Who is Kid Cudi?
Kid Cudi is a widely recognized American rapper/singer, songwriter, actor, songwriter, and record producer. He had a significant influence on the hip-hop and alternative music scene with his unique voice and style of singing. His lyrics are often autobiographical and describe his struggles with mental health — notably, depression, alienation, and loneliness — as well as his addictions. He helped people through hardships with his music and inspired many other artists and rappers to pursue a career in rapping, most notably Travis Scott, who derived his name from Kid Cudi’s first name Scott.
Kid Cudi’s Childhood:
Kid Cudi was born Scott Ramon Seguro Mescudi in Cleveland, Ohio, on January 30, 1984, to Lindberg Mescudi and Elsie Mescudi. He had a rough childhood growing up, stating in a 2009 interview that he “always felt poor” and that other “kids had… cars, and I couldn’t even get a bike”. In the same interview, he opened up about his past, discussing his other childhood troubles. He was 11 when his father died; he had lots of trouble with the law; and, as a result, built up a criminal record. Despite it all, he had dreams of becoming a rapper, reminiscing in the interview that “When I was like 15, Hot Boys came out, and I remember seeing Lil Wayne… That’s when I stopped doing good in school—because I knew I was gonna be famous”. He would later attend a community college and leave after a year and decided to go to the Navy to better himself. However, the Navy would not accept him because of his police record from growing up. Not knowing what to do, Scott decided to try his luck at making a mixtape.
He released his first mixtape, ‘A Kid Named Cudi,’ in 2008. It was not a huge hit, but it gained some famous rappers’ attention, one of which was Kanye West, one of the most respected rappers of the early 2000s. Kanye West appreciated his style of rapping and production and immediately got into contact with him, signing him to his label ‘GOOD MUSIC,’ which boosted his career massively.
Kid Cudi’s Road to Fame: Album by Album
- Man on the Moon: The End of the Day (2009)
A year later, Cudi released MOTM, his first huge hit. It consists of 15 songs, 58:29 in total duration, and established him in the hip-hop/rap scene. His lyrics were radically different, and he shared his inner thoughts and troubles. Many of his songs featured a psychedelic or dreamy vibe and creative hooks — a musical idea, often a short riff, passage, or phrase, that is used in popular music to make a song appealing and to “catch the ear of the listener.” This debut album also featured many collaborations with other fellow rappers and producers.
2. Man on the Moon, Vol. 2: The Legend of Mr. Rager (2010)
Another year later, Cudi released MOTM2, another huge hit. It consists of 17 songs, 1:01:59 in total duration, and features many of the same collaborations as the last album. It is a direct successor to the previous album, having many of the same elements and lyrical symbolism. He talks about his addictions and mental health and “embraces the darkness.”
3. Indicud (2013)
Cudi released Indicud after a long break, which consisted of 18 songs, 01:10:44 in total duration. It featured elements of positivity, vibrancy, and artistic filling. He featured other artists like Kendrick Lamar, A$AP Rocky, and RZA.
Cudi released three albums during 2014-2016, which received less acclaim. The three albums consisted of ‘Satellite Flight: The Journey to Mother Moon’, ‘Speedin’ Bullet 2 Heaven’, and ‘Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin’.
5. Kids See Ghosts (2018)
After hyping it on social media, Cudi and Kanye released ‘Kids See Ghosts.’ This album only consisted of 7 songs and a duration of 23:53, but it was attention-grabbing from start to end.
6. The Man on the Moon, Vol. 3: The Chosen (2020)
This album is the direct successor of MOTM2. Consisting of 18 songs and a duration of 58:23, this album brought back many elements from the previous MOTMs but also had many new aspects. His voice matured, sound technology improved, and contemporary artists were featured. This album also reflected his childhood, as seen in his song ‘Elsie’s Baby Boy [Flashback]’.
7. Entergalactic (2022)
The latest album ‘Entergalactic’ was released recently this year on September 30th, 2022. This album consisted of 15 songs with a duration of 45:44 and featured many of his trademark elements: lyrical humming, addicting hooks, and psychedelic vibes. He also released his own film ‘Entergalactic’ that he wrote and starred in. This album and film recalled his past and his achievements throughout his years as a rapper. It featured even more artists like Don Toliver, TY Dolla $ign, and even Skrillex.
Mental Health Awareness:
Not only is Cudi a prominent figure in the hip-hop scene, but he is also a mental health activist. Cudi said in an interview, “My father passed when I was 11, and things started to slowly get bad after that”. Cudi never opened up about his emotions and feelings, finding comfort in drugs, alcohol, and solitude. However, he found solace through making songs and went into rehab in 2016 and has gotten over his addiction. He donated and helped fundraise money for many mental health organizations, such as the New York–Presbyterian Hospital’s Youth Anxiety Center. His story is an inspiration to many and gives hope to those that are going through hardships.