Thoughout the years, Kid Cudi has changed his artistic stylings based upon the experiences he has had and the sounds he has tried to convey in the moment.
But everything he does, he owes to his original garage style of rap. Fast-paced, rhyming, hard-hitting lyrics that many artists now lack. A true rapper in every sense of the word.
If you haven't listened to his "Rap Hard Demo" you're missing an entire sound of Kid Cudi that you've yet to experience. But his latest single gives you a glimpse of what it sounds like when Scott goes back to his rapping roots.
"Leader of the Delinquents"
April 14, 2020
Early in his performing days, Kid Cudi would preview songs to his live audiences. With no beat, just the lyrics while the crowd clapped along to the cadence of the poetry.
In 2009, he previewed a song called "Deep Sleep" which was a sequel to his track "Entergalactic" from his debut album. We may finally hear that song when Cudi drops his next album entitled "Entergalactic" which will be accompanied by his own animated series on Netflix.
His newest single is what it looks like when he actually does release one of those early performance tracks.
He performed "Leader of the Delinquents" back in 2012 and someone in the crowd recorded it. So this track has been floating around for a while, but was never fully complete.
In this live version, you can clearly hear the difference between this sound and a lot of the music he has been putting out since then. But this is what got him here.
The beat was created by his good friend Dot Da Genius, and instantly you feel like you're in that first car you ever owned. Riding down the street with one hand on the wheel while you nod your head and forget about all the toughest parts of your life.
The classic rhythm of the bass reminds one of some Bone Thugs N Harmony sound, true to Cud's Cleveland roots.
Hello friends, Cudder again
It's funny how life comes full circle. And how lyrics can sometimes break barriers of the time in which they were created.
Cudi couldn't have released this track at a greater moment in time, as most of us have been confined to our homes. Unsure of what the future of the world will bring, and if there will even be a future at all.
He introduces himself as if he's writing a letter to the audience, making us feel like he's our old friend who can't reach us because of the social distancing currently put in place.
Letting us know how he's been making the most of his time. Creating "jams" to get him through before the world ends.
I've been trapped in my mind, I've been tryna escape
Cudi has long been someone who can relate to people who have battled mental health issues in their lives.
Sometimes, we get trapped in our own thoughts and it's a constant struggle to get out of those dark corners of our mind.
The escape is the art itself. There is seemingly no other way for him to get out these dark thoughts without expressing them the way he so chooses.
But sometimes, even with a healthy escape, we find ourselves reaching for that bottle. Reaching for those pills. Reaching for that needle that will extinguish all of those dark thoughts, while killing the physical being of ourselves ever so slowly.
As Cudi chooses to get plastered, he continues with his letter.
From the outside lookin' in, shit is mellow
Sometimes, we can tell if a friend or loved one is battling something internally. Their mood shift, the way they carry themselves, or if we just stop seeing them completely.
But other times, we know nothing of what they're going through. They try to burry those dark thoughts deeper and deeper. They find ways to make it appear as if all things in their life are normal.
You ask them how they're doing, and they always answer "Great. How are you?" Shifting the conversation elsewhere so that they don't have to answer to their true feelings.
This has led to suicide too often in our modern world. Cudi views his life as a game. And he assumes that if he were to kill himself, he would be defeating the boss that has won many of the battles he has been met with in life.
The boss that controls all of his choices and feelings could be met with defeat, if only he could find a way to end it all.
Hope with age, I can cope with my rage
There is one universal truth that lives within every human, regardless of what they are going through. And that is the fact that we all want to live.
Even those who are so close to suicide, and have battled with the thoughts for years, still find themselves with a desire to live. They don't want to kill themselves, but they feel it is the only choice left. They want to live.
So even in this horrible sight into his mind, Cudi still says that he hopes can cope with these thoughts as he grows older. But his passion for life and death makes him feel unsafe even in escape.
He feels that he is always in this "zone" that has brought him to write this letter.
Man, listen, I'm tryna find a way to tuck this nina in my skinnies
"Tuck this nina in my skinnies" is a reference to him trying to fit his gun in his tight denim jeans. This reference could be taken literally or figuratively.
He closes out the line stating that his angels ride for him at all costs. So he's got that heat on him to fend the demons off of him.
Whether that's with a gun, or his clean and clear thoughts that he has been able to develop as he has grown. Either way, he is ready to fight for his life.
Somebody better save them, God
The final line of this song is a message to God, who Cudi has referred to as "her" on multiple occasions.
He's calling out to her to save the demons, not himself. He has reached a point where he knows how to fight off these evil thoughts that float around in his life.
He has successfully found peace and is warning the demons that he can defeat them without having to make that suicidal choice.
As you listen to this track, think about all of the demons that you've been trying to fight off.
Especially with the secluded world we're living in, you may feel more lonely than ever. You're not alone in this fight.
God put Hell on Earth to test you. Don't let anyone win but you and the angels that ride with you.
My wife does this really annoying thing where she plays new music and if I like it then she does one of two things. She either tells me "I see, he likes my music." or "Oh my god, you're so fucking fake. You always copy the music that I like."
I can never just enjoy the music she shares with me without one of those two statements being thrown in my face.
Listen wife, I have a mind of my own ok. I can like music whether you show it to me or not. But most of the time I will like it because of the fact that you shared it with me.
So yeah, I am fake when it comes to my taste in music. But whatever, I like your taste in music so that's like a compliment.
Anyway, here's some dope shit she put me on.
February 16, 2018
Oliver Tree is a bit of a character. Actually, he's an entire character.
This scooter-riding, former Ska musician from Santa Cruz is full of color. Not only with his clothing, but with his production, lyricism, and on-screen persona.
The guy has been making music since he was three years old, and his most popular song to date has my three year old inspired to make his own music.
"Alien Boy" was not released as a single, but it has over 111 million streams on Spotify. I'll be honest and say the rest of the album is just so-so, but we'll give him his credit for this sensational track.
In this track, he is speaking from the point of view of an actual Alien Boy who fell to Earth.
He is an interesting specimen that has the hunting skills of a T-Rex, the teeth of a Great White Shark, and eagle beak, ostrich feet, and seven spider eyes. Sounds like an ugly muh fucka. But hey, he makes it work.
The lyrics are both confusing and confounding. However, you find yourself understanding exactly how he feels.
He's an outsider who still finds a way to know his place in this world. He may look different and think different, but in the end we're all just trying to find our inner peace.
And while he seems to understand who and what he is, he still finds boredom in his life. Even the most colorful of characters in this universe can still be met with questions of what they're really meant to be and do in their time.
He continues to talk about how he feels lonely, but that he is still going to pursue what he is looking for. He's really out here on his own.
There comes a point in the track where he is met with existential thoughts. Stating that he knows he won't be here for long. It could be interpreted as the alien having to go back to his homeland. But however you perceive it, just know that none of us will be on this Earth for very long.
This Alien Boy finds sanctity in the fact that he is comfortable in his own skin. And in his search of acceptance within himself, he finds a way to understand exactly what he was put on this Earth to do.
The lesson that I get from this track is one that raises many questions about my own life.
I have found myself getting extremely existential and wondering if I myself have come from another planet to learn about this world, and when my time is up I'll bring back answers to my homeland.
They'll tell me that this was all just a study of the planet Earth, and that my mission was deemed successful because of the accomplishments I achieved during my time.
You may not get that deep with it, but maybe after a joint or two.