Words by Carson Bush
Five years ago on February 25th, 2014 Kid Cudi shocked the world when he released his fourth studio album “Satellite Flight: The Journey to Mother Moon” after only giving fans a few hours notice before it’s release. Of all the projects from Cudi’s experimental phase stretching from “WZRD” to the critically panned “Speedin’ Bullet to Heaven,” “Satellite Flight” is where he truly showcases his unique ability to blend different genre’s into one. It is also one of the most candid looks into the disturbed mind of Scott Mescudi.
Cudi began working on Satellite Flight before or soon after the release of his third solo album Indicud. Fans would get the first tidbit of what would become Satellite Flight on July 1, 2013, when Cudi shockingly dropped “Going to the Ceremony,” a guitar-heavy ballad where Cudi sings about alcoholism and loneliness. Just three months later on the Dallas stop of his Cudlife Tour, the artist announced the upcoming album telling fans “You won’t know when it’s going to happen, but it’s definitely going to happen in the next three months.” Over the next coming months Cudi would frequently tease the upcoming release and also proclaim that the album was a preliminary to his highly anticipated “Man on the Moon III,” tweeting “Satellite Flight: The Journey To Mother Moon is the bridge between INDICUD and MOTM3. An experience 6 years in the making.“
On the day of the project’s release Cudi began tweeting things such as “Time to make the world stand still” and “1 hour til launch,” when midnight struck Cudi surprised his fans as he released the album. Many would compare Cudi’s surprise release of Satellite Flight to that other surprise releases of that year, mainly Beyoncé’s self-titled album and Kanye West’s “Yeezus.” Cudi however, would claim the idea to do a surprise was unique and his own stating that he had come up with it months before but he had gained confidence in it after seeing Beyoncé’s success, in an interview with Complex Cudi stated “At the same time, watching Beyoncé drop definitely gave me the confidence and let me know that it could be executed. Like, ‘Oh yes! someone was the guinea pig and it worked.’ Perfect, now I can try. It’s a beautiful thing that it worked for me because I am not Beyoncé. Maybe in my wildest dreams on my prettiest day.”
Satellite Flight is a ten track project with half of the tracks being instrumentals something many critics disliked but many fans proclaimed added to the ambiance and spacey feel of the project. The production is crisp and gives the listener the feeling as if they are traveling to the moon alongside Cudi. Cudi exhibits his much improved producing abilities throughout the entire forty-one minute run time of the album, at certain points almost gloating as he would take brief pauses from his lyricism to let the listener soak all of the sounds in. Cudi does save room for one other producer however, he brought in longtime friend and collaborator Dot Da Genius for several tracks. The overarching story of the project tells of Cudi’s destiny to “Save the universe from the forces of evil” but before he can do that he must return to his home in solitude on the Moon. This is expressed through Cudi’s optimism for the future and the feeling he can conquer anything on tracks such as “Satellite Flight” and “Too Bad I Have To Destroy You Now,” whilst also feeling as if he is stuck in an endless cycle of pain on “Internal Bleeding” and the outro “Troubled Boy.”
Although we may be disappointed to still not know what happens next to the Moon Man, Satellite Flight is a hidden gem amongst the discography of an artist who is already a hidden gem amongst the mainstream music scene himself. If we never get to hear the final installment of the “Man on the Moon trilogy” “Satellite Flight” is a fitting cliff hanger deserving to be recognized amongst the two preceding albums in the storyline.