It has been 10 years since Kid Cudi released “A Kid Named Cudi“, his debut mixtape that parachuted his career from a young rapper from Cleveland, Ohio to the Kanye’s most notable protegee to who he is today. It is safe to say that Kid Cudi has encouraged young people all over the world to be open about their feelings, their mental health, to be optimistic about their future and embracing him as their “big brother“.
“It’s like a rebel sound…he ain’t trying to compromise for nobody.” – Kendrick Lamar
Whether you are a BIG fan of Cudi or just a seasonal listener of his music, we are all familiar with the years of anxiety, drug abuse, depression and just hard bouts in life that Kid Cudi has been through. Creating timeless and relatable music for music lovers who couldn’t find music that would make them feel safe or feel understood. However two years ago, Cudi checked himself into rehab for anxiety and suicidal urges. He shared in a Facebook post that he was “not at peace“, but promised that he would be “back, stronger, better. Reborn.” And after all of the years of fighting against his own demons, Kid Cudi has made it clear on his latest collaborative album with Kanye West that he is now “reborn” and “moving forward“.
“I idolize Kid Cudi a lot. That’s like, my favorite artist.” – Travis Scott
The story of Cudi’s beginnings is deemed inspiring by anyone who is determined to follow their dreams. He took a chance and uprooted from the only place he knew as home to New York City to follow his dream of being a musician, but was eventually kicked out of his uncle’s house and left to fend for himself. From applying three times for the job that would later collaborate with him on his own BAPE Capsule line to meeting his idol Kanye West in the same store to working beside him and Jay Z in Hawaii for 808s and Heartbreak and The Blueprint 3. Of course, there were trials and tribulations that he went through before he became Kanye’s biggest prize. Times weren’t always easy for him, nor for his friend and producer Dot Da Genius. When Cudi lost his place and was set to go back home to Cleveland, Dot’s family took him in and gave him a place to stay. “I remember being like, “Holy shit. Like, really?” [Laughs.] Because I was really about to go back home, and I ended up staying there, and the rest is history. It was really, really an amazing thing.” We could only wonder what would have happened had he not be given the opportunity to stay and fight for his dreams?
“Kid Cudi is the most influential artist of the past 10 years.” – Kanye West
The impact and influence that Cudi has had on the music industry today can be heard in the music of Superduper Kyle, Logic, XXXTentacion, Jaden Smith and so many more. Artists such as Travis Scott, who has vocally expressed the influence that Cudi has had on him and on his music. “I would [tour with Cudi] for free… You gotta really listen to his raps, it’s so real. He’s probably one of the realest rappers alive.” However when Kid Cudi first came on to the scene with songs like “Day N’ Nite” and “Pursuit of Happiness“, his music was noted as different and “not real hip-hop“. But in a 2009 Rolling Stone article, titled “Kid Cudi – Hip-Hop’s Sensitive Soul,” written around the release of time of his debut studio album Man On The Moon, Kanye credited Cudi for shaping 808’s & Heartbreak‘s sulking and memorable sound. Cudi went on to co-write “Heartless,” “Welcome To Heartbreak,” “Paranoid” and “Robocop.” It has been made clear that since his 808’s project, Kanye has had Cudi on every single project including “My beautiful dark twisted fantasy,” “Yeezus,” “The Life of Pablo,” “Ye” and “Kids See Ghosts”. Solidifying the bond between both men in both music and friendship.
“He was one of the only artists making the music at the time for like, emotional people going through something, or just taking dream journeys. Like, the real creative kids who are in the world.” – Lil Yachty
Kid Cudi has always been unapologetically different, with his music, his visuals, the way he carries himself as a man and as an artist. He has stepped up to the role as a rebel and never did cared to fit in with the conventional or the common mindset of society. By standing alone, Kid Cudi was able to stand out among his peers, to be a leader for the sad and lonely kids out in the world who never thought they would find someone who was just like that. There will never be another like Kid Cudi.