Kid Cudi

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Kid Cudi

Kid Cudi
Background information
Birth nameScott Ramon Seguro Mescudi
Born(1984-01-30) January 30, 1984 (age 29)
Cleveland, Ohio, United States
OriginBrooklyn, New York, United States
GenresHip hop, rock, neo-psychedelia, hipster hop[1]
OccupationsRapper, singer-songwriter, guitarist, record producer, actor
Years active2003–present
LabelsGOOD, Universal Republic,[2] Wicked Awesome
Associated actsWZRD, Dot da Genius, Kanye West, King Chip, Ratatat, Common, 88-Keys
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Kid Cudi

Kid Cudi
Background information
Birth nameScott Ramon Seguro Mescudi
Born(1984-01-30) January 30, 1984 (age 29)
Cleveland, Ohio, United States
OriginBrooklyn, New York, United States
GenresHip hop, rock, neo-psychedelia, hipster hop[1]
OccupationsRapper, singer-songwriter, guitarist, record producer, actor
Years active2003–present
LabelsGOOD, Universal Republic,[2] Wicked Awesome
Associated actsWZRD, Dot da Genius, Kanye West, King Chip, Ratatat, Common, 88-Keys

Scott Ramon Seguro Mescudi[3] (born January 30, 1984),[4] better known by his stage name Kid Cudi (pron.: /ˈkɪd ˈkʌdi/ KID KUD-ee, often stylized KiD CuDi), is an American alternative hip hop recording artist, singer-songwriter, guitarist, record producer and actor from Cleveland, Ohio. He first gained major attention after the release of his debut mixtape A Kid Named Cudi (2008). In 2009, his single "Day 'n' Nite" reached the top five of the Billboard Hot 100 and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs charts. "Day 'n' Nite" was included on his mixtape as well as his debut studio album Man on the Moon: The End of Day (2009), which was later certified Gold. In 2010 he released his second studio album Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager, preceded by the release of two singles "Erase Me" and "Mr. Rager".

In October 2010, Cudi announced that he would be forming a rock band, now internationally known as WZRD, with frequent collaborator and longtime friend Dot da Genius. Their self-titled debut album was released on February 28, 2012.[5] Kid Cudi has sold over 4.6 million digital singles and has worked with Kanye West, Common, David Guetta and other artists signed to the GOOD Music label.[6]

In 2009, Cudi along with record producers Patrick "Plain Pat" Reynolds and Emile Haynie launched their record label, Dream On, in partnership with Kanye West's GOOD Music and Universal Motown. On February 26, 2011, Cudi took to his Twitter account to announce that the label had been dissolved due to differences.[7] In April 2011, while performing at New York City’s Roseland Ballroom Kid Cudi announced he was launching his own label: Wicked Awesome Records.[8]


Early life

Kid Cudi's childhood portrait.

Kid Cudi was born in Cleveland, Ohio and grew up in Shaker Heights and Solon. He is the youngest of four children, with two brothers, Domingo and Dean, and a sister, Maisha.[9] His father, a house painter, substitute teacher and World War II Air Force veteran was Mexican-Native American, while his mother, a middle-school choir teacher at Roxboro Middle School, in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, is African-American.[10][11]

When he was eleven years old, Mescudi's father died of cancer; his passing would have a significant effect on Mescudi's personality and subsequently his music.[11] Mescudi attended Shaker Heights High School for two years, then transferred to Solon High School, and later earned his GED. Eventually, Mescudi studied film at the University of Toledo then dropped out after a year.[9]

Music career

2003–2008: Beginnings in New York

It was towards the end of high school that Mescudi first began rapping, inspired by alternative hip hop groups such as The Pharcyde and A Tribe Called Quest.[11] He moved to Brooklyn in New York City to pursue a music career.[3] In July 2008, Kid Cudi released his first mixtape, A Kid Named Cudi, in collaboration with New York street-wear brand 10.Deep as a free download.[12] The mixtape quickly caught the attention of Kanye West, which in turn spawned his signing to GOOD Music later that year.

Kid Cudi was a prominent songwriter and featured artist on Kanye West's fourth album, 808s & Heartbreak (2008), singing with West on the track "Welcome to Heartbreak", and helping with songwriting on "Heartless" and "Paranoid". "Welcome to Heartbreak" peaked at #87 on the Pop 100.[13] Cudi was then tipped as an artist to watch for in media such as Rolling Stone, Vibe, The Source, XXL and BBC News's Sound of 2009 poll of up-and-coming acts.[14] MTV News also reported on Cudi on a series of reports MCs To Watch In 2009.[15]

Kid Cudi performing at Central Park Summerstage in New York City, in 2008.

His first television appearance was at the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards, alongside Travis Barker and DJ AM. On February 17, 2009, he appeared on Snoop Dogg's MTV talk show Dogg After Dark performing "Day 'n' Nite" at the end of the show. Two days later on February 19, 2009, Cudi appeared on BET's 106 & Park with Kanye West to debut the video of "Day 'n' Nite". On March 16, 2009, Kid Cudi performed on mtvU's Spring Break special, and the next day he performed three songs on NBC's Last Call with Carson Daly. He has also appeared as a musical guest on the Late Show with David Letterman and Jimmy Kimmel Live!.

Kid Cudi also made a cameo appearance next to Solange in the video for her song "T.O.N.Y." in February 2009, and later in The Black Eyed Peas' video for "I Gotta Feeling", with David Guetta. He has also been on two magazine covers, Complex (August/September 2009) and URB (August 2009). Bape awarded Cudi his own t-shirt in September 2009, in reward for his music and past employment there when living in New York City.

2009–2010: Man on the Moon series

Kid Cudi performing on August 6, 2009.

Cudi's debut album Man on the Moon: The End of Day was released on Universal Motown Records on September 15, 2009[16] and sold 104,419 copies in the first week and charted at #4.[17] The album's lead single "Day 'n' Nite", Kid Cudi's greatest commercial success thus far, charted well both in the U.S. and in Europe. The second single was "Make Her Say" (originally titled "I Poke Her Face"), which features a sample from Lady Gaga's hit single "Poker Face" and performances by Kanye West and Common.[18][19]

On February 25, 2009, Cudi self-leaked a "teaser trailer" [20] for the upcoming Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen film using his song "Sky Might Fall" in the background, later he posted that he made the trailer himself and was in talks to possibly make it official.[21]

Kid Cudi performing in September 2009.

With Emile Haynie, Cudi produced an exclusive single titled "Switchin Lanes" for the video game Midnight Club: Los Angeles, part of its "South Central Premium Upgrade" downloadable content (DLC), which came out March 19, 2009, for the PlayStation 3 and March 27, 2009, for the Xbox 360.[22]

He revealed information about his future plans via his blog, saying that a possible collaborative album with Chip tha Ripper could be followed with a collaborative project with electrorock duo Ratatat.[23] During the summer of 2009, Cudi joined rapper Asher Roth for the Great Hangover concert tour.[24] Kid Cudi was featured on the highly anticipated Jay-Z album The Blueprint 3 (2009), on the song "Already Home".[25] In a late 2009 interview, Cudi announced that the follow-up to his debut album would be a collaboration album entitled Cudder and the Revolution of Evolution. He stated he had already recorded songs with Snoop Dogg, Travis Barker, Clipse, Cage and Pharrell and would also like to work with Drake, Green Day, Kings of Leon, Robin Thicke, The Killers and The Postal Service on the album. It was also rumored that Man on the Moon: The End of Day would be followed up by a sequel titled Man on the Moon: The Ghost in the Machine and that the Man on the Moon series would be a trilogy, but was not confirmed.[26] Kid Cudi was nominated for three 2010 Grammy Awards for his singles, "Day 'n' Nite" and "Make Her Say".[27] Kid Cudi was featured on Snoop Dogg's re-release of Malice n Wonderland, More Malice (2010), on the song "That Tree",[28] as well as teaming up with Johnny Polygon to remix Polygon's "The Riot Song" which appears on his mixtape, Rebel Without Applause (2010)[29] On April 20, 2010, Kid Cudi announced that the name of his second album has been changed from Cudder and the Revolution of Evolution to Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager.[30][31] On June 11, 2010, Kid Cudi was arrested in the Chelsea neighborhood of the Manhattan borough New York City and charged with felony criminal mischief and possession of a controlled substance.[32] Despite his arrest, he was released and made it to Manchester, Tennessee in time to play at Bonnaroo.[33]

The lead single from Cudi's second studio album titled "Erase Me", featuring Kanye West and produced by Jim Jonsin, debuted on a Cleveland radio station June 30, 2010, and was officially released to Rhythm/Crossover radio on August 17, 2010.[34][35][36] The album debuted at number three on the US Billboard 200 chart, with first-week sales of 169,000 copies.[37] In its second week it crossed the 200,000 sales mark.[38] In 2010, Kid Cudi was also featured on songs for Kanye West's weekly free music giveaway GOOD Fridays, including "Good Friday", "Christian Dior Denim Flow" and "The Joy", which later became a bonus track on the 2011 Jay-Z and Kanye West collaborative album, Watch the Throne.

2011–2012: New direction and WZRD

In October 2010, Cudi announced that he would be forming a rock band with Dot da Genius tentatively called 'Wizard'.[39] However, in early 2011, he announced that he would be releasing a mixtape titled A Man Named Scott, reminiscent of his A Kid Named Cudi title, prior to the rock album.[40] On February 26, 2011, Cudi took to his Twitter account to announce that Dream On, the record label he launched back in 2009 with partners Patrick “Plain Pat” Reynolds and producer Emile Haynie, has been dissolved.[7] However in an interview with Complex Magazine he explained they were still on good terms: "I wanted to try something new, and I wanted to take control of things myself. Those are still my guys, Pat and Emile, and I'm still going to work with them in the future. When we start working on Man on the Moon III I’ll be calling them up to see if they want to be a part of it. I know Emile is definitely down. We had an issue, but we’re men and we were able to figure it out and move forward. There’s no hard feelings."[41] In March 2011, Cudi announced that a music video for "Marijuana" would be released in the spring,[42] followed by a music video for "Mr. Rager" in the summer,[42] as well as a short film inspired by his song "Maniac" with Cage, directed by Shia LaBeouf[43] in October 2011.[42]

Kid Cudi performing in 2011.

In April 2011, while performing at New York City’s Roseland Ballroom Kid Cudi announced he was launching his own record label. The new label, which he will be releasing his third studio album on is called Wicked Awesome Records. He also renamed his band on the same occasion to '2 Be Continuum' renaming it from the original 'Wizard'. Kid Cudi explained his reasoning saying: "I needed something more original, something different, but it’s still wizardry at its finest."[8] On August 12, 2011, Kid Cudi released the music video for "No One Believes Me", directed by Fright Night director Craig Gillespie. The song produced by Dot da Genius, features Cudi singing and contains elements of rock music.[44] On August 21, Cudi announced that he is no longer releasing the mixtape A Man Named Scott so that he can focus on his rock project and his third solo album Man on the Moon III.[45][46] Kid Cudi released a video for Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager's title track "Mr. Rager" on September 8, 2011. The video has received all-positive reviews from critics and fans alike.[47]

Despite saying he will not do many more features for other artists in Complex magazine's October/November 2011 cover story,[48] he appeared on Bryan Greenberg's second studio album We Don't Have Forever (2011), Travis Barker's Give the Drummer Some (2011), The Knux's Eraser (2011), and Wale's Ambition (2011) respectively. On October 30, 2011, Cudi released MANIAC, a short horror film co-starring Cage and directed by Shia LaBeouf, through his blog.[49] On November 13, 2011, a previously unreleased mixtape of material Cudi had recorded from 2002-2003 titled Rap Hard was released. On November 18, 2011 Cudi renamed his band for the second time to WZRD.[50] He also announced that the upcoming rock project would be released on his 28th birthday, January 30, 2012.

In late 2011, Cudi was mentioned in a viral video by Ben Breedlove about his near death experiences.[51] After Breedlove's death on December 26, 2011, Cudi commented on his thoughts about inspiring the young kid. "I am so sad about Ben Breedlove," Kid Cudi wrote on his Tumblr blog. "I watched the video he left for the world to see, and him seeing me in detail, in his vision really warmed my heart. I broke down, I am to tears because I hate how life is so unfair. This has really touched my heart in a way I cant describe, this is why I do what I do. Why I write my life, and why I love you all so much. Life is really f---- up sometimes, but I know Ben is at Peace, and I hope he gets a chance to sit and talk with my Dad. We love you Ben. Forever. Thank you for loving me. To Ben’s family, you raised a real hero, he’s definitely mine. You have my love."

In January 2012, Cudi appeared on two songs from Chip tha Ripper's mixtape Tell Ya Friends, "Ride 4 You" which also featured Far East Movement and "GloryUs" which credited the duo as they are collectively known, The Almighty GloryUs, which led to speculation that a long-awaited project from the two was underway. On January 31, Cudi announced through his Twitter feed that he had completed WZRD and that his next album was the collaborative effort with Chip tha Ripper.[52] In 2012, Cudi was featured on the soundtrack to the film The Hunger Games, crafting an original song for the film titled "The Ruler and the Killer". Cudi wrote on Twitter: "I could not have done it without my producing partners on the project for the film, The legendary and Godly T Bone Burnett and Greg Wells!", referring to "The Ruler and the Killer"[53]

While working on WZRD, Cudi claims he had writer's block for almost 5 months because of his new sobriety. Something that never has happened to him for such an extended period of time. According to Kid Cudi, bands that inspired the album include Electric Light Orchestra, Jimi Hendrix, Nirvana and Pink Floyd. The album includes a song titled "Where Did You Sleep Last Night?", a cover of the same titled song by Nirvana who in turn was inspired by blues guitar legend Lead Belly's rendition of the traditional folk song.[54] Following the album's release on February 28, the album debuted at #3 on the US Billboard 200 chart, with first-week sales of 66,000 physical and digital copies in the United States.[55] The album also debuted on the Top Rock Albums and Top Alternative Albums at number one, and at #9 on the Canadian Albums Chart respectively.

2012–present: Indicud

In June 2012, Cudi was seen in the music video for "Mercy," the lead single from GOOD Music's compilation album Cruel Summer, in which he, along with other GOOD Music recording artists were featured on. Cudi was ultimately featured on two songs from the compilation, "The Morning" and a solo track originally meant for Man on the Moon II (2010), titled "Creepers". In the summer of 2012, Cudi announced the title of his third studio album to be, Indicud when he tweeted: "My new album is entitled indicud, it will be my version of The Chronic 2001, some songs i'll produce, others i'll feat &/or play songwriter".[56] On June 8, 2012, Cudi announced Indicud, will be a double-disc album.[57] On August 12, Kid Cudi released the first single from Indicud, a song titled "Just What I Am", featuring his friend and longtime collaborator and King Chip (formerly Chip tha Ripper).[58] The album will be released in early 2013 with Cudi focusing on scoring movies and then the third installment of the Man on the Moon series coming after that.[59] Cudi then added that Indicud "will feature more uptempos and that it will consist of at most 17 new songs."[59]

Acting career

In 2010, Kid Cudi made a guest appearance on One Tree Hill, starring as himself and performing in the show. Kid Cudi also starred in the HBO comedy series How to Make It in America, as part of the main cast, until its cancellation after 2 seasons.[60]

Personal life

On March 26, 2010, his daughter, Vada Wamwene Mescudi, was born.[61][62] Throughout 2012, Cudi was in a quiet but bitter custody battle with the mother of the child. Reports surfaced that Cudi gave up custody after his child's mother accused him of being an absentee father, as well as having violent tendencies and a "long history of consistent drug and alcohol abuse." These claims were disputed by Cudi and his attorney in a statement, which noted: Cudi did not give up custody but reached an amicable agreement with the mother; that "both parents are fit and proper persons to have custody of their child," as stated in the final custody judgement; results came back negative for drugs in a drug test voluntarily taken by Cudi; and that the court acknowledged Cudi attempted to establish a relationship and visit his child since her birth and "voluntary provided financial support, including child support, rent and other monthly payments, for his daughter since her birth until the time that a child support order was entered as part of the normal course of the case." Details of the official custody agreement remain private.[63] Cudi has purchased a property in Chicago to be close to his daughter.[64]


Studio albums
Collaborative albums
  • A Kid Named Cudi (2008)

Awards and nominations


ManiacSerial killerShort film, directed by Shia LaBeouf
Cruel SummerRafiShort film, directed by Kanye West
Goodbye WorldLevPost-production
Two Night StandTBAPost-production
Need for SpeedTBAPre-production
One Tree HillHimselfEpisode: "Lists, Plans"
How to Make It in AmericaDomingo BrownMain cast, major supporting role
The Cleveland ShowVoiceEpisode: "Brownsized"


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External links