ALive & Kicking
Kid Cudi Live @ Showbox at The Market
December 8, 2009
Why would Seattle wanna (or “want to” for all you grammatically anal peeps) get behind Kid Cudi? After all, this is the place where stars are lit then quickly burnt out for many an aspiring rock star, but hip hop? Despite a vibrant local scene, the rest of the country thinks we still wear flannel and that Sir Mix Alot and the Blue Scholars are our only exposure to rap.
Truth is, our environment is not that different from hip hop Meccas like NYC, Chicago, the ATL or the Bay Area. We have similar urban struggles and the same extra curricular activities (cough, cough), and our love of art in general is second to none. Get behind Kid Cudi (Scott Mescudi) because he makes extremely personal and entertaining art.
Remember when A Tribe Called Quest hit the mainstream scene? (Probably not, but I am old.) While Tupac and Biggie where talking about guns, cars and feuds, Tribe was speaking on a different level. Kid Cudi has that same dichotomy with the current batch of thug stars. 50 Cent, Lil Wayne and Eminem have about as much in common with Cudi as Lady Gaga.
Kid’s first album was released in September 2009, but FM Radio fans had already heard his hit “Day n Nite” well before. The album Man on the Moon: The End of Day takes the seed of “Day n Nite” and explodes into a full on concept album. Rarely visited subjects in the hip-hop world, like insecurity, nightmares and depression dominate the story. Of course, some of his genre’s stalwart topics also appear in Kid’s vision, including weed, fame and oral sex.
Man on the Moon flows like a well written autobiography with one lousy chapter – the out out-of-place single “Make Her Say.” With great cuts like the vulnerable “Soundtrack to My Life” or the Ratatat collaboration “Alive,” it’s disappointing that Cudi chose the misogynistic refrain “when I poke her face” to be his “shot heard around the word.” With Kanye touting him as the new messiah of Hip hop, why not galvanize a new fan base that needs a little more substance than introduce yourself with a corny song about three ways? Maybe Team Cudi thought the credibility that comes with having Common and Kanye appear on the track was the right way to debut?
Regardless of this marketing miscue, Man on the Moon is the best album of 2009. It mixes great melodies, an engaging story and enough weed references to hook the kids.
If that’s not reason enough to get behind Kid Cudi, check him out on Youtube. You’ll see a young man from Cleveland having the time of his life and a smile on his face, and hear the freshest new sound in hip hop since Lupe Fiasco hit the scene.
Your first chance to get behind Kid Cudi before he’s widely regarded as “The Greatest Rapper in the World” is December 8 at the Showbox at the Market. Be there.