Monday, October 20, 2008

They say he’s different: Is Kid Cudi the future of hip-hop?

***A GREAT Interview with my homie, Kid Cudi, snatched from EYEWEEKLY.***

BY Denise Benson September 24, 2008 15:09

I fell for the hip-hop of Kid Cudi the second I heard “Day ’N’ Nite.” Released early this year on A-Trak’s Fool’s Gold label, the hook-laden tale of isolation was given the remix treatment by Ottawa’s Jokers of the Scene and Italy’s Crookers, becoming both a blog staple and club anthem.

The song also announced the arrival of an idiosyncratic MC who deftly mixes humour and self-reflection as he aims to communicate with people rather than rap at them. The Cleveland-born, Brooklyn-based man born Scott Mescudi is a vivid storyteller who has learned from the best.

“I’m a big fan of The Beatles, actually,” says Mescudi, speaking from the studio in Hawaii where he’s been recording with Kanye West, among others. “I got into them late — like about a year and a half ago — when I started to find my own sound and realized what I wanted to do. I’d always loved their melodies and how they created music, but I didn’t get into the lyrics, which are a big deal. Once I did, I realized, ‘Wow, there’s nothing like this in hip-hop.’

“Rappers have their way of telling stories, but they tend to be really straightforward. There’s wittiness, but our metaphors in rap aren’t the same style of writing as in rock or alternative. I want to bring subliminals to my rap and still make it so that people don’t listen and think, ‘This kid is crazy.’ It’s hard when you’re trying to create something different and you hope that people like it, but what’s life if you don’t take a couple of risks? ‘Day ’N’ Nite’ was a risk and look where it got me.”

The song netted plenty of attention, but what really generated huge hype is his 10.Deep-presented mixtape simply titled A Kid Named Cudi. Produced by Plain Pat and Emile, the mix — featuring back-to-back Kid Cudi originals — proves Mescudi is onto something special. His multi-hued songs of life, love and alienation are refreshingly honest, clever and often laugh-out-loud funny.

“As you experience more in life, you realize the power of how music can affect people,” he explains. “It’s full of potential, and a lot of people don’t take full advantage of that. As I grew and started making songs that actually meant something, I realized that I should put more of myself in my records and actually make it witty.

“I’m a fan of lyrics that are powerful and I found a way to strategically make things simple, for people to get it, but at the same time make it extremely, next-level intriguing — in the way I paint the pictures or the stories and how I lay everything down on records.”
As he offers up cinematic, unique sounding tunes like “Man on the Moon” and “Embrace the Martian” just what does Mescudi hope people “get” about his work?

“Music is meant to make you feel something,” he replies. “It should attack people’s minds and make people think on a grand scale. I’m using myself as a muse to enlighten people, to get them to look at themselves a little differently, and help them make some changes in their lives and move forward in a better light. My music is me trying to find my inner peace and realize, officially, who I am.

“I put myself out there and attack my demons in my records; I put it out there that I’m vulnerable, I’m sensitive, I’m artsy, I’m goofy and that’s all OK. I’m comfortable in my own skin and I think a lot of kids need to know that it’s OK to be different and be good with who they are.”

To that end, Mescudi is recording with a variety of producers — Kanye, 88 Keys, Dot Da Genius, Plain Pat and Emile, among others — who stray from typical beats to complement Kid Cudi’s vision. Now signed to West’s GOOD Music roster, Mescudi aims to release his debut album by next spring, with a new single due before year’s end.

“I’m gonna need everybody to open up their minds, not be judgmental and be ready for anything,” boasts Mescudi. “To me, A Kid Named Cudi was just a taste. This album is going to test a lot of things, and it’s going to be genre-bending. People can’t even fathom where I’m about to take shit.”

No comments: