It is no secret that Rappers Kid Cudi and Jaden Smith has always shown love and respect towards each other when it comes down to fashion, music, and art. Recently, the MSFTREP founder landed on the cover of VMan’s The New Vanguard Issue and sat down for an exclusive interview with “Big Bro” Cudi to talk about common accomplishments, environmental concerns, and possibly working on music together.
VMAN40: The New Vanguard Issue will be available on newsstands and bookstores on August 23. You can pre-order a copy now at V Magazine‘s online shop. You can read the interview in its entirety on the VMan’s website. Here are some selected excerpts from the interview:
Jaden Smith: I actually pull a lot of fashion inspiration from you. It’s a rock-and-roll vibe, with a lot of denim. I love flannels; you put me onto that. I like picking a time in history, or a kind of music, and I try to model my outfit after that.
Kid Cudi: Well, thank you for making me feel fresh [laughs]. Is it difficult to wear what you want when you’re in the public eye?
JS: People try to say wild stuff all the time, but I just let it go. I really don’t pay attention. I just know how to be on my own vibe, and say something for myself.
ON THE FUTURE AND CHANGE OF MASCULINITY:
KC: Is the definition of masculinity changing?
JS: I feel like the definition is not changing, but the way [masculinity] is shown is changing. People are getting hurt, losing their lives over petty things, and that has to do with people just trying to prove a point of being overly masculine. Everybody just needs to get along. We need to come together. That’s definitely a point from your music that I always listen to: Let’s all just get along. It’s gonna be totally fine if we do that.
ON KANYE WEST AND CREATING “KIDS SEE GHOSTS:
KC: [Laughs.] I love hearing your stories about discovering my music, how you listened with your big brother.
JS: Obviously, Kids See Ghosts, Cudi, is absolutely amazing. I really love it.
KC: I’m glad you fuck with it, bro. Thank you. I worked really hard on it. Can you imagine the day Kanye asked me to do the album with him? I thought he was joking; maybe it was a moment he was excited about the idea, and after a couple months, he’d just be over it. [Laughs.] It took me a minute to realize, “Yo, I’m making an album with my big bro. This is a dream of mine.”
JS: That’s so cool.
KC: Having to go toe to toe with him in these songs was crazy. It was a lot of pressure, but it was fun. I was up for the challenge. Everything I’ve been doing led me to this point.
JS: I’m so happy that that finally happened. We would always talk about that happening one day.
ON A POSSIBLE COLLABORATION AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFORTS:
KC: Yeah, man! Maybe one day we’ll do an album, bro.
JS: Oh, stop playing, Cudi! I’ll have to get a few more albums under my belt. I’m going to have to grow—but that would be the biggest dream of mine.
KC: It’s possible. I would love to do more music with you. I remember trying to encourage you to sing. I remember you were experimenting with it and I was like, “Man, just sing. Just do it.” Now, tell me a bit about your quest for sustainability. When did you realize you wanted to advocate for the environment?
JS: I started surfing when I was really young. I learned how the ocean is alive and has tides. Then, I learned about the environment and the ecosystem and discovered we’re putting out so many CO2 emissions, creating plastic for agriculture and even for processed meats. We start to overheat the planet, melt ice caps, and water levels start to rise. It’s only getting worse. That’s why I started Just Water; I wanted to create a bottle of water that was more sustainable, had less plastic, and emitted less CO2. Right now, I’m trying to launch this water filtration system in places where the water quality is very, very poor, which is sadly a lot of places in the world right now. I got on my whole quest at age 11.
ON RECYCLING AND “JUST WATER” COMPANY:
KC: You’ve talked about wanting to turn recycled plastic into “even doper things.” Such as what?
JS: Right now, I’m in a room where the walls are made out of probably 2,000 Just Water bottles, pressed—it can be used as a drywall, so I really want to help people create schools using these materials. If you combine a lot of plastic together and melt it down, it almost becomes cinder block. You can use trash to create an entirely new structure. People will probably give you their trash for free if you’ll take it away from them. That’s why I feel like it can spark a new industry: I’m trying to make and create so many things out of recycled plastic. If you raise the price of plastic on the ground and in the oceans, more people will begin to pick up trash.
KC: You on fire, man!