In My Zone: A Look At The Impact Kid Cudi Has Had on the Youth
Unwavering & Unrelenting In His Mission To Help Young People, A Light Needs To Be Shone On One of A Kind Talent, Kid Cudi
When you think of Kid Cudi, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind? Is it the scene from Project X that made his ‘Pursuit of Happiness’ remix the most popular party song in the blog era? Or is it seeing him performing ‘REVOFEV’ drenched in BAPE on the back of a pick up truck in New York City? Is it when he assisted on the eventual musical template for modern day artists with Kanye West’s 808s & Heartbreak? Or is it when he took radio stations over in 2008 with his breakout single, “Day ‘n’ Nite”?
Yes, all these moments throughout Mr. Rager’s career are memorable and sculpting, but they aren’t what made him special. Kid Cudi carried something with him that is far more important than anything I stated and that was the ability to relate. No, not relate to other artists who spit lyrics of braggadocio, but relate to the youth and the problems they carry on a day-to-day basis because they are problems that he went through himself.
Kid Cudi is not an artist who can be thrown into the ‘Hip-Hop’ category as easily as some of his muses and predecessors. Some of his musical influences with the likes of Kanye and Snoop Dogg may have shaped him as a rapper on songs like “Ashin’ Kusher” and “Make Her Say”, but did the complete opposite in terms of his lack of egoism and his humbled rockstar persona. Cudder’s one of a kind sound was one that broke barriers in music and influenced artists like Travi$ Scott, Childish Gambino and even went full circle to inspire the sound that West used on 808s.
The Cleveland native made it evident that he’s not for the materialistic side that’s been made oh-so-glamourous by modern day musicians. In a 2014 interview with talk show host Arsenio Hall he said “I think the braggadocio, money, cash and hoes thing needs to be deaded. I feel like that’s holding us back as a culture, as Black people, that doesn’t advance us in any way, shape or form.”
His goal ever since he stepped on to the scene with his beloved debut A Kid Named Cudi has been to give the kids someone to look up to as a role model, someone more or less just like them, or as close to them as a celebrity could possibly be. If for some God-forsaken reason someone hasn’t considered that to be evident through his music, here’s another direct quote from his Arsenio Hall interview that should tell you exactly that.
Why not tell kids something that they can connect with and use in their lives? Really, my mission statement since day one, and I’m getting so worked up talking about this, all I wanted to do was help kids not feel alone and stop kids from committing suicide… I know what it feels like, I know it comes from loneliness, I know it comes from not having self-worth, I know it comes from not loving yourself. These are the things that kids don’t have music that can coach them and give them guidance. I didn’t have that. I had to listen to Jay-Z and take certain things from it and the other shit I just didn’t know what he was talking about. -Kid Cudi
Take “Don’t Play This Song” from Man on the Moon II as a prime example of the message that Scott is trying to get across. A song where he mentions his contemplations of suicide as his mom calls him, all while he’s gone off blow and blunts and slipping into the bottomless pit of depression he so often finds himself to be in. At a time when you could still hear songs like “Erase Me” being played on mainstream radio, it’s very hard finding artists who were on such a major status to speak on such somber topics as the ones he did and that’s the one of a kindness there is behind the music he’s been making ever since he came up.
The message that Cudi has delivered is a beautiful one. The thought of ending one’s own life is one that runs through the mind of teenagers and people throughout the world and the fact that he comes from the same place makes it only more real and personal. Kid Cudi gives the youth someone to look up to not for his glamorous collection of foreign cars or his distressed Balmains, but for being Scott Mescudi, a boy from Cleveland who grew up to become the Man on the Moon.
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