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Kid Cudi

I don’t hate rap. Actually, as a genre of art (because music is art) rap has a lot of potential. The way the lyrics are stylized and rhymed make it very reminiscent of some sort of poetic ballad, bringing up Shakespearean like ideas of tragically romantic heroes in the midst of some psychological turmoil. Even the technology is leaps ahead of anything else in the music industry, able to create any sound the artist desires, in any way he desires. So why is it, that aside from the rare (very rare) artist, not a single rapper properly utilizes all these ingredients? I don’t know the answer to that. Maybe it’s the industry knowing that that they don’t need a deep rapper to make money, or an audience too dense to demand one. It’s probably both. Regardless of the reasons, rap hasn’t accomplished much in the two decades of its existence. Even the most optimistic fan has to admit that rap started out about three things, drugs, girls, and money. Flash forward 20 years and it’s pretty much about the same thing, albeit in a slightly different sense. So what’s my point? I think it’s finally time an artist took the genre and steered it in a direction that would allow it to grow. And I think that Kid Cudi is that artist. At least I hope so.


Kid Cudi was born Scott Ramon Seguro Mescudi. He grew up in Cleveland, Ohio in the suburb of Shakers Heights. His father died of cancer when he was eleven- years old. After attending high school and dropping out of college in his first year, Scott moved to New York to pursue his music career. There he released his first mix tape titled A Kid name Cudi. It was an instant success and drew the attention of Kanye West who helped sign him on to GOOD Music that same year. After an eventful career of guest appearances and cameos he finally released his debut solo album on September 15, 2009. The name of the album is Man on the Moon: End of Day. Again Kid Cudi had an instant success. The album sold 104,419 in its first week and charted at #4 on the Billboard 200. But that doesn’t impress me and neither should it you. What is impressive is the level of quality in the work. Now, I’m not a music critic by any stretch of the imagination and wouldn’t even know where to begin critiquing his vocals or melodies, but I can talk about his lyrics with an air of certainty. He is like no rapper I have ever listened to. His lyrics are very introspective in their writing, dissecting his childhood, his career, his passions, and his general sense of isolation that he feels in the world. But this is the draw; the lyrics are actually very insightful. Like any good artist he’s able to take his emotions, psychosis, and passions and manifest them in a way that is not only entertaining but also connective and empathetic. He pours himself out for us and I felt genuinely connected to him the more I listened. And like any great artist he’s able to inject his own personnel style and flavor into the mix without sacrificing substance, making the whole album feel like some kind of psychedelic trip through his mind and life. It’s this personnel touch that, above all else, makes the album one of the most unique things to occupy the mainstream’s attention in a long time. And he does all this without losing the sense of familiarity that has been established over the course of the years when you listen to a rap song. That is a pretty impressive feat considering the pedigree of his predecessors and their accomplishments. And it’s only his first album. But there is also a negative to him having released only one album. Where he goes from here can go anyway. It will be his next album that shows of us if he is the next step in rap and hip-hop. He has certainly laid the seeds for the evolution of the genre. He has strong lyrics that offer something deeper then the escapist male fantasies that we’ve come to expect, an excellent ear for catchy music, and a style that is the perfect fertilizer in the growth of this young genre, which is another point I want to stress. Rap, as a whole, is really young (though 20 years is enough time to have some progression).


My knowledge of music history isn’t exactly what you would call complete (or even good), but I know enough to explain the general beginnings of rock n roll and the rock genre in general. It all started with the blues, if you can believe that. The blues, like rap, got its start with a plethora of naysayers. The inauspicious start isn’t the only similarity either. Both genres began with artists whose passion for their music became the prevalent reason for the subsequent success of the genre. Without guys like Muddy Waters, Leadbelly, and W. C. Handy, blues would have been a very different staple of American culture. So it is with rap. Without the Notorious B.I.G., Tupac, and Dr. Dre rap in its form we know it as today wouldn’t have happened. But I digress, around the time of the 40’s the blues had a child called rock n roll. This new genre of music was spearheaded by a number of artists, whom if they were around today would be classified in the alternative section (similar to Kid Cudi). Eventually rock n roll evolved into what we know it as today, and we have all reaped the beneficial fruits. So again it might be with rap and the evolution of hip-hop. We might be at the dawn of a new age of music, whereas the last age (the age of Rock n Roll) gave voice not only to multiple generations, but defined an entire country for nearly 40 years, this new age might do the same. And why not, if guys like Kid Cudi can bring legitimate talent to the field and inspire that same talent in others, then I see no reason why hip-hop and rap can’t revitalize and become the lasting icon of popular culture that made kids revaluate there whole way of existence the way rock n roll did.


But it’s too early to say whether or not I’m right about this sprouting new artist. For the sake of integrity of the music industry I hope I am. If Kid Cudi can move on and show the same level of insight into other things, not only himself, and still keep and maintain the perfect balance of message and music then I’m sure I am. After all, he and the genre don’t have to go through the tribulations of the public that rock n roll had to go through to get its start, nor are they met with a critical backlash from the industry. Both are more popular then air right now and we all have Cudi’s attention. The only thing left is to see what happens.




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This article has 4 comments. Post your own!

MonsterBonnie said...
Mar. 24 at 10:38 am:
I Love Kid Cudi! He Needs To Come Back. :)
 
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Amazing said...
Nov. 30, 2012 at 9:35 am:
Big Fan of Cudi. cant wait for INDICUD to come out. :D <3 I Love you Kid Cudi
 
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Mescudii :) said...
Apr. 23, 2010 at 11:05 am:

i <3 kid cudii

he is a cutieee :))

&& he is mixedd :D

 
drake replied...
Mar. 26, 2012 at 2:13 pm :
lol  he cute
 
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