Kid Cudi: Insano review – plenty of company, not enough hits

<span>Photograph: Norman Jean Roy</span>
Photograph: Norman Jean Roy

Rapper Scott Mescudi has spent recent years drifting away from music. Coming to prominence in 2009 with the psychedelic hip-hop of Day’n’Nite, since 2022 he has starred in and produced films and TV shows including the Mia Goth slasher X and animation Entergalactic. He has even stated that past 40, he may stop performing as Kid Cudi.

Now 39, Mescudi delivers his ninth album, Insano, a 21-track odyssey featuring everyone from Pharrell to Lil Wayne. Among the starry features, A$AP Rocky delivers an entertaining turn on the mid-tempo bass groove of Wow, while Young Thug drawls artfully over the downbeat melodies of Rager Boyz. Solo, there are highlights on the up-tempo bounce of Electrowavebaby and the horn-laden fanfares of Porsche Topless.

Otherwise, the record plays unevenly. Pharrell and the late XXXTentacion produce monotonous and grating vocal hooks, while several iterations of trap bass blend tracks such as Keep Bouncin’, A Tale of a Knight and Cud Life into one. If Insano is to be Mescudi’s musical curtain call, it showcases his capacity to attract big names, without delivering on distinctive songs.