Release Date: Apr 16, 2013
Record label: Universal Republic
Genre(s): Rap, Alternative Rap, Underground Rap, Left-Field Hip-Hop
Someday this Cleveland MC/producer/former weed enthusiast will find the lyrical and vocal charisma to match the scrumptiously dark, quasi-industrial tenor of his moody beats. But Cudi’s pitchy-dawg voice remains his own worst enemy. He has some interesting pals (Father John Misty, Kendrick Lamar, RZA, Too Short), and they are, without exception, welcome presences.
Kid Cudi :: IndicudWicked Awesome/G. O. O.
After an amicable split with Kanye West's G.O.O.D. Music label, Kid Cudi's third official album landed on Island proper, but it comes off as a label sampler itself, perhaps for the mythical Indicud Records (and that's the marijuana type Indica mixed with the name Cudi) or Kid Enterprises where the Cleveland rapper executive produces it all. Prime example has to be late album highlight "Beez," where Wu-Tang leader RZA brings his own Killer Bees mythos and delivers what could be his anthem ("I don't write songs, Grasshopper/I write sceneries") while Cudi handles the production and delivers the simple hook.
Saying a Kid Cudi album is weird is like saying water is wet; it's just kind of a given. His new record, Indicud, is almost certainly the only album to ever feature guest spots from Michael Bolton and Too $hort. It's also a smart, fun, eclectic record full of psychedelic influences and great, massive choruses. "Just What I Am" is a classic Cudi stoner anthem with a strong, molasses-slow, pitched down hook that sticks with you for days.
Kid Cudi’s otherworldly aspirations, at the very least, have been an affirmation that the Cleveland rapper will never settle for the industry standard. Ever since breaking through in 2008 he’s been an instrumental force of nature, solidifying himself with a dash of bravado, a touch of anxiety and a shot of medicinal therapy. And yet, while previously surrounded by substantial figures, Cudi now finds himself in musical solitude, a decision made on his own accord.
On the track ‘Immortal’, Kid Cudi calls himself “the smartest man alive”. It’s an unfortunate statement to make on the 29-year-old’s third and worst album. 2009’s ‘Man On The Moon: The End Of Day’ and 2010’s ‘Man On The Moon II: The Legend Of Mr Rager’ worked because of the dry wit holding them together, but ‘Indicud’ lacks this.
Whipping winds, crashing thunder, crackling fire - is this a Kid Cudi album or a Captain Planet And The Planeteers episode? Like that cartoon, this self-produced third effort by the Cleveland-born hip-hop artist is rooted in the 90s - from the album's first words (a spooky Macaulay Culkin quote from The Good Son) and the deliciously dancey Red Eye, recalling Enigma's Return To Innocence, to the penultimate track's nine minutes of sexy house rambling featuring Michael Bolton. A recent Complex article led us to believe Kid Cudi wasn't partying much these days, so maybe he's compensating with this offering of hip-hop psychedelia. Throughout, Kid's smoker's voice slices through the dizzying production like a hot knife, but he's not showing off here.
The kid named Cudi has never been one for conformity. Since stepping into the mainstream music spotlight just a few years ago, Kid Cudi hasn’t been afraid to push the envelope and experiment with his music, fusing elements of electronic, pop, and punk rock into a sound that ultimately falls under the rap/hip-hop label. This bold approach to making music has created two extreme standpoints for fans.
Kid Cudi's an undeniably popular rapper. Though his 2009 debut Man on the Moon and its slightly better sequel weren't exactly critical darlings, he’s been a reliable Soundscan dent-maker and the type of figure that easily inspires 379-page threads on message board and hype thermometer KanyeToThe. And even if Cudi rarely lines it all up, his ability's evident: The music's production, which is for the most part self-generated, is usually interesting, and his fuck-the-world posturing resonates with a certain angsty personality type.
By now, I know Kid Cudi, and our relationship’s almost like a rebellious child and a disconcerted parent. When he debuted in 2009 with The Man on the Moon: The End of Day, I was disappointed that it didn’t live up to his 2008’s A Kid Named Cudi. By the time Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager landed in 2010, I found hope by realizing he’d never be that man on the mixtape.
When Kid Cudi first announced his third solo LP, Indicud, he likened it to his own version of Dr. Dre’s classic 2001. A lofty comparison, sure, but Cudi clarified that he planned on embodying Dre’s behind-the-scenes mastermind persona, and in a way curate a collaborative album. “Some things I’ll produce, others i’ll feat &/or play songwriter” he tweeted.