Skip to main content

5 reasons it's not too late to start listening to Kid Cudi

Kid Cudi's new album is a good place to start even if you were never a huge fan.

Kid Cudi just released his sixth studio album Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin' afterleaving rehab and taking ComplexCon by storm.

If you've never listened to a Cudi album from start to finish, then taking on this 19-track comeback project will be pretty ambitious, but worth it nonetheless. Here are five reasons to get into Cudi now.

He had to hustle to get here

Last year, Cudi (born Scott Mescudi) opened up about his ambitious journey from his hometown of Cleveland to New York in a Ted Talk.

The rapper and actor (How to Make It in America, Comedy Bang! Bang!) touches on the hustler spirit he developed through a host of jobs he took on while working toward his artistic dreams. He lists Abercrombie & Fitch, American Apparel, Dean & DeLuca as places that shaped the same work ethic he applies to his music ventures.

Another retailer Cudi worked at was the BAPE store in New York. When rap took off, he got the opportunity to return to BAPE and perform. Cudi said "they felt my struggle, they gave me an opportunity," as he recalled going weeks without eating lunch.

His early work stands the test of time

Cudi's first album, Man on the Moon: End of Day, was released via GOOD Music before his beef with Kanye and had commercial hits that were inescapable. "Day 'n' Nite" reached the third spot on Billboard's Hot 100.

His next highest chart-topper, "Erase Me," came from his second album Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager and features Mr. West.

If you truly are new here, some other relatable, earlier tracks that are worth a listen are Cudi's ode to loneliness titled "All Along" and his self acceptance anthems "Embrace the Martian" and "Just What I Am."

These songs are the beginning of Kid Cudi telling his listeners about his experience with depression and unsuccessful therapy sessions.

Mental illness and hip-hop

Cudi's vocality on his mental struggle alone, makes his music and story worth a listen.

Critics and long-time Cudi fans alike questioned Cudi's rock album Speedin' Bullet 2 Heaven that he released last year.

Before publicly announcing that he would be checking into rehab for depression and suicidal thoughts, he released an album that showed where he was at mentally. His lyrics like, "I always end up back in a cycle of shame, looking in the mirror is hard," from "Confused" display snapshots of his mental state.

In October, the artist took to Facebook to let the world know he would be seeking professional help for himself, his daughter, family, friends and fans.

His courageous statement sparked conversations on mental illness in hip-hop and the black community as well as an outpouring of support.

He has always been a stylish performer

On a lighter note, Cudi has also been somewhat of an influence in fashion from his solid street style and skinny jeans to the polished looks he sported in a recent Coach campaign.

However, the look that really shook the world, was Mr. Rager's crop top ensemble that he sported at Coachella in 2014.

Although he isn't the first hip-hop artist to showcase flamboyant fashion choices, he was a pioneer of a trend that carried on even into late 2016.

Atlanta artist Raury took the shrunken shirt look to the stage on more than one occasion this year.

Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin'

For Cudi's latest, he collaborated with Andre 3000 in not one, but two tracks. This collaboration came organically, as Three Stacks was a big fan of Cudi's controversial Speedin' Bullet. Of their joint tracks, "By Design" is upbeat and has seamless, layered verses from Andre 3000, whereas "The Guide" is a more dark, mysterious song about a girl.

"Dance 4 Eternity" and "Surfin'" with Pharrell are some of the other lighter songs on the album.

On the other hand, "Wounds" and other tracks with darker themes about Cudi taking his pain in his own hands somehow seem to blend perfectly with the the rest of the album.

Additionally, Mr. Rager revisits space themes with songs like "Cosmic Warrior" and by teaming up with the equally other-worldly Willow Smith.

In essence, Cudi's eclectic and multi-dimensional style shows through on his new project, and his alt/hip-hop fusion is back.

With the release, Kid Cudi trended on Twitter as the reactions poured in from fans, new album collaborators, and fellow artists.

Stream it here:

Next Up

940 Margaret St, St Paul, MN 55106, United States - May 2019 (1)

4-year-old girl struck by hit-and-run driver in St. Paul

The girl was struck by the driver around 5 p.m. Monday.

Minneapolis police

Baby found safe inside car that was stolen in south Minneapolis

The incident happened near 32nd Street and Chicago Avenue around 7 p.m.

Anthony Edwards

Ant puts on a show to help Timberwolves beat Pacers

A third-quarter surge gave the Timberwolves their seventh win in their past eight games.

Mikko Koivu

Wild to retire Mikko Koivu's No. 9 jersey

Koivu will be the first player in franchise history to have his number retired.

Boebert-Omar - Flickr Gage Skidmore

Rep. Boebert refuses to apologize for Islamophobic comment toward Rep. Omar

A phone call Monday between the two lawmakers ended abruptly.

Patrick Peterson

Vikings place Patrick Peterson on COVID-19/reserve list

The Vikings cornerback said he was vaccinated in August.

flickr - thin ice warning - USFWS Midwest

'Numerous' reports of eager anglers falling through ice

Conditions are still unpredictable, and can vary even across a single body of water.


Minnesota health officials watching closely for omicron variant

Health leaders do not yet know how transmissible or severe the new variant is.

school bus stop pixabay

School bus driver charged in fatal hit-and-run will plead guilty

Another motorist told the driver to call 911, but he instead got on the bus and drove off, charges say.

Franconia Sculpture Park - Lorie Shaull - Flickr

5 outdoor destinations to explore around the Twin Cities

There's something for everyone on this list of overlooked spots.

Child mental health counseling

As pandemic continues, so do efforts to improve child mental health access

Children's Minnesota has announced it will open its first inpatient mental health facility for under 18s.

Dalvin Cook

Mixed reports on Dalvin Cook's injury status

The Vikings running back could miss two games...or he could play Sunday.


5 of Schoolboy Q's best collaborations

His stylistic evolution can be seen through his collaborations through the years.

5 reasons Migos are must-see live performers

Here are few reasons to secure your ticket to the trio's show.

5 highlights of Blackbear's Digital Druglord album

Less than a month after dropping his experimental hip-hop album with Mike Posner, SoundCloud king Blackbear releases a new solo album.

5 of Dave East's best features

Before he plays Soundset, here are 5 tracks with fire verses by the Harlem spitter.

Listen: Childish Gambino releases sultry new single 'Redbone'

Donald Glover has been offering us tantalizing glimpses of his soulful new album.

Listen to Travis Scott's "fake" album while you still can

An unauthorized album emerged Friday morning.

From 'Sneakin' to 'Peepin': 5 of 21 Savage's most-killer collaborations

Here is a look back at a few of the 51 features the Atlanta star already has under his belt.

5 highlights from Mike Posner and Blackbear's new Mansionz project

Blackbear and Mike Posner join forces to release a quirky R&B album.