Kid Cudi returns with Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin'

DATE: 22.12.16
The release of Kid Cudi’s sixth studio album Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin’ has arrived after what can only be described as a challenging year for the rapper. As an audience we saw Scott Mescudi feud with his peers and bravely open up about his battles with depression shortly after checking himself into rehab. In a letter to his fans he wrote:
Now out of rehabilitation Kid Cudi is closing 2016 with a brand new album Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin’. Titled perfectly it signifies Cudi’s journey to recovery, that of a passionate man filled with pain,  out to slay his demons one by one, he is a symbol of hope that many of us out here can probably relate to.
Different from the average rapper, Cudi brings a unique vibe and style to his music and although he’s six albums deep, its crazy to think that I anticipated listening to his new project with with low expectations,  based on whether he could pull it off well enough to satisfy my ear buds.
The 19-track project is split into four acts and features the likes of Andre Benjamin otherwise known as Andre 3000, Travis Scott, Pharrell Williams and Willow Smith.
The album opens up with the single Frequency  of which he dropped the visuals for back in October.
Yeah, yeah, widen your view
And tune on into the frequency 
Chill all alone, love is the rule 
Follow it to the frequency…
The mellow relaxed tone from both the vocals and production blends nicely and is a nice calming opener and the further I delved into the world of Kid Cudi I found myself wanting to hear more. ‘Couple girls, couple stories, and a couple shrooms’… could this be Cudi escaping from a reality or nightmare? An intro that is almost five minutes long can be draining but ‘ay’ this is Kid Cudi and he has a lot to get off his chest.
My favourite songs in the first act are Swim in the Light and By Design featuring Andre BenjaminI like Swim In The Light simply for what it is, I feel that it is the most honest lyrically of what he feels inside, he mentions Calls from the Dark but he’s going to swim in the light. I like the truth that he brings to the track and that is all I can ask of an artist when it comes to their work. By Design is the most upbeat track within the first act and Andre Benjamin sprinkles his magic bringing the funk.
The second act is more compelling than the first and features Willow Smith, Travis Scott and Pharell Williams. The production on  iLLusions gives him room to let his voice resonate, the beat is dirty and vocally he brings another message on self-reflection. Rose Golden featuring Willow Smith happens to be my favourite of them all, for some reason it just happens to stand out to me, the production is nice and it filled me with emotion and it’s just something to vibe to. Again the lyrics are honest and relatable.
The third act brings Dance 4 Eternity another funky song, it has a slight nostalgic feel although it sort of lacks lyrical content or maybe I can’t hear what it was he seems to be whispering. The other four songs don’t grab my attention and are of the same vibe and I’m taking a wild guess saying that this portion of the album is based on a woman who probably hurt him. Whatever the case, it’s safe to say that this section is my least favourite.
The fourth and final act again features Andre Benjamin on The Guide and Pharrell Williams on Surfin.  He’s more vocally clear on The Commander than on Cosmic Warrior and The Guide, of which he takes a more mumble rap approach. The album finishes up with Surfin’ perhaps the only song on the list to be packed with such a big production, it has a dance feel to it and brings life to the album of what was sort of missing throughout the other acts. I think Cudi and Pharrell make a good collaborative team.
On conclusion it is a good, inspirational album. However, it is a lengthy piece and although I can’t hear a specific banger I can definitely see why it will be uplifting to his fans as the subject matter is very real. There’s pain and demon slayin’ going on and it is clear that he is very passionate about his craft. He has created a freeing platform, almost a therapy session between him and the ones who support him most. I like this album and its concept, not the best I’ve heard from him but it’s most definitely a step in the right direction on his road to recovery and I’m rooting for him 100%.
Rating: 3/5 PMB Faces
You can listen to and purchase Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin’ here.