This Kid Cudi article was written by Cristina Esteban, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Siobhan Scarlett.
‘Speedin’ Bullet 2 Heaven’ is Kid Cudi’s sixth studio album, and true to his thirst for experimentation, he presents a truly raw version of himself, by means of incredibly self-reflective lyrics and a change from hip-hop to alternative grunge/rock. There are 26 songs in total, with side A being the main album and side B including mainly demos and a some previously unreleased tracks.
Starting the album with ‘Edge of Reason/Post Mortem Boredom’, Cudi begins seemingly singing through a broken radio, with only a few chords of his guitar to help him along. Then, halfway through with the sound of someone inserting a coin into a jukebox, the song properly starts. Now, Cudi’s voice is perfectly heard, and the initial verses of ‘Post Mortem Boredom’ come through.
‘CONFUSED!’ is what feels like the real start of the album, and definitely shows us a change in style for Cudi. Resembling a blend between Nirvana and Red Hot Chili Peppers, Cudi relies much more heavily on his guitar than in other albums. Not only that, but it’s also the first time we really get a glimpse of the types of lyrics which will be present throughout the rest of the album: “I hate the drugs but I love the numbness, I hate the gun but I want the sun”. The entire album revolves mostly around the theme of mental illness, showing his crude reality and sometimes all-too-graphic experiences.
‘Man In The Night’ then has Cudi screaming the lyrics, until it suddenly breaks off to include a dialogue from Beavis and Butthead, which serves if only to clarify Cudi’s intentions of moving away from hip-hop towards a more rock style:
Beavis: can we hear more punk rock? ‘Im gonna break something. Can we hear more of that? Stuff like that? Stuff? Butthead: Hello ladies, tonight we bring you the greatest album that has ever been made in the history of man. It is called ‘Speeding Bullet 2 Heaven’. Beavis, punk rock is not dead.
Although in reality the album actually sounds less punk and more grunge, it is nonetheless a true statement of intention from Cudi.
The next track ‘Screwed’, only 2:28 minutes long, seems to have been included to try and put the album on track again after the brief stop courtesy of Beavis and Butthead. Short, and using only a guitar to accompany lyrics like “The end is near, said the end is nearing, it’s fairly clear we might be screwed, when life loses appeal, when the ghosts appear”, however the song seems slightly unnecessary.
After this, we then get the first actual glimpse of Cudi’s attempt at alternative rock/grunge with ‘Fade 2 Red’. But, as with the previous track, this one only lasts 2:58 minutes. To compensate for this, the following track ‘Adventure’, then lasts a full 6:10 minutes. A much calmer tune, far from Cudi’s screams in the previous tracks, it sounds more like the Cudi everyone’s used to. However the lyrics are in line with the general theme of the album: “Hell is beyond the door, heaven doesn’t want one more”. Yet again, Cudi breaks up the song to include a further dialogue from Beavis and Butthead, this time talking about taking drugs.
Straight after this, he enters the next song ‘The Nothing’ by singing “Mary Mary quite contrary”, changing the rest of the lyrics but with the same childish tune to it. An eerie start, not seeming to fit in with the attempted rock/grunge vibe, the song continues like this all the way through. A strange inclusion, just like that of Beavis and Butthead, it doesn’t quite work. Then as if realising this, Cudi resurfaces, and the album continuous steadily on the rock/grunge path. Songs such as ‘Amen’, ‘Judgemental C**t’ or ‘Angered Kids’ are the most rock of them all, with Cudi seemingly imitating Marylin Manson at times with his screaming rather than singing.
But he also includes more low-key tracks, like ‘Handle With Care’, ‘Wedding Tux,’ and the album’s title track, although this is only sound-wise. The lyrics continue to show us what goes on in Cudi’s mind, often disturbing but all too real. For Example, ‘Handle With Care’: “Been tossed aside like rotting meat, while the maggots and vultures feast, feasting on my memories.”
‘Speedin’ Bullet 2 Heaven’ is different to put it one way. Cudi doesn’t quite seem to have got the grasp of the new style he’s trying. A little too long, not helped at all by the inclusion of several songs only 2 minutes long. Also the long excerpts from Beavis and Butthead dialogues make Cudi seem all over the place in this album. A brave effort all in all, but which could certainly be fine-tuned.
‘Speedin’ Bullet 2 Heaven’ is out now vis Republic Records.