Kid Cudi used to be known as a stoner’s escape from the real world. The Cleveland artist used to give us hard lyrics on his mixtape A Kid Named Cudi, with songs like, amongst others, “Down & Out”, “Save My Soul”, and most memorably, “Man On The Moon”. These tracks were a young rap fan’s dream. Kid Cudi had a different sound then what mainstream rap was putting out at the time, so Cudi instantly grabbed the “different” fans. His fanbase increased at a crazy rate when his hit single and music video “Day N’ Nite” hit the mainstream market.
Even from A Kid Named Cudi to his debut studio album Man On The Moon: The End of Day, it was clear that Cudi was going through a creative change. It was evident that Cudi was going from your typical rapper to a soulful singing-type artist, and Man On The Moon: The End of Day was the introduction of his signature style that would put him in the staples of the Hip-Hop industry to the world. With absolute classics like the previously mentioned “Day N’ Nite”, combined with “Up, Up, & Away”, “Pursuit of Happiness”, and “Soundtrack 2 My Life”, the debut album was a complete success and put Cudi amongst the biggest names in rap.
Cudi then followed up with Man On The Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager, which is perfectly described as a mix of A Kid Named Cudi and Man On The Moon: The End of Day. Although the album had Cudi’s signature style of singing throughout, we saw some more rap and harder verses than we had seen in the debut album. The song “Mr. Rager” is a standout song that probably could be considered Cudi’s magnum opus, but songs like “Marijuana” and “The End” give us the more rigid side of the artist. Overall, this album had darker undertones than it’s predecessor, and the result was magnificent. We got a live look-in to what Kid Cudi was going through in his personal life, which makes this arguably his best album.
After a 2 year album hiatus, Cudi took his biggest creative leap. In 2012, he announced he would be teaming with long-time friend and producer Dot Da Genius to form the two man alternative band named WZRD. They went on to release a self-titled album. Cudi took the actual genre leap and went from alternative hip-hop to rock style alternative. The leap was criticized but Kid Cudi ended up showing off his versatility and created an entirely clean lyric album with a sound that could never be duplicated.
The following year, Cudi started the Indicud movement. Indicud was another mix of many of Cudi’s past styles. In what is his most under-appreciated album, Cudi gave us a self-produced album with more high profiled features than any of his past albums. Kendrick Lamar, A$AP Rocky, Father John Misty, and of course his long-time friend King Chip all help Cudi bring an entire album that mixes indie rock with rap. This was destined to be under-appreciated right from the start, but Cudi shows off how staying true to your own creativity could produce something special.
Kid Cudi returned to his Man On The Moon: End of Day style with an EP titled KiD CuDi presents SATELLITE FLIGHT: The journey to Mother Moon. The EP was rumored to be a bridge towards the third Man On The Moon album, as it looked like Cudi would shift towards his old style. The EP is headlined with tracks “Going To The Ceromony” and “Satellite Flight” among others.
Cudi shows that even though SATELLITE FLIGHT had a familiar sound, he is still dedicated to expressing his creativity in his own way by releasing an alternative album Speedin’ Bullet 2 Heaven. The album hasn’t been received well by most critics, however it is another example of Kid Cudi producing something new to his fans and the music world.
With another album hopefully coming, the 32-year old will keep us wondering what is next. Along with his music, Cudi has been apart of various movies, showing off his creative talents. The lonely stoner turned rocker has his fans waiting for the completion of the Man On The Moon trilogy, and has them dying for the his signature style mixed with new sounds. Time will tell what Cudi brings to us, but if his involvement with Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo album is any indication, it looks like we will be waiting on some classic vocals from the Cudder.
Thank you Cudi.