For this week’s iteration of Discography Autopsy, we take a look at Mr.Rager himself, Kid Cudi. Scott Mescudi went from looking up to The Pharcyde and Tribe Called Quest to be the artist current acts look up to, like Travis Scott, who got the latter part of his name from the Cleveland native.
Kid Cudi’s musical style has evolved over the years and progressed from psychedelic, drug-loving tracks to something a bit more mainstream. He takes slight hints from trap music while injecting his unique voice and flows into his tracks.
Below you can find two different categories of Cudi tracks. On the one hand, you have songs for people who want to lie down, potentially trip, and enjoy downtime. On the other hand, you have a list of songs that, no matter where you are, someone is bound to jump in and rap every bar right along with you. Cudi doesn’t just produce fans; he produces lifelong musical lovers who have life-changing experiences after hearing his music.
TO THE PSYCHEDELIC HEADS
Kid Cudi has always had a psychedelic feel. His earlier tracks, in particular, gave off this vibe that one might attach with a shroom trip. Slow beats, soft melodies, and outrageously deep hooks really gripped listeners. Mr.Rager tells the tale of someone who is fighting a constant battle between instinct and impulse. With heavy drug influence, we experience a song that transcends us into the body of someone who is fighting between a “normal” lifestyle and one that is full of partying and drugs which are subsequently damaging.
Pursuit of Happiness triggers a similar emotion to Mr.Rager. At some point in your life, you’ve experienced a feeling of being down. It might have been a close friend or a family member, or even a partner. This Cudi track emphasizes feelings of constantly chasing the next best thing. The next coolest party, next best high, next best partner. Everything in between.
It’s also turned into a bit of a cultural icon due to its use in Project X. The film resembles the finale that Cudi seems to be chasing, and no imagery is more relevant than the montage used in the film. Kids are visibly waved, people are falling into drug holes, and overall, the scene is just absolute mayhem. The original song is also good, but you’ll find more joy in the Steve Aoki remix. It fits the everlasting party vibe much better than the original.
Day N Nite is a Cudi classic that goes hard for many different reasons. Be warned; it’s more upbeat than the other two songs mentioned above. This track talks about the dichotomy of going through day-to-day life before entering your own world to unwind at night. In this case, Cudi talks about the “lonely stoner” who frees his mind at night. However, the emotion that this song evokes is applicable to all.
The final suggestion for this category is all three of Cudi’s Solo Dolo tracks. First released on Man On The Moon: The End Of Day, Cudi introduces the character Mr. Solo Dolo. He’s a young stoner kid who’s looking to find answers through the devil’s lettuce. We then get a Kendrick Lamar feature on Solo Dolo Part II on Indicud. In this track, we feel like we’re making progress alongside Mr. Solo Dolo. The third installment can be found on Man On The Moon III: The Chosen. Here is where we find a place in Cudi’s mind that is serene. You feel calm and relieved by the time you’ve finished the multi-year, three-part series.
TO THE PARTY GOERS
Cudi has his fair share of party bangers as well! Although not as mind-boggling lyrically, his unique voice stands out among what we might call the popular party tracks of today. THE SCOTTS had its time when it was released in 2020. Between the “lock up the house” TikTok trend that followed, and it’s overall catchy sound, this became a cult favourite fast.
4th Dimension was a collaboration with Kanye West on Kids See Ghosts that quickly became a charting track in North America. It was your go-to when you first started your car, hopped in the shower, and even the opening track at parties. In a different vein, Memories with David Guetta is an instant classic in which Guetta employs Cudi’s unique voice over a house beat. It’s a mental one, to say the least!
Finally, you have Show Out with Skepta and Pop Smoke. The track combined a mix of Cudi’s newfound sound with an emerging Pop Smoke and Skepta’s Grime MC bars. My favourite line from this track still has to be when Skepta said, “And they got guns same size as Kevin Hart, please don’t think it’s a joke.” From top to bottom, this is a fun track!
Kid Cudi’s fashion portfolio is far from subtle. In 2019 and 2021, Cudi made waves by taking the gender label off of fashion. We saw him in ballroom skirts and kilts across a plethora of red carpets. To complete these looks, he adds coloured hair and dark eye makeup. We’ve also seen a psychedelic look from Cudi that rings true to him. Nirvana T’s, colourful BAPE garms and eccentric, acid-colored shorts are just a few examples.
Recently, Cudi collaborated with Kaws, a longstanding art toy brand that has been the core of hypebeast culture for years. The pair outfitted the Kaws doll in astronaut gear and have him sitting, looking down figuratively and literally. The creme jumper is an absolute stunner, and the black T is a sick base layer.
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