Kid Cudi's Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager, set to drop November 9, is one of the most anticipated albums of 2010. Arguably the most unexpected thing about the release is that Cudi was able to secure two Mary J. Blige cameos.
Cudi is known for genre-blending collaborations — Kanye West, Cee Lo Green and St. Vincent also are featured — but even he was shocked that the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul wanted to work with him.
Cudi and Blige first talked about working together when they bumped into each other on a flight to New York. Cudi said he was surprised she was open to a collaboration and kept her in mind when he was in the studio. He eventually found a record he thought she would fit. After they recorded it, however, neither was sold on it.
"She liked it, but she asked to hear other stuff," Cudi revealed. "I was immediately standoffish. I was like, 'Man, I don't want to play all of these other songs, me talking about cocaine and wilin' out and stuff. I don't want to disrespect Mary, and I know these topics are really intense, and the song I wanted her on was an upbeat, 'Family Affair,' happy. It's a completely different vibe, and I just didn't know how she would respond.
"I played her 'Please Don't Play This Song,' and she was like, 'I want to get on that,' " Cudi recalled. "I was like, 'You can get on anything you want.' "
Cudi said Blige went in the booth and nailed her part in almost one take. They took a listen, and she asked to hear even more of the album. He played her "These Worries," and she laid down more vocals.
Cudi said their session was very relaxed and therapeutic. Blige was really down to Earth and schooled Cudi on music, he said. He was surprised how humble she was, as she didn't want to impose by jumping onto his records.
"She didn't believe that I wanted her on any song that she wanted," Cudi remembered. "When I was like, 'You can do this third joint,' she was like, 'Really, you want me on all three songs?' and I was like, 'Yeah, I want you on the whole album if you want to be.' "
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