Who is Kid Cudi?
Scott Ramon Seguro Mescudi, known professionally as Kid Cudi, is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer and actor. Cudi first gained a wide following with his debut mixtape, A Kid Named Cudi (2008).
He earned a lot of recognition for his work, appearing on the cover of XXL and being featured in magazines like Rolling Stone, Vibe, The Source and URB.
How did he get started?
After a failed stint at college in Ohio, Cudi moved to Manhattan with $500 and no job. He started writing songs on a boom box and a karaoke machine. He took the stage name Kid Cudi, a play on his surname and a nod to Lil Wayne. He landed his first songwriting placement on English singer Natalia Kills’ album Perfectionist in 2011, for the song “Free.” He also acted on the Fox series Empire, playing a musician rival to Hakeem (Bryshere “Yazz” Gray) as well as performing at New York City’s Roseland Ballroom.
In 2008, he released the mixtape A Kid Named Cudi and was recognized as an up-and-coming talent with features in XXL, The Source, Complex and Rolling Stone. Kanye West took notice and invited him to join his GOOD Music label imprint.
Following the release of his conceptual debut album Man on the Moon: The End of Day in 2009, Cudi teamed with producer Dot Da Genius to create the rock-rap band WZRD and the electronic project Indicud in 2012. Indicud featured guest vocals from soft-rock sisters HAIM and Fleet Foxes drummer Father John Misty.
In 2021, he appeared in Crisis, directed by Nicholas Jarecki. In the same year, he co-starred in X, a slasher film written and directed by Ti West. He is also set to appear in two feature films this year.
Who is he working with?
Kid Cudi has made a big impression on hip-hop since his debut mixtape A Kid Named Cudi in 2008. The Cleveland rapper’s new progression caught the attention of Kanye West, who signed him to his GOOD Music label. West has worked with Cudi on multiple projects, including his 2010 album 808s & Heartbreaks and 2012 short film Maniac.
Following the release of his first major studio album, Man on the Moon: The End of Day in 2009, Cudi continued to push the boundaries of hip-hop with WZRD and Speedin’ Bullet 2 Heaven, both released a year later. The Ohioan rapper’s psychedelic sound and personal lyrical angles have made him an influential artist of his time.
In early 2014, Cudi surprised fans by releasing Satellite Flight: The Journey to Mother Moon, the latest installment in his space Odyssey series. Then, he followed up with a sprawling grunge-inspired rock project called Indicud featuring guest spots from soft rock sisters HAIM and former Fleet Foxes drummer Michael Bolton.
In 2021, Cudi starred in the drama film Crisis and appeared as a character on the HBO TV show Entourage. In 2022, he teamed up with Netflix to produce an animated series titled Intergalactic. Currently, the rapper is working on a new album titled Man on the Moon III: The Chosen, which follows a fictional narrative about the protagonist overcoming his darkness and winning back his soul from his alter-ego Mr. Rager.
What is his style like?
Kid Cudi’s unique vocal style and innovative perspectives on production and genre-blending caught the attention of Kanye West, who signed him to his GOOD Music label. After achieving mainstream success with his debut mixtape, “A Kid Named Cudi,” and single, “Day N Nite”, the Cleveland native continued to evolve as an artist, releasing critically acclaimed albums like “Man on the Moon” and “Creepers”.
Cudi’s unique approach to rapping has earned him a following that is both loyal and polarizing. His songs often focus on themes of depression, drug addiction, and isolation, which can be both uplifting and bleak. In addition to rapping, Kid Cudi also acted in a number of popular films and television shows.
He was able to make a seamless transition from underground rap to the big screen, appearing in such movies as “The Pursuit of Happiness” and “Entourage.”
Despite his success in acting and music, he has never given up on his passion for fashion. He frequently wears embellished Balmain vests and Christian Louboutin Tartan Rollerboy Spike Slippers, paired with APC Petit New Standard selvage denim and various Chuck Taylors and Vans sneakers. His rockstar persona is further accentuated by vintage band tees from artists such as Guns N’ Roses and Nirvana.
His emo-inspired style is often criticized by traditional Hip-Hop fans, who argue that his bars lack the rhymes and lyrical complexity of other rappers. He continues to experiment with different styles, including rock, emo, and post-punk, but his most recent releases, especially the 2018 album with Kanye West called Kids See Ghosts, failed to capture the same excitement as earlier projects.
Where is he from?
Cudi began rapping towards the end of high school, inspired by alternative hip hop groups like The Pharcyde and A Tribe Called Quest. After graduating, he moved to New York City with $500 and a demo tape, staying with his uncle Kalil in the Bronx and working at various Manhattan clothing stores. After the success of his mixtape A Kid Named Cudi (2008), he signed to Kanye West’s GOOD Music label imprint.
Following his release, the project garnered acclaim from critics and established a large following on social media sites such as Myspace. A remixed version of the single “Day ‘n’ Nite” was also released, and this brought Cudi to the attention of the mainstream media. He was featured in XXL and BBC News’ 2009 Sound of polls, as well as appearing on magazine covers including URB and Complex.
In addition to pursuing a career in music, Kid Cudi has also acted and voiced for animated television shows such as One Tree Hill and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. He has appeared on the show Two Night Stand and had a recurring role as a guest star on James White, while his acting credits include roles in films such as X and the 2022 drama film Crisis. He also starred as a lead in the comedy film Daddy’s Home. Cudi has a daughter, Vada Wamwene Mescudi, with his former girlfriend Jacqueline Munyasya.