Kid Cudi struggled to adjust to his newfound fame after the success of his 2009 debut album, Man On The Moon: The End Of Day. He spent much of the following decade grappling with anxiety, depression, and drug abuse. This song finds him reflecting on his search for inner peace.
Hm, hear me now, hey
This time I'm ready for it
Can't stop this war in me
Cudi is on his way to putting all his problems behind him. But, he told Apple Music's Zane Lowe in an interview for the release of Man on the Moon III: The Chosen, there are still times when his anxiety surfaces. "Yeah, I think that's something I've come to terms with in the last two years. In a lot of ways, these feelings don't necessarily go away. They hide and go in hiding for a while, and then they wait for the right moment and pop back up, you know?"
The production is courtesy of Kid Cudi's go-to beatmaker Dot Da Genius, and the New York-based duo Take a Daytrip. The three producers previously worked with Cudi and Travis Scott on the hit single "The Scotts
During an interview with Complex
, the trio revealed that they created the song the first time they'd met Cudi since "The Scotts" topped the Hot 100. "We literally took tequila shots that day celebrating it, and then named the beat 'Tequila Shots,'" explained Take A Daytrip's David Biral. "Something was in the water, man."
The three producers recorded the song at Cudi's house. "It's always different when an artist invites you to their house, because that's their sanctuary," Take A Daytrip's Denzel Baptiste said. "Even that gesture was huge to us. It was our first time in a house that nice. It was crazy. It looked like a movie. In the studio, the lights were dark, and Dot turned on these galaxy lights in the whole room, which gave it this wild look. The pool got lit up, too."
This is the second track on Man on the Moon III: The Chosen, the final installment of Cudi's Man on the Moon trilogy of albums.
2009's Man on the Moon: The End of Day offers a portrait of Cudi as a brooding, lonely youth growing up in the shadow of his father's death.
2010's Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager chronicles how Cudi's newfound fame had driven him to alcohol and drugs. It introduces us to his alter ego, Mr. Rager, a character who looks for thrills and excitement by any means.
2020's Man on the Moon III: The Chosen is a concept album that finds Cudi in an internal struggle against his evil alter ego, Mr. Rager.
During the record, Cudi lays out his inner demons and mental health journey. The rapper explained to Apple Music that he'd been in a good place working on his animated series Entergalactic and on "The Scotts," but he kept coming up with cuts that didn't fit either of those projects. After two or three songs, he was saying to himself, "Whoa, this s--t really feels like a Man on the Moon. It sounds like you pick right back up where we left off 10 years ago."