After an amicable split with Kanye West's G.O.O.D. Music label, Kid Cudi's third official album landed on Island proper, but it comes off as a label sampler itself, perhaps for the mythical Indicud Records (and that's the marijuana type Indica mixed with the name Cudi) or Kid Enterprises where the Cleveland rapper executive produces it all. Prime example has to be late album highlight "Beez," where Wu-Tang leader RZA brings his own Killer Bees mythos and delivers what could be his anthem ("I don't write songs, Grasshopper/I write sceneries") while Cudi handles the production and delivers the simple hook. In "Girls," it's merely a matter of framing veteran pimp Too Short in Cudi's bud smoker's vision of alt-rap, while "Solo Dolo, Pt. 2" takes the Kid's theme song and allows Kendrick Lamar to run with it, all the way to the Left Coast. Elsewhere, there's the delicious idea of surrounding AOR singer Michael Bolton with cloud rap and EDM beats for the epic "Afterwards (Bring Yo Friends)," or making indie rockers Haim sound something more like the Weeknd on stoner-R&B cut "Red Eye," and then there's the small instrumental/lark called "New York City Rage Fest," which is nothing more than middle-album tomfoolery. All those guest shots are worthy bangers, but Indicud still has some truly Solo Dolo numbers that shine, with "Immortal" turning a MGMT tune played backwards into Cudi's best anthem to date, while "Unfuckwittable" is the off-kilter, brain-melting mutant brand of pop-rap that made the Man on the Moon albums such a thrill. Cudi's said that Indicud is his 2001, in reference to the Dr. Dre album, but Dre was always considered a producer first, and this rapper's shift to producer/rapper is much more sudden and drastic. Still, it's an entertaining, vibrant, and artistically filling album, so consider it a "presents" effort and enjoy the show. ~ David Jeffries
Billboard (p.43) - "The tracks are pensive, but pack moments for raging -- just like Cudi himself."