Entergalactic – Kid Cudi Album Review

Ian Sherry, Cub News Writer

Kid Cudi is a generational artist who has shaped the melodic hip-hop scene of today through his work in the trilogy of Man On The Moon albums and other releases over the last ten years. His newest project, Entergalactic, was released on September 30th in tandem with an animated Netflix series under the same name. The series has been received well by critics thus far while the album brings something different to his discography. The buildup for this dual release was immense. Cudi is an artist who has shaped generations of music listeners and musicians as well. He has saved lives with his relatable commentary on mental health struggles. The world’s number one Kid Cudi fan, Nino Dioso, can attest to this. In his words: “That man literally saved my life”- Nino Dioso ‘23. Clearly, any artist with this kind of impact is bound to have heavily anticipated releases and therefore high expectations. I think it’s safe to say that Cudi delivered.

This isn’t to say he delivered a perfect album – far from it. The high points are impressive, though nothing musically groundbreaking. However, there are some issues. The most glaring is the fact that it feels aimless. Cudi is known for his thematically brilliant albums. This album had a slightly different focus. The only real theme was love and its focus on supporting the animated series falls short. In order to be a chronologically strong album the listener has to understand the full narrative from start to finish. For example, Tyler The Creator’s 2019 experimental and genre-bending release Igor tells a complete story through lyrics and even the feel of the production. Entergalactic doesn’t come close to this level of coherency in its storyline. Kid Cudi also falls prey to the occasional boring song on this album. He has a tendency to overuse his trademarked moaning vocals and lock in on one flow for too long, sometimes an entire song. Both of these can be seen on the song “Can’t Shake Her”. It is repetitive and fails to ever hit the second level it needed to be a widely enjoyable song. It stays in a sort of melancholic rut for the duration of the track and wastes one of the two Ty Dolla $ign features which are at a premium. Songs like “Angel”, “My Drug”, and “New Mode”, all fall in the same category. They show bits of potential at times but ultimately fall flat. Kid Cudi never makes offensively bad songs like other artists, just boring ones. Once he hits his stride though, the good outweighs the bad.

Image Credit: Kid Cudi, Republic Records

The good can be found consistently from the fifth to the tenth track with one or two before and after, however, tracks six through nine are perfect. “Travis Scott would not exist without Kid Cudi” -Nino Dioso ‘23. This is not an uncommon opinion, and there is no better example than “In Love”. It has the punchy drums, decisive autotune, rolling synths, and soaring choruses that are responsible for so many of Travis Scott’s hits, except Cudi does it better on this song. It is a fantastic example of how to properly use elements of pop music without selling out to a mainstream sound. Though Travis Scott can come close at times, nobody but Kid Cudi can make a song like this. In that same vein, “Willing To Trust” is another massive success. One of the two singles leading up to the release of Entergalactic, this track features the previously mentioned Ty Dolla $ign, who is known to be one of the best feature artists in the entire music industry. He delivers here. His relaxed yet vulnerable vocals blend perfectly with Cudi’s, and a couple well placed refrains pull the track together into a cohesive and complete Kid Cudi classic. As if these two emotional and vocally elite tracks weren’t enough, Cudi directly follows them with “Can’t Believe It”, featuring 2 Chainz. This song is a big change in tempo from the previous two. Though it poses a slight chronological discrepancy, I can’t complain. Its rolling baseline and higher-paced chorus are a nice change of pace and it leads perfectly into the next song. 2 Chainz delivers one of his signature playfully braggadocious verses to round out “Can’t Believe It”, and just like that it’s ready to be sent into any era of Cudi’s music. The hot streak continues into “Livin’ My Truth”. This track, like many of the other successes on this album, feels like a newer spin on a classic Cudi formula. It is a perky beat with a catchy hook and poppy ad-libs. As “Livin My Truth” fades out to a spacy guitar riff, Cudi wraps up what I think might be his strongest four-song stretch on any of his albums.

Entergalactic is by far Cudi’s best work of this young decade, though it may not stack up with the first two Man On The Moon albums or the 2018 collaborative album Kids See Ghosts. He put up some of his best solo work since 2010, even if the whole album doesn’t soar to those heights. To me, Entergalactic’s level of creativity falls in the same category as his 2013 project Indicud, but it is much more well-rounded and polished, not quite sinking to the level of Indicud’s weakest moments. Instead, Cudi’s worst efforts on this album just come across as conservative, inoffensive. He doesn’t run into any issues that he hasn’t encountered before other than the clumsy storyline. That said, it isn’t nearly as chronologically inept as fan-favorite albums such as Because The Internet by Childish Gambino. So, clearly, it is possible to make a classic album with a shaky storyline. 

I didn’t know what to expect heading into this album. I was almost afraid Cudi might start to regress after his 2020 project, which seemed to lack creativity and consistency. He proved me wrong and I’m glad. I didn’t provide a rating for my first review of the year. That is because, frankly, DJ Khaled’s God Did, didn’t deserve a rating. Cudi does. He overcame the oversights in his storyline, as well as some boring songs, by including several classic tracks of different types and a solid crop of songs to support them; all the while staying with himself, for better or for worse. 

Kid Cudi’s Entergalactic is a 7.5/10.