20 Definitive Blerd Rap Albums
16. Man On The Moon by Kid Cudi (2009)
I try and think about myself as a sacrifice Just to show the kids they ain't the only ones who up at night...
Near the beginning of the last decade a new wave of blerdom awakened in the form of angst. While some later artists like Odd Future would be more aggressive towards their naysayers and others who flat-out ignored them, Kid Cudi took a more introspective approach. He dedicated his entire project to his mental health in a way that provided comfort to millions. On his genre-bending debut, he divides his journey into five acts. Act One’s intro welcomes the listener into his dreams, a peaceful plane where he can do anything. The following songs, however, reveal that not all is what it seems. Alternating between raps and song, Cudi agonizes over his loneliness and pain. Even the club hit “Day N Nite” is a bittersweet bop about isolation. Luckily, he ends the album on a positive note for his audience, taking him from the dark side of the moon back to Earth to embrace a warm sunrise.
In a genre that almost exclusively lauded bravado and toxic masculinity, Kid Cudi’s courage to be a vulnerable Black man across an entire project was a revolutionary act that influenced countless artists. Isaiah Rashad (P.S. Where you at, Bro?), Logic, and Travis Scott are among the biggest names. It is important to also acknowledge the psychedelic, spacey beats that continue to influence production today. — Brendon Spencer