the “Man On The Moon” albums but with much more instrumentation. I was very impressed with how much versatility Kid pulled off in this album, not just because it is a style change, but for how loud this album is. It’s very punk rock at times and also very grunge-sounding at times. It sounds as if Kid may have been on the brink of insanity by lyrical content, putting it into poetry and him singing/yelling over a bunch of sloppy punk rock riffs. If there’s one thing I can agree with fans on, it’s that this is arguably his most deep and confident release of his career thus far.
Through the record until about the middle part of it stopping after the track “Judgmental C**t”, we hear very Nirvana-esque riffs and music while the vocals some times don’t differ too far from his work before this record. At some points, the vocals don’t seem to play well into the mix, but it’s made up for what it lacks in the way the music sounds. “Fade 2 Red” & “AMEN” are arguably the most punk-rock sounding songs on the album, loud and filled with more drums than most of what the rest of the album has to offer. “Handle With Care” is my personal favorite song on the album though, surprisingly… It is his most soft song here in terms of sound as well, but the lyrics are very deep and yet somehow cathartic.
At this point in the album though, the sound starts to decline a little bit throughout the second half. While there are some very alluring & much more deep moments as far as lyrical quality, nothing stood out to me as much as the first half. There’s also Beavis & Butthead skits at the end of several songs in the album… While this adds a lighthearted and funny feel to soften up the album’s flow, it almost doesn’t fit. During their appearances, Beavis & Butthead both comment on how they are feeling about the album & how they are being influenced by hallucinogenics while listening to it. It is weird to hear this in the album, but also makes me appreciate the album as an art piece less in a way though too. I was surprised to hear the 3 demos in this half of the album and no fully finished tracks of the same names to back them up as well. While these 3 tracks may keep the spirit of punk rock fresh in the album, it doesn’t seem to fit well where they were placed, as they feel like some songs that should have been put on the first half of the album(or maybe not at all).
Overall, if you are big fan of punk rock and grunge music, this may be an album you are at least able to appreciate. It is infectious in terms of sound, but, somewhat lackluster in quality and when considering it artwork. I will say, though, this is arguably Kid Cudi’s most underrated album and is one for the books, it is one I may be revisiting in the future as well. In more recent times, Kid has put out a single with legendary rapper Eminem titled “The Adventures Of Moon Man & Slim Shady”. Kid Cudi & Travis Scott also put out a track in April titled “The Scotts” under their new group titled under the same name “The Scotts”, and are slated to release a much anticipated project in the future. What can we expect from Kid Cudi in the future aside from this? Who knows?! He is a man of many talents and obviously has a lot of tricks up his sleeve. I, personally, would like to see a return to the punk rock & grunge sounds on this album at some point should Kid Cudi feel the urge to release something similar to this again… either way, I’ll always be eager for what his future as an artist holds.
Our Rating: 6.0 (Solid)
Release Date: December 4, 2015
Label: Republic Records