As Kid Cudi fans enjoy the unveiling of Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager, it’s a good time to learn more about how this album came about. Acknowledging this, Complex.com came up with a “Making of” article, one showcasing producers and featured artists and their accounts of the album in a track by track format. In the end, Emile, Plain Pat, Jim Jonsin, Chuck Inglish, Cee-Lo and others share stories and tidbits of what it was like to make the album.
Speaking on “Don’t Play this Song,” Emile shared what it was like to have Mary J. Blige in the studio.
“The Mary J. Blige feature is interesting, because we actually had her coming in to do a different song—she ended up recording three songs with Cudi and this was the last one. I think she just jumped on it because she loved it. The song was done and she just really felt what Cudi was saying and I think she was moved by the record. Mary was like, ’Could I do something on that?’ and Cudi was like, ’Hell fucking yeah you can!’ She kicked it all night in the studio; it wasn’t a situation where she laid her vocals and then just left as fast as she could. She was really enthusiastic about the music and loved the song so much. I don’t think he asked her to get on anything, and she just volunteered, which we were more than happy about.”
Another track Blige got on was “These Worries.”
“He definitely wanted Mary on the album, and this was the first song he wanted to get Mary on. When we got her in the studio, the song was done and he played it for her. Cudi was like, ’You know, when I originally wrote this song I kind of envisioned you on the chorus,’ and she was like, ’Man, I’ll jump on that right now.’ They kind of sang this duet together, which I just thought was incredible, and his post-chorus after the hook with him and Mary is just powerful. It’s one of my favorite moments on the album. It really is a song that captures him, and the year that he’s had and some of the darker places that he’s been in. It’s just a scary record which I love.”
Asside from stories about how features came together, other featured guests gave their take on various tracks. Cage, who is featured on “Maniac,” spoke on working with Cudi and their mutual friendship with the song’s video director, actor Shia Labeouf.
“Like, we did Late Night With Jimmy Fallon the other night. [The next day on Twitter] Dot Da Genius posted a photo of Cudi holding a script from the ’Maniac’ short film that Shia Labeouf is directing. Shia didn’t introduce us, but Cudi recently met Shia over Halloween—that’s when we kinda came up with the whole video. With Kanye doing that ’Runaway’ shit, it’s like, “Yo, you can be artistic again.’ It doesn’t have to be a regular-ass video, you know? So Shia had this idea and of course we were both like, ‘That’s fucking crazy.’ And now me and Cudi are both holding scripts. And I suspect it’s gonna be the craziest shit because when Shia did my video [“I Never Knew You”], that was his first video. You’re shooting performance stuff and it’s totally not his element. But, this time around it’s a short film so this is what that whole crew does. This is their forte.”