A spotlight on the remarkable strength of Kid Cudi


Kid Cudi performs at the Kent State M.A.C. Center on November 4, 2010. (Dana Beveridge/Flickr Creative Commons) 

Multitudes of fans have been reaching out to Hip-hop artist Kid Cudi in the wake of his recent open letter to fans, where he stated that he is enrolled in rehab. This comes as quite a surprise, considering his album “Passion, Pain, & Demon Slayin’” was slated to drop on Sept. 30.

In his letter, posted through his official Facebook page, Cudi details a struggle seen far too often with artists of his magnitude of passion. He opens uneasily, and unsure of where to start, “Its been difficult for me to find the words to what Im about to share with you because I feel ashamed. Ashamed to be a leader and hero to so many while admitting I’ve been living a lie.”

Cudi delicately makes his way into the topic of rehab. We learn the cause is his “depression and suicidal urges.” Cudi adds, “I am not at peace. I haven’t been since you’ve known me. If I didn’t come here, I wouldve done something to myself.”

Hearing that Cudi is taking his affliction seriously is one of the most comforting and assuring aspects of this situation. He speaks of it with a degree of uncertainty as to what his recovery will look like. As Cudi rants, “I simply am a damaged human swimming in a pool of emotions everyday of my life. Theres a ragin violent storm inside of my heart at all times,” there is still, miraculously, an aura of undeniable confidence in his demeanor. He assures us that he will withstand this trial as he has in the past.

Cudi’s attitude towards his listeners, particular in his concern and devotion to them, is one of his most endearing qualities. He expresses it often in his everyday life, but more importantly, in his music. Through all of his previous struggles he has detailed to his listeners in song, he still holds them high above all of the darkness in his life. This is part of what makes acknowledging this mental exhaustion so hard for Cudi.

He laces his letter with frequent apologies for the simple act of getting himself help and letting those, whom he is a role model to, down, stating towards the end of the letter, “Love and light to everyone who has love for me and I am sorry if I let anyone down. I really am sorry,” also explaining, “I feel like s**t, I feel so ashamed. Im sorry.”

As dark of a time it is for Cudi, we have high hopes for his progress on his road back to mental stability, as we have seen him face previous struggles successfully in the past.

It is also a time of new music for Cudi, rehab or not. His album was delayed because of alleged “sampling clearance issues” as he tweeted on the day of the proposed release. There is no word on whether or not this was true, or whether this was just a way of covering up his mental health concerns, but we do have some more information on the release of the new material.

“The album is still on the way. Promise. I wanted to square away all the business before I got here so I could focus on my recovery,” said Cudi of his new project. In the meantime, we were fortunate enough to be graced with two new singles of the project entitled ‘Frequency’ and ‘Surfin’.”

“Frequency” is a track that was actually released in March 2016, and was recently made available for purchase. The lyrical content of this track is sub par, but what is quite noteworthy is Cudi’s return to his more mellow and relaxed style of production and vocals. After past projects like “Speedin’ Bullet 2 Heaven” and “Satellite Flight: The Journey to Mother Moon,” it was a refreshing glance back into his “Man on the Moon” project days. Cudi is melodic here, even if the lyrics are somewhat underwhelming, in a manner that is aesthetically pleasing to the ears.

The throwback that is “Frequency” is complimented nicely by the more up to date “Surfin’” track, that comes to us courtesy of the collaboration with Pharrell Williams. This track is all over the place, in a way that runs the line of being a bit too dispersed. But Cudi manages to compensate for this disorganization by delivering a truly catchy hookline, as well as a very enthusiastically welcoming couple of verses.

As with any album, once this project is released in its entirety, it can be expected to provide a context for these singles. Cudi has delivered some truly compelling bodies of work in past projects like the “Man on the Moon” pieces, as well the more recent project “Immortal.” It is terrific to hear Cudi confronting his issues, as we’re likely to see quite a bit of more of the truly comfortable and emotionally satisfying music that he has been known to deliver as a result.

When considering Cudi’s battle with mental illness, it is important to remember the role he has played as a testament to overcoming struggles with depression and suicide for so many kids in his career. His music has the influence of acceptance of all ideas and personalities. An outlier himself, Cudi has time and time again proved his unorthodox style to be very desirable and entertaining. His fans reciprocate this love to him.

We wish Cudi a speedy recovery, and applaud him for the tremendous bravery for bearing his perceived weakness to the world. By doing so, he continues the remarkable trend of acting as a true hero to those that can relate to his story.

Christopher Mueller is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at christopher.mueller@uconn.edu.

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