Many mainstream Hip-Hop fans will credit Kanye
West as the king of abstract [Ed. Note: no disrespect to Q-Tip]. But in reality
Scott Mescudi p/k/a Kid Cudi
may be one of the reasons why Kanye Wests G.O.O.D.
Music may reach the level of its founders success. West has openly admitted to being inspired by the Cleveland
born MC who is fast becoming one of Hip-Hops rising stars. While out in the UK with
the Glow in the Dark Tour, we caught up with the 23-year old and got him to
speak on riding for Kanye West, why he wanted to
actually be on the front of that magazine cover and beefing with Consequence,
amongst other things. All while prepping to blow up in 09.
AllHipHop.com: Did you expect your song Day N Nite to take off like it has?
Cudi: I kind of did and I kind of didnt. I
remember when I recorded it, I told my homeboy 'O Dot who produced the track,
This is going to be a number one track in some country, I dont know what
country but its going to take off in some country, and he was like, I dont know
about all that, maybe. It is a good record but number one?
I believed in the
track but it was still kind of on that street dreaming kind of level, like in
my dreams I wish this will happen, I wish this record will take off and it
actually ended up blowing up and not because of any label or like an investment
or big corporations pushing it, but because it just organically created a buzz
on its own. Thats the best feeling that people naturally just took to the
record, they connected to it someway and its overwhelming and crazy but its
also a dream come true.
AllHipHop.com: When you say number one is some country, did you not
anticipate America taking to it?
Cudi: Well, yeah because it was different. I
really felt like no one in America was really going to rock with it and then I
started to have doubts about putting it out because I rather be known as an MC
but I was worried if I put this out first then they wouldnt see me as an MC
because I was singing. That was me just being self conscious about what people
would think and ultimately I decided f**k that and did what I wanted to.
AllHipHop.com: Kind of like the Kanye
Cudi: Yeah but this was pre 808 &
Heartbreaks and pre-Graduation, pre-Stronger.I recorded this song a really long time ago. I
recorded this song pre anything that was next level in Hip-Hop especially from
anybody who was on an underground level. Me and my producer
were always ahead of the curve when it came to trying new stuff in the
underground scene. Ive always been trying to expand because Ive always felt
being that Im from Cleveland and Cleveland isnt recognized as a place for
Hip-Hop, that I really needed to step it up if I ever wanted to make myself
known and if I ever wanted to have an impact on music.
I felt like I really
needed to create something that people could really feel. I did trial and
errors and worked things out and Ive kind of found my vibe, though Im always
still creating and I like to reinvent myself with every song.
AllHipHop.com: Kanye has said in interviews that you inspire him
that must feel pretty great?
Cudi: Yeah, yeah... Its dope because Kanye has really been helping out and really been
supportive. Its overwhelming how supportive hes been. Its like people always
have negative things to say about him and like now all those negative things
people say about him, I take that s**t personally. Im like, Nah, your wrong,
this dude is seriously cool.
AllHipHop.com: So you think he is misunderstood?
Cudi: Yeah. But I guess everybodys going to
be misunderstood if youre on some other s**t. If youre not doing what
everyone else is doing then your going to be misunderstood. People are going to
wonder why youre trying to be different; its just a natural instinct. If I was to walk down the street in a kilt then dudes would
wonder why Im doing that, theyd think I was different or that I was gay or
something because Im walking down the street with a kilt on. Its just a
natural instinct for people in this world to judge people and to point fingers.
Thats my whole reason for trying to switch things up, dont judge a book by
My background is not
a typical background of [a] Hip-Hop MC. I didnt grow up in the projects. I
grew up in a single family home in a middle class suburb; that doesnt mean
that I didnt have any hardships but to me its not about that and my music is
about the future and where we trying to take it and its about what I go
through day to day. What my mind is thinking and hopefully it can touch other
people and help them out.
AllHipHop.com: Have you felt misunderstood or experienced
that in the music industry?
Cudi: Yeah, a lot. I mean from all angles.
Some people just dont want to see change but at this point in time and the way
the world is right now; people are looking for change and people are more open
to change. People are more hopeful for something new in music and even with the
bigger picture like with Obama. Overall the world is changing. So now people
are more open minded to things that they werent so open minded to, say, ten
AllHipHop.com: You recorded the Day N Nitewhen you were not
in a great place emotionally, is that true?
Cudi: Yeah. I was going through a lot of
stuff at the time in my life and so I felt like I needed to write those things
down just to get them off my chest. I wasnt really thinking about making a hit
record or anything like that, I was just making the song to get my feelings
out. That was where I was at mentally at the time when I created the song and
it turned out being a really dope song.
Kid Cudi Vs Crookers
Day N Nite Video
AllHipHop.com: And how did you feel about the Crookers remix? What was your initial reaction when you
first heard it? ?
Cudi:?I immediately loved
it. I thought they did an amazing job. I was blown away actually. I didnt
think it was going to be as ill as it was. Before I heard it I was thinking, Aah its techno so its going to be all cheesy, but it
came out really f**king ill so I loved it.
AllHipHop.com: Even though the Crookers
are from Italy, the sound of the track is a lot like what is coming out of the
UK grime and bass-line scenes at the moment. Are you a fan of those genres? ?
Cudi:?Now Im familiar with
them. I think its dope and thats what musics about; crossing over into
different worlds and hitting them with something new and different and Ive
done that so Im excited and happy to see where we take it from here on out.
AllHipHop.com: You were chosen by XXL Magazine as one of the
top ten Freshman to watch out for in 2009. Thats a
Cudi:?It was an honor, but at
the same time, I felt like there is a lot of politics with it. It was
definitely dope being recognized. It was a lot of fun as we all got interviewed
at the same time and a lot of those guys I had never met before, so I had the
pleasure of meeting them and got the chance to hang out and talk to them which
was really cool
AllHipHop.com: You say politics? What exactly do you mean?
Cudi:? Yeah politics... Me and my life, Im all about facts and whats fair and
whats right. Music doesnt work that way [laughs]. For example you have two
artists both crazy talented but one has more attention on him, they are going
to rock with the artist that has more attention on him at that particular time
because thats just how it is.
AllHipHop.com: So you felt you didnt get the attention you
Cudi:? No, I got attention but
Im never satisfied. Ill keep it real; I felt I should have been on the front
page. I think all ten of us artists that were being recognized should have been
on the front page. I dont think they should have split it like front page,
second page, third page I felt like we all should
have been on the front page or at least I feel I should have been on that front
page. I dont know how everybody else feels. I just know that I felt like I
should have been on that front page, not because Im cocky or anything like
that but because I deserve it, I deserve everything I get because Ive worked
hard for it.
Its just politics;
they didnt put me on that cover because I didnt have a major deal. Thats
just what it was. Thats my opinion. I dont have nothing
against XXL, I know the game. I
probably shouldnt be even saying this but day by day, every interview I do,
90% of the time I never say what I want to say. So f**k it.
Im going to say what I want to say and I felt like I should have been on that
cover and not when you open it up, all up in the crease and s**t man. If you read
the round table interview Im one of the ones doing most of the talking; me and Wale.
I have a lot to say
and for a reason. Im passionate about my work, Im
passionate about my craft and where I can take it. Dont get me wrong, I felt
like everyone in that room deserved to be treated like number one. Im not
saying Im better than anybody. We all deserved to be number one, we all
deserved that shot to shine and be in that same position on that front cover.
We were all recognized for the same reason. See I just dont like the politics.
AllHipHop.com: Any UK acts that you like?
Cudi: I actually spoke to Dizzee
Rascal at the Glow In The Dark Tour. He came backstage. He was so cool, I know
about his work and when I think of Dizzee Rascal,
hes the only MC I really know from the UK so when I met him, I was like, Oh
s**t its Dizzee Rascal [laughs]. DJ Semtex [BBC 1xtra] hooked us up; we exchanged numbers so
hopefully well do some stuff together, guest spots and all that. Well
definitely work it out. Hes dope. Hes got something to say too. M.I.A came to
the states and she blew up, he will too. People just need to stop hating man.
Obviously its a different type of sound, even if its just because of his
accent but so what? People from the South that you cant even understand are
making worldwide hits. People just need to be open minded. Dizzee
Rascal is someone who should be on that XXL
AllHipHop.com: What can you tell us about your forthcoming
Cudi: Ive been telling everybody its going
to be the most magnificent and creative album of 2009 and thats just what it
is [laughs]. Im not going to say its the greatest album of our time, Im not
going to say its the greatest album ever because hopefully somebody comes out
and tries to top that and hopefully does top it. Thats what its all about; stepping it up, stepping it up, stepping it up. I want to
surpass the first album when I come out with my second album.
But of 2009 Im
really trying to push the envelope and its going to be a really amazing album.
People who love Day N Niteand people who like my mixtape they aint
heard s**t yet! Once they hear the album just be f**king ready. Its going to
be some real, real, real next level s**t.
AllHipHop.com: The album of course is coming out on G.O.O.D.
Music. How did you link up with Kanye West in the
Cudi: My manger Plain Pat kind of made that
situation happen indirectly. He would occasionally play stuff for Kanye and eventually he was just out at a couple of places;
I remember one story where he was out with Jay-Z at a club and the remix came
on, or he was out in Paris and he just heard it at some club he was at.
Everywhere he went it was like the song was just following him and he always
liked the record but he was like, Man, whats Cuds situation?
I know G.O.O.D. Music
already had some artists so I never really tried to pitch myself to Kanye, it was just a mutual situation like, Hey whats good? He always supported our s**t but we
didnt have no label situation, we was still trying to figure things out and
G.O.O.D. Music was the only thing that made sense. Being a part of something
like that is epic for me. Ima play my part and Im
definitely trying to make history with Kanye and
G.O.O.D. Music and everybody involved with the label. The other artists are
really trying to take it there like Mr. Hudson, Big Sean, Consequence, Bentley,
Really Doe, Tony Williams, GLC were all trying to just step it up and
take it to the next level. So Im excited to see what were going to do.
AllHipHop.com: I saw a video that
fellow G.O.O.D Music artist Consequence made that seemed to be going at you?
Kid Cudi: Yeah it was about me but everything is cool now. But for
the record, I didnt do anything wrong. He misunderstood something that
happened but everything is cool now.
AllHipHop.com: So everything is good within the camp
a movement, were all cool. Even Mr. Hudson
who is coming from a whole different place he still has his spot in
G.O.O.D. Music. Were all on each other, we all kick it. Its like a family now for real and Im
happy to be a part of something like that. Im going to be the first artist to
spearhead the new G.O.O.D. Music so Im excited about that too. Its a lot of
pressure, but Im not worried about that because I know Im gone have my s**t