Kid Cudi’s New Album Is a True Audio Visual Experience

3.5/5 Falcons

Jay Rochberg, Contributing Writer

Entergalactic is the eighth album by Scott Mescudi, better known as Kid Cudi. Entergalactic accompanies the original television special (written and produced by Cudi) of the same name. The television special hovers between a TV show and a movie, with a concise 90-minute run time split into several chapters. The special is a celebration of art and culture. It features a vibrant colorful animation style that takes inspiration from street art and deals more with vibe than in plot. It follows Jabari (voiced by Cudi) in his pursuit of Meadow, his photographer neighbor, and love interest. The project is dedicated to Virgil Abloh, a close friend of Cudi’s, who designed the costumes for the project and passed away from cancer in November 2021.

These tracks evoke feelings of living a free and elevated life, but nothing beneath the surface of that abstract concept is explored.

As Cudi branches out and explores a new artistic medium via the TV series, he sticks to the classic style exhibited in his Man on the Moon trilogy in the accompanying soundtrack. The Man on the Moon projects featured rich atmospheric instrumentals composed of blended strings and synths over smooth layered vocals and deep hums. The subject matter of the Man on the Moon trilogy dealt with Cudi’s personal struggles and sorrows. On Entergalactic, Cudi takes on new subject matters, with most of the album being optimistic, relaxed, and romantic; this aligns with the plot of the TV special. Though the production of Entergalactic is in a traditional Cudi style, that does not mean that he does not show growth. He doubles down on the style of his previous instrumentals with even richer and more atmospheric synths and strings, creating a cocoon of psychedelic sound around relaxed and blissful hums and layered vocals. 

As a stand-alone musical project, Entergalactic does have a few key differences from Cudi’s previous work. An integral part of Cudi’s earlier projects—especially the Man on the Moon trilogy and his early mixtapes—is the incorporation of a raw and personal look into Cudi’s life and thoughts. Without the accompanying screenplay, the album Entergalactic itself does not offer much in the way of narrative or substance. Many tracks convey an abstract idea without providing any real substance. For example, in “New Mode,” Cudi describes new thoughts changing his perspective and putting him in a “new mode” without explaining what those thoughts are. In “Livin My Truth,” he boasts about living his truth without saying what that truth is, and in “Do What I Want” he explains that he’s living and doing what he wants, without saying what that is. These tracks evoke feelings of living a free and elevated life, but nothing beneath the surface of that abstract concept is explored.

The album brings classic Cudi instrumentals, vocal style, and hums in a more grandiose way than ever before. This combination makes the album very successful at communicating Cudi’s big ideas of a bright and futuristic world filled with optimism and love. The Entergalactic album acts as a fitting backdrop to the accompanying TV series, but standing alone it lacks a certain substance. It is sonically very enjoyable but lacks the complexity and depth necessary to give it much replay value. 

This article also appears in our November 2022 print edition.