cudidone

Kid Cudi had another chance to revive his career. After listening to his third and final studio album under GOOD Music my feeling that it would fall short has been reassured. Cudi slipped further into irrelevance, as he pumped out another flat album with a couple of decent individual tracks at best.

Cudi set the bar high with the immediate success that Man on the Moon I brought, and each release since has contributed to a slow decline. Man on the Moon II was a solid album, but not superb. Next came WZRD, which garnered great first week numbers, but once people actually listened the album, it flopped. Now we have Indicud, the latest installment in a series of disappointing Cudi records.

The album opens with a typical, cheesy, industrial-sounding instrumental. It is supposed to signify just as the title states: “The Resurrection of Scott Mescudi” but in reality exposes him as a mediocre producer.

 

 

In the past Cudi’s moany vocals were beneficial, and his content reached his listeners. However, since losing the lonely stoner persona, Cudi has seemed to lose touch with his audience. Evidence of this is noticeable in his second track, “Unfuckwittable,” where he is trying too hard to bring that back.

 

“ Keep on searching for love /

Who else is incomplete?”

 

It may be one line, but it tells a lot. Solitude is a theme in Cudi’s earlier work, and it’s clear he’s trying to revert back to it. Cudi’s backtrack to his earlier success is also noticeable in his references to his desire to smoke weed again, which he declared he was quitting a couple of years ago. He raps in the hook:

 

“I need smoke /

I need to smoke /

Who gon’ hold me down now /

I wanna get high y’all /

I wanna get high y’all /

Need it, need it to get by y’all /

Can you get me high u’all?”

 

It seems more like a subtle way for Cudi to accept that his stoner charm was the trait that won his audience in the late 2000s. It comes off as a desperate attempt to relate to his listeners like he was once able to. In Indicud, his marijuana references seem synthetic after distancing himself from the drug. Quitting may have helped him personally, and that is always most important. But career-wise, it was a bad move. Part of his success rode on his marijuana use – high school kids were a large percentage of his fan base, and more importantly that’s the character he came into the game with as a solo artist. After his declaration of independence from weed, he began to fall off the map while other artists were coming up and stealing the spotlight.

But that is sort of nit-picking. A major contributing factor to Cudi’s downfall and the disappointment of Indicud is his diminished production line-up. Having a variety of producers (Emile, Plain Pat, Kanye West, No I.D., Dot Da Genius, Free School & Ratatat, among others) made for amazing music early in his career. Part of the reason is because the influence was diverse, and inspiration bounced between the multiple people working on the album. On his newest work, Cudi – a decent producer at best – produced every beat, resulting in repetition that made it hard for me to get through the entire album.

For instance, the mid-album instrumental track “New York City Rage Fest.” There was nothing to it. A couple of claps over some keys looped for about a minute without much else. Then fifty-five seconds of some added sounds that pushed the tempo up, but didn’t really contribute to the album. There were no vocal samples, and nothing musically compelling. It didn’t pull me in, and neither did the opening instrumental “The Resurrection of Scott Mescudi.”

 

 

And since I brought it back up, he practically recycled that beat for the song, “Red Eye.” The two beats have a very similar industrial sound. Again, Cudi handling the production by himself was a mistake. There was too much repetition.

 

 

Thank the rap lords for RZA, because he saved the day by speaking on “Beez.” He killed that beat – which had that industrial sound again. Mix it up! Talk about beating a dead horse.

 

 

While his cult fan base may still exist, it’s a small army. Moreover, he’s losing soldiers with every record he puts out. Cudi seems intent on making music despite his popularity. To each his own, I guess. Just don’t expect anyone to buy it.

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