The Three Best Songs On Kid Cudi’s New Masterpiece

The only unfortunate thing about Kid Cudi’s newest album, Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin’ is the timing of its release. Having dropped in mid-December 2016 it got caught in the deluge of end-of-year lists and holiday commotion.

But it can’t be lost, because it’s a masterpiece. I remember the first time I heard Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy because it stuck with me in a way seldom albums do — viscerally and lustfully, from start to finish. It is all I wanted to play and replay. Cudi’s Slayin’ has provoked a similar reaction in that it is has amounted to the bulk of what I’ve wanted pulsating in my ears for the last month.

Dance with me for a moment: This album is more pleasurable than Frank Ocean’s Blonde and more adventurous than the critically acclaimed Coloring Book by Chance The Rapper. Cudi’s December release date means he missed the cut-off for this year’s Grammy Awards (Sept. 30), but the towering ambition of his 19-track collaboration means it will have staying power no matter what 2017 brings. It already has the imprinted blessing from West, who dubbed it “super inspiring.”

The sheer balance of the 87-m9nute album is what makes it such a stand-out, but here are its top 3 tracks:

Does It

Accompanied by grand cinematic strings and fluttering video game vibrations, Cudi moves through an anguished but determined rap designed to assert his greatness. Mission accomplished.

Imma raise some hell, ya know this. And if I piss some people off along the way, BONUS.

Rose Golden

Cudi’s template affliction is on full display again here, but with Willow Smith, he climbs out of despair in an alluring ballad, with some grumbling along the way of course, and a recognition of the power of moms.

Ain’t that many teachers show me my potential/Felt like a failure/ Momma said you know better/ Future in my hands/God she had a plan

Surfin’

It’s the final song on the album because it’s only at the conclusion of all that passion and pain that Cudi can allow himself to revel in some joy. This bouncy joint is a celebration of the unique sound he’s carved out in the hip-hop world, with some obligatory shots aimed at industry conventions.

The industry is so full of shit/Welcome ya’ll to the enema/Nah, man, no subliminal/Cause they insecure, they know who they are.