Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin' - Kid Cudi
First off, let’s take a sigh of relief that this album is nothing like Speedin’ Bullet 2 Heaven. I can only recall two tracks (“Confused!” and “Wedding Tux”) on the project that I actually liked/could tolerate, while I wanted to sever one of my ears when I listened to the rest. But enough of the slander. I enjoyed Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin’ much more than I expected to.
Kid Cudi is an artist that represents nostalgia, and I think that’s what makes this album such a solid project. The 19-track experience (the same length as Man on the Moon II) creates a vibe that causes one to imagine themselves dancing in a forest with their friends.
And with credits from Andre 3000 and Pharrell Williams, there was no way there wouldn’t be at least a few bright spots on this project. I think the album is so great because of the songs that are reminiscent of Cudi’s original MOTM album. “Rose Golden” and “Kitchen” serve as an examples because of the prominence of the strings played throughout the tracks; “The Commander” is another example because Cudi’s opening verse features his classic “No, no, no, no, no, no/ Yeah, yeah”.
Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin' shines because of the production. My favorite songs on the album have a production credit from either the legend Pharrell or Cudi’s long-time producer Plain Pat. Here are the songs that I think stand out the most:
“By Design (feat. Andre Benjamin)”
As the song opens, the beat immediately captures my attention. And honestly, can 3 stacks even produce a bad verse?
“Rose Golden (feat. Willow Smith)”
The encouraging and powerful chorus gives me chills. With the harp played alongside a great feature from Willow Smith, this track is my favorite song on the album from start to finish. More frequently in hip-hop we see God depicted as a woman. I think that makes for pretty poetic imagery.
“Flight at First Sight/Advanced”
At the 1:26 point is where the song really starts and where my favorite beat on the entire album comes in. Up to this point, Cudi is really just repeating himself and setting up this epic beat transition. And if you didn’t already guess, Pharrell produced this one.
“Dance 4 Eternity”
This is a more sensual track that is a great song to groove to. I think it’s hilarious how Cudi pronounces “eternity”. The song is simple, but keeps you moving the entire time.
As I mentioned before, the opening strings on this track are reminiscent of MOTM. I’ll admit, the lyrics aren’t all that great/kind of corny, but there are definitely aspects of this track that make it stand out from the others.
Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin’ is a cohesive album that I suggest listening to in order so that you can catch the full perspective of the vibe Cudi is painting. While the lyrics suggest that there is a pain and constant feeling of a looming uncertainty, there is triumph in the end. Although there isn’t a great amount of depth to the lyrics on most of the songs, Cudi is one to wear his emotions on his sleeve, and those emotions reveal themselves throughout each track. Coupled with fantastic production, this is album is most certainly worth a listen.
There is a unifying theme that exudes through every song on this album. Whether it’s grooving to your own drum, not fucking up the Feng Shui or tapping into the frequency, Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin’ is pretty much Cudi’s version of exclaiming “Bitch, don’t kill my vibe”.