Kid Cudi’s INSANOalbum review featuring DJ Drama, A$AP Rocky, Travis Scott, Pharrell Williams, Lil Yatchy and other various artists. 

Cleveland rapper Kid Cudi recently released his 12th studio album “INSANO” featuring a list of star-studded musicians that incorporated their own unique style and flow into Cudi’s project. The 21 track album reflects and orchestrates the psychedelic subgenre of hip hop that Cudi is known for as well as the fusion of trap, rock, electronic and pop music his “Man On The Moon” series pertains.

The first half of the album focuses on the trap sub genre before shifting into a more traditional sounding Kid Cudi album with multiple aspects of certain genres in the tracks. 

“Can you imagine? Eleven albums and I was able to still do something new” Cudi explained in an exclusive with Apple Music. 

Kid Cudi performing at Rebel in Toronto, Canada – October 4th. Photos by Anton Mak.

Cudi displayed confidence in his recent release, giving props to the artists and producers who contributed to “INSANO;” however,  certain tracks and features stand out compared to those with almost identical beats and flows. 

“INSANO” begins with DJ Drama serving as the hype man in similar fashion as portrayed in Tyler, The Creators award winning album  “CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST”. Rather than serving as hype man for a luxurious and sophisticated aspect of the album, Drama’s approach with his similar tone and motivation used in “CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST” is a bit off with the albums theme of wizardry and astrology in his occasional appearances dispersed throughout the album. 

The tracks “ELECTROWAVEBABY” and “BLUE SKY” have sparked the most positive feedback with older fans as these two tracks sound the most like something on his debut album “Man On The Moon that older fans can resonate with. The production and lyrics on the tracks support Cudi’s claim of “INSANO” being a good vibe album and provide an inspirational aspect for listeners respectively. 

While still satisfying older listeners, Cudi also appeals to his younger audience within the project. 

Excluding the trap sub genre which makes up the majority of the album that is popular with younger listeners, Cudi offers collaborations with artists that pertain to the youth such as XXXTENTACION and Travis Scott to name a few. The tracks with these two sound like a personal track off of their discography making the collaboration smoother and inclining  younger listeners to continue on with the album while retaining a slight reminiscence of the “Man Of The Moon” Kid Cudi.

“INSANO” is highlighted by the currently most streamed and first single “At The Party featuring Travis Scott and Pharrell Williams. 

The aesthetic of the track perfectly reflects the entire vibe and design Cudi intended for the album with simple yet suitable lyrics from all three artists. With a catchy chorus and flow masterclasses from Cudi and Scott with homage to the late Virgil Abloh and fashion included in the track. The production from Pharrell Williams is what separates the track away from trap perspective within the album. Pharrell’s production style since the late 90s as a part of The Neptunes has always consisted of simple beats that end up sounding revolutionary which relates Cudi’s style and beat selection in general, allowing it to fit perfectly in “INSANO.”

Most remaining tracks lack the production and subgenre distinctiveness that previous tracks mentioned had as some can be argued to be filler with light shots at haters and boasting in tracks such as “GET OFF ME” and “MR. COOLA”. However, the features from artists on certain tracks briefly separate the song from a Kid Cudi song and contribute as if it were a part of their own discography without completely abandoning his identity as an artist. 

With most of the album supporting Cudi’s claim as well as  achieving positive aspirations, a handful of tracks seem like filler and don’t incorporate Cudi’s strength of melodic and premeditated within his music as a couple tracks on the record do. An example being one of his most popular tracks “Mr. Rager that excels in displaying a melodic and comforting feeling. 

 “INSANO” is far from his worst but at the same time clearly not among his best releases, ranking in the middle of the pack within his discography.  All the aspects and resources are present for both older and younger listeners to enjoy however, the execution fell short of achieving its full potential.