The vocals from Kid Cudi are a mixed bag, being a lot worse than they were on MOTM1 as they were inconsistent completely sounding a lot different on each track which can be considered as variety, but I just feel like it was unintentional, being a lack of effort that had caused it. He raps a lot more on the album, scrapping the singing part which I thought made MOTM1 super special, although he does dedicate a few tracks completely to the singing and uses the features to handle the hooks instead, but that just didn't hit the way that the tracks on the predecessor did. I noticed that his vocals sounded a little deeper on this album, matching the dark theme well which was nice to listen to. On 'Ashin' Kusher', Kid Cudi sounds tired and out of energy, like he doesn't want to be performing the song which just made it uninteresting for me to listen. On the other hand, Kid Cudi does bring his powerful, strong vocals when it really matters like on the track that was originally meant to be the outro, 'All Along', where Kid Cudi sounds amazing as he spills his heart out on one of the more emotional songs that I've heard from him. The only thing that I really enjoyed about his vocals were that they were wonderful when it mattered, especially on the turning points of the album on tracks such as the intro, 'Erase Me', 'MANIAC', 'Mr. Rager', and 'All Along'. 'The World I Am Ruling (Act 1)' was very good as Kid Cudi had vocals that matched the dark mood that he was trying to create, sounding tremendous as he sounded like he ruled the world, making this my second favorite act in terms of vocals. 'A Stronger Trip (Act 2)' felt so incomplete with the presence of Kid Cudi not even being felt as he sang a few lines and allowing the production to completely consume the spotlight during the act, making this my least favorite act on the album in terms of vocals. 'Party On (Act 3)' gave me mixed feelings as Kid Cudi certainly felt a lot more alive and decisive as he brought some of his most beautiful and unique vocals on half of the tracks on this act while sounding completely empty on the other half of tracks on this act which was weird cause the act clearly had party in its name, making this my fourth favorite act on the album in terms of vocals. 'The Transformation' was where Kid Cudi clearly showed a transformation sounding tremendous as he was consistent on all four tracks on this act as he brought the really raw rap vocals that I missed for most of this album, making this my third favorite act on the album in terms of vocals. 'You Live and You Learn' showed exactly that as he seemed to learn from his mistakes earlier on the album, with him sounding as good as he did on MOTM on the last three tracks filled with love for himself and accepting everything about him, making this my favorite act in terms of vocals. Overall, Kid Cudi's vocals were not the best, but they showed improvement as the album went on, making me glad as I knew he had some solid vocals, but they were just absent for most of the album.
The production was really bad on this album as Kid Cudi seemed to get a ton of producers who were well-known, but seemed to be confused at what Kid Cudi was truly aiming at, playing around with dark themes in a dangerous way that did not work at all. Additionally, I just don't think that Kid Cudi really fit the dark production well as he just couldn't adjust to the new style as easily as he did on the previous album. A lot of sampling was done on the album which was decent, but appeared a little too much taking away from the amazing effect that sampling can create. The dark theme that they added to the sequel wasn't the only difference as there were so many rock references in the production that made me wonder if this was supposed to be a rock hip-hop album, as can be seen on tracks like 'MANIAC'. I really didn't enjoy the rock addition as it just made it even more difficult for Kid Cudi to get comfortable on the album, making the production sound like a mess. The only thing that I liked about the production was when Emile Haynie produced the tracks as he knows how to work with Kid Cudi and everything that he creates is just excellent, something that I didn't mention much on the review for the previous album, even though he was the main producer for both albums. I thought that it was interesting to see No I.D. produce a few tracks on the album such as 'The Mood' and 'GHOST!' as he seems to fit this type of style in smooth fashion, even though I really don't like his production style that much. I might be dumb for saying this but I wish that Metro Boomin produced one or two tracks as something similar to Metro's style seemed to really be what Kid Cudi was trying on this, although maybe remove the trap elements a little to the production. 'The World I Am Ruling (Act 1)' was a really good start to the production, similar to the vocals, with the dark elements sounding excellent along with Kid Cudi's solid vocals, making this my third favorite act in terms of production. 'A Stronger Trip (Act 2)' was wonderful because it was easily the stand-out on this act as Kid Cudi stumbled to find his groove throughout these tracks while the production made me feel satisfied in the meantime, mixing in some soothing elements to the dark theme, making this my second favorite act in terms of production. 'Party On (Act 3)' was lacking the dark theme although it was decent, being a little messy at times, making this my least favorite act in terms of production. 'The Transformation (Act 4)' contained generic, dark beats that had stunning Kid Cudi performances along with samples that sound spooky, making this my fourth favorite act in terms of production. 'You Live and You Learn (Act 5)' was filled with lovely unique beats that had especially beautiful drums supporting Kid Cudi spill his emotions in a stunning way using diverse sounds, making this act my favorite act in terms of production. Overall, the production on the album was lacking a lot and not matching the mood that Kid Cudi seemed to have in mind, making this a major reason for why I didn't enjoy the album as much as I enjoyed the predecessor.
The lyrics on this album were probably one of the few things that were actually improved with Kid Cudi finding interesting ways to express his thoughts. Even though this was a lot more complex to understand compared to the first album, this was easily a lot more detailed and deep, with Kid Cudi leaving a lot for the listeners to understand instead of saying things outright. The story seems to be highly debated on how it actually plays out with what I think is Kid Cudi not caring about anything or anyone and getting super high until reaching a new high that creates Mr. Rager, who is a really rough and reckless version of Kid Cudi, which Kid Cudi doesn't want to be and realizes that taking drugs was not the answer so he tries to prevent Mr. Rager from coming out by reducing his drug use which doesn't work well, until Kid Cudi finally realizes that he needs to accept Mr. Rager as part of him. Kid Cudi really didn't try adding anything fun to the tracklist, keeping everything serious and straight to the point, which prevented me from enjoying this completely as I really don't like anything super serious. The flows aren't fantastic and feel incomplete like Kid Cudi forgot how to finish what he started, making everything just fall flat so suddenly. 'The World I Am Ruling (Act 1)' has lyrics that are lovely with him checking on his fans which was a fantastic introduction but then suddenly forgetting his lyrical ability somewhere on the second track with his magnificent melodies standing out instead, making this my fourth favorite act in terms of lyrics. 'A Stronger Trip (Act 2)' was just the production shining with the lyrics having nothing worth mentioning as its just about how Kid Cudi trying to get rid of drugs but going back to it immediately, making this my least favorite act on the album. 'Party On (Act 3)' has some memorable moments although with no common theme as Kid Cudi spit bars about why he was the way he is and just having fun, making this my third favorite act in terms of lyrics. 'The Transformation (Act 4)' is where Kid Cudi really gets into the lyrics dropping line after line of lyrics that contain deep meaning, not holding back and coming up with cool characters, making this my favorite act in terms of lyrics. 'You Live and You Learn' was how Kid Cudi learned from his mistakes of trying to forget his past and Mr. Ranger but realizing that he had to accept his past to move in a positive direction which was a pretty good message, making this my second favorite act in terms of lyrics. Overall, the lyrics were definitely decent and a lot more focused than on the last album, making this a much more interesting concept as it shows Kid Cudi in a dark state, without hiding anything, leaving the truth of his drug issues in the spotlight.
The features on this weren't the best options as all of them were outperformed by Kid Cudi and didn't manage to bring anything amazing to any of the tracks, although Cage and Chip Tha Ripper were really good additions to the album. Most of the features on this were females that took the responsibility of the hook and Kid Cudi used that formula so many times on this project that it was tedious to listen to. Kanye West was not bad on his verse with some stunning bars being present on his verse as one of the most memorable moments on this album is when finishes of his verse by rapping, "I hope you die, Aria", in some creative context. St. Vincent's feature in the form of a sample formed the backbone of 'MAINIAC' and made it a magnificent track as Cudi and Cage gave some cool performances. GLC was lacking a little on 'The End' as Cudi and Chip easily outrapped him with outstanding verses as they all told some stories in their verses. Overall, the features, which were mostly present on 'The Transformation (Act 4)' were a little short of being tremendous, as the features who were in charge of choruses created flaws on the album that were too big to ignore.
'The World I Am Ruling' was the first act where the intro to the album shows the success that Kid Cudi has achieved, although he still manages to ask how his fans were doing which was an amazing moment with the other track being a little out of context to the act, making this my third favorite act. 'A Stronger Trip' was the second act where Kid Cudi continues to talk about drugs just after announcing that he wasn't on drugs during the first track on the act, making this more of a uninteresting act which additionally was not extremely important to the story, making this my least favorite act on the album. 'Party On' was the third act where Kid Cudi essentially just parties and has a lot more fun, being a lot more interesting than the last act, although a lot less important than the previous act, making this my fourth favorite act on the album. 'The Transformation' is the fourth act where the dark and seriousness theme really shine and bring meaning to the album as it's where Kid Cudi realizes that it's getting too far as Mr. Rager has formed and that he really needs to stop taking drugs, adding a lot to the interesting factor and story of the album, making this my second favorite act on the album. 'You Live and You Learn' is the fifth and final act, where he learns that he shouldn't just push away Mr. Rager and that he needs to learn to accept him as he's also part of him, which was creative conclusion, making this my favorite act on the album.
Overall, 'Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager' is not the outstanding sequel that I expected being something that fans of Kid Cudi (something that I'm transforming into) would really enjoy as it has a fantastic storyline along with weird vocals that I wasn't expecting, production that had potential but wasn't executed by the right producers, and lyrics that were interesting and did their best to keep me hooked during the second half as the lovely lyrics were lacking in the first half. Hyped for 'Man on the Moon III: The Chosen'!