Kid Cudi Pushes The Envelope Again On ‘Satellite Flight’
Cudi released Satellite Flight: The Journey To Mother Moon—the EP turned LP—through a digital-only drop with little warning. It felt like Cudi was sticking to his mantra that he does what he wants, when he wants. But this was no impulsive decision. Satellite Flight is the quest of Cudi getting back to the moon for MOTM3, which serves as the overall theme of the album. It’s the median in his overall odyssey from his last two detours in WZRD and Indicud, as well as his beloved MOTM series. He’s on his way home.
As always, Cudi stretches the boundaries of hip-hop and it can either let fans down or become highly addictive. Sonically, Satellite Flight pushes the imagination, captivating the listener and taking them into space with its beautiful synths and atmospheric melodies that plays throughout the album. The most impressive aspect of Satellite Flight is the sequencing. This 41-minute trek of Cudi’s mind as he returns to home spills out like a sci-fi Imax movie with songs weaving in and out of each other very fluidly. The story has three parts: Liftoff, Cudi in space, and him finally landing at his destination.
The album starts off with “Destination: Mother Moon” an impressive instrumental track which builds up the anticipation for liftoff, almost imitating the countdown sequence of a NASA launch. From there the narrative begins as listeners see bits and pieces of Cudi from his past detours. “Going To The Ceremony” feels a lot like WZRD with its guitar riffs and Cudi crooning. The previously released “Satellite Flight” has a very Indicud feel about it with Cudi’s trademark hums and introspective raps. Both records lead perfectly to “Copernicus Landing”—another instrumental track that feels like Cudi is lifting off into space as the beat methodically builds up until it’s compete silence. The listener can sense they have cleared Earth’s atmosphere and reached outer space.
The high point of the album is “Balamain Jeans,” which is a Cudi delivering boast raps about having sex with a woman who’s presumably on this voyage with him. It’s fantastic. Cudi’s provocative lyrics and wordplay shines and the aura of the song is intoxicating. Raphael Saadiq’s vocals adds to the overall seduction of the record and is the LP only feature. Together with "Balamain Jeans," the album's strengths lies in these impressive songs, “Too Bad I Have To Destroy You Now” and “Internal Bleeding.”
“In My Dreams 2015” acts as the interlude to MOTM3 with Cudi gearing up to land on the moon. It’s a really spacey intrumental that feels like something out of Star Wars. “Return Of The Moon Man” is another instrumental track and its phenomenal. The two-part song adds suspense to what sounds like Cudi descending back to the moon. The album's low point is "Trouble Boy," which is eerie, repetitive and doesn't hold any weight. The song feels like Cudi is singing over an acoustic beat with no passion rather than showing him taking his first steps on the moon.
Despite those small gripes, Kid Cudi regains his powers again with Satellite Flight. It is a dense, short album exhibiting wonderful synths, sharp drums, patent Cudi crooning, mumbles and a dreamy atmosphere. Like all of Cudi’s music, it pushes the envelope and it’s very abstract. There isn't a gray area with Cudder’s music, in fact, it is very black and white, meaning people either are going to hate it or love it. But the journey is always an adventure. Satellite Flight captures Cudi's adventure back home to the moon and does it brilliantly.—Emmanuel C.M.