Kid Cudi: The End of the Beginning

“People need to stop being so judgmental and let me make what I want to make.” – Kid Cudi

He has been called everything from an emo rapper to Kanye’s little helper.

Scott Mescudi, born January 30, 1984 in Cleveland, Ohio, has endured the burden of titles and critiques since reserving the name of Kid Cudi and pushing his unique sound. That said, he has arguably been one of the most powerful voices within Hip-Hop culture over the past year. From uniting lonely stoners on the chart topping independent single “Day N’ Nite” to bringing new light to a genre that has put “hardness” as its credentials, Kid Cudi has made immense changes to our music in a short amount of time.

With a ground breaking outpour of excitement and anticipation for his debut LP, Man on the Moon: End of Day, the presumable question is: why Kid Cudi? Why is his voice able to cause the commotion of an experienced veteran emcee? The answer to that can only be found through the music where Cudi challenges you to take on the soundtrack to his life. This is the man on the moon.

AllHipHop.com: Over the past week Only Built 4 Cuban Linx II and The Blueprint 3 have dropped, both of which are staples in the veteran rap release boat and have satisfied the cries for a return to classic Hip-Hop. You however are pushing the boundaries, how does that feel to be the one set on a new course especially being your debut?

Kid Cudi: Well, I mean it’s really dope to still have classic Hip-Hop. I wouldn’t want everybody to try to be on some s**t like I’m on. I like straight up hardcore Hip-Hop still, so where would I go for my fix if I just wanted straight up Hip-Hop if everybody is on the trend of what they call singing and rapping. That’s what Jay was kind of addressing with the “D.O.A.” record. I don’t think it was a specific shot at anybody, it was just like man, we all can’t do this, why is everybody trying to follow the trend?

“The day that people stop being critics and just see things for the way they are the world will be a lot happier. The blogs will be a lot less haterfied and things will be more positive in music.”

-Kid Cudi

AllHipHop.com: The trend is being more than followed and probably mostly in the cyber world. Are you aware of the amount of “Cudi copies” on the internet?

Kid Cudi: Nah, I mean I was always aware that some people might be inspired by what I’m doing and feeling compelled to do their own thing in the same realm as something that I’ve created. But it’s all good because life is about inspiring people. I’m happy I was able to affectively come out with something that’s refreshing and people could see that I’m standing on my own two and in my own space which is good because I really like to see the support that I’ve been getting.

AllHipHop.com: You’ve been getting more than support. From MTV to BET nominations you’ve been receiving the accolades before you’ve even dropped a full body, is it scary how fast things have come to you?

Kid Cudi: Yeah, definitely. Like when I take a step back and look at the situation recently it’s really mind blowing and I’m blessed because I’m in a good position right now. It’s just really exciting to say the least.

AllHipHop.com: Can you take another step back a little farther and find the moment in your career that you knew your unique message was finally being received. When did things set in?

Kid Cudi: Well the mixtape was the first thing that let me know that people wanted to listen. The mixtape was by far the first thing that I realized people were interested in me. It was that because I knew it was my first piece of work that I put out so if people didn’t like that then they wouldn’t f**k with me again. That’s how I looked at it because first impressions are a motherf**ker man. Luckily people embraced it and now I’m a little bit more at ease with dropping the debut, but I’m still very on edge.

Kid Cudi – “Make Her Say” f/ Kanye West & Common

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AllHipHop.com: I’m guessing most of this edge you’re on in part attributes to judgment and acceptance which is something you have gone back and forth on over the past year. Are you tired of the judgment?

Kid Cudi: People need to stop being so judgmental and let me make what I want to make. People say, “he’s making too much of this, too much of that, he’s too pop, this is not this, this is not that.” Exactly. It’s not supposed to be like that or like something you’ve heard, it’s meant to confuse and it’s meant to be out there in its own world and its own space next to nothing. I hate that people are so critical, it’s like stop being a f**king critic. The day that people stop being critics and just see things for the way they are the world will be a lot happier.

The blogs will be a lot less haterfied and things will be more positive in music. You’ve got mother f**kers that are just only into Hip-Hop and will talk s**t about anybody that doesn’t do Hip-Hop. It’s weird because you can just tell when people are one track minded. With me, my fans are versatile and they’re gonna go pick up Raekwon’s album and probably Jay’s album, and then they’re gonna pick up mine and then if the Killers drop an album they might pick that up too. My fans have an eclectic ear, we like all things and the generation we came up in we have a wide variety of taste.

AllHipHop.com: Right.

Kid Cudi: There’s all different types of music now in this day and age coming up. I’ve seen a lot of things, I’m 25, it’s not like the 70’s when genres were separate and things weren’t being fused together. I really think that the day we stop being so judgmental and just let artists be themselves we’ll be cool. If you don’t like it don’t f**king buy it, we’re not gonna be mad just don’t buy it, but let us do what we want do and feel how we want to feel emotionally and put these songs out because there’s nothing wrong with that. People are making a scene like there’s something wrong with that and that’s stupid.

AllHipHop.com: I wanted to get into the concept, which was easily the most fascinating aspect about the track list and the LP when the first press release was put out. How did that idea come to fruition?

Kid Cudi: Well I really tried to keep all my ideas together. Once we did a nice amount of songs it was like shooting a movie. You shoot a bunch of scenes and then you just start editing them together and some scenes get cut. It was really important to me to keep the flow of the album a certain way so I could keep it very intense and moody and some times and then bring it back to the energy. The song is supposed to pull you into a different scene in space in that movie.

It really took a lot of brain storming and just sitting there and consulting Plain Pat and Emile asking what they thought to help piece it together properly. Pat and Emile trusted me and that’s the kind of people you need to have, they need to be about your vision and be down with it. You really have to have ride or die people on your team and Plain Pat and Emile were there. Even Doctor Genius, he was one of the first people that I started to first develop my sound with. So keeping cats like Doc, Pat and Emile helped me work even better because it allowed me to do my thing.

AllHipHop.com: Let’s talk about the sub title, which you switched from The Guardians to End of Day. Being that subtitles usually imply follow-ups, what can you say for future releases especially with trilogies like the Blueprint series.

Kid Cudi: Well I think that it’s important to have a plan and to not just go in the studio and be like, “oh I’m gonna make these 10 albums!” Sometimes you have to sit back and strategically think out the process. Those are always the good albums; the well thought out joints. I’m sure like even with Detox everybody is waiting for it and I think it will drop and be a really phenomenal album because Dre had a lot of time to perfect it. I think its dope to have a trilogy and to look forward to a story.

“There’s all different types of music now in this day and age coming up. I’ve seen a lot of things, I’m 25, it’s not like the 70’s when genres were separate and things weren’t being fused together.”

-Kid Cudi

AllHipHop.com: Are you hinting at something?

Kid Cudi: Well, once End of Day drops it’s the beginning of the tale of the man on the moon and I think people are gonna be lost in it and intrigued by the second and third installment of Man on the Moon. That’s what I’m trying to do, I want people to really get into the story and be with it.

AllHipHop.com: The third single for End of Day is “Pursuit of Happiness” with the electro duo Ratatat and neo-psychedelic group MGMT, are you prepared to start having larger fan bases outside of the Hip-Hop universe?

Kid Cudi: Yeah man that’s what I’m trying to do. I’m trying to do all genres. I really wanted to work with MGMT and Ratatat because I was a really big fan from the jump. MGMT inspired me lyrically and Ratatat helped inspire me on the melody side of thing along with the production side. So, getting them both on my record was important because I knew I connected with their creative and I knew if I got them in the studio with them we’d all make just really dope s**t.

I respect Ratatat’s music and production so much that I could never get up the nerve to rap on any of their other s**t because I just appreciate them so much. If I did anything with them it had to be from the ground up and that’s what we did with that record and I was really happy and then we were able to get MGMT on there. It was really fresh because I’m just trying to create and have all different people be into it. I’m not trying to do this and just have one type of demographic be into it. I’m just making music and I hope everybody likes it.

Kid Cudi – “Day & Nite”

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