Kid Cudi, "Rev of Ev"

56 Billboard Rating

With his spacey, introspective 2009 debut, "Man on the Moon: The End of Day," Kid Cudi challenged both the sound and scope of popular hip-hop. "Rev of Ev," the first single from follow-up "Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager," hints at Cudi's continued move away from convention. Produced by Plain Pat, the song is built around a simple piano movement and a "whoa-oh-oh" chorus that sticks to the brain. While Cudi's laid-back musings are sonically appealing, the clumsiness of lyrics like "I'm so high up/So high up, and I like it" makes the track quickly lose momentum. "Rev of Ev" might become more intriguing when surrounded by the rest of "Man on the Moon II," but it lacks the imagination of past singles "Day N Nite" and "Pursuit of Happiness." --Jason Lipshutz