Lost In Space: Does Hip-Hop Still Care About Kid Cudi?
In this Beyonce-inspired, "new rules" era, one of the new rules should be don't drop your surprise projct when a major album drops the same day. I guess the message that today is Oxymoron day never got to Kid Cudi's spaceship, because at midnight, out of the blue, he dropped SATELLITE FLIGHT: The journey to Mother Moon. Truthfully, it is the first time I have thought about Cudi in a long, long time. It's pretty remarkable to think about how five year ago, he was the new, fresh face of hip-hop (Day 'N' Nite was everywhere) and now nobody seems to care. When Beyonce drops a surprise album, the world stands still, when Cudi does it, crickets. When I heard he had an album, this was my reaction, and I have to think I am not the only one. So, as we listen to SATELLITE FLIGHT lets answer the question, does anyone still care about Kid Cudi?
I don't care about the album, like at all (I repeat) but what I do care about is the fact that I don't care. I was never one of those Cudi stans (he had a rabid fanbase for a while), but I dug the guy's shit. "Dat New New" and "Sky Might Fall" still get a few spins, but I essentially stopped listening to him years ago; Man on the Moon II was the last time I remember listening and that was four years ago. The crazy thing is, it's not like he hasn't been around. Between TV shows, movies, Mountain Dew commercials, and four albums since Man on the Moon II it's not like he hasn't been busy, but it feels like this is the first time I have heard of him in a hot minute. If you had told me sophomore year of college, when "Pursuit of Happiness" was played at every party, every pregame, and every dorm room would be Cudi's last big hit, I would have told said you were crazy and gone back to playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and waiting for the Saints-Colts Super Bowl (really does feel like decades ago), but he has never matched that success and has sort of fallen off in this rap game. Why?
I think the main reason was a drastic shift in his style. While early Cudi drew a more hip-hop driven fan base- he was on GOOD Music for sweet baby jesus sakes--later Cudi drew a more alternative-oriented fan base with albums like WZRD. I am all for artists trying out different things, but I think Cudi made a deliberate attempt to get away from hip-hop; it seems he is just more interested in other kinds of music. As a result, the novlety of his "different" sound kind of wore off and hip-hop heads lost interest. I think the shift happened a little before he left GOOD Music, but the label-change certainly accelerated the process. When you have a style as different as his--this new album sounds like two spaceships fucking-- and choose to change your path you are going to lose those who just want some beats and rhymes.
It wasn't a bad choice, Cudi is still popular and is still someone who can grab a headline, but he lost the interest of hip-hop heads, which is why you never really about him. Maybe I am off base, and if so please tell me, but since I started working here at RefinedHype, I don't think I have heard his name once; people just don't seem to care. There are plenty of artists who I love, and plenty who I hate, but there are very few that I simply just don't care about, Cudi is one of them. So what do you think RefinedHype Nation? Do you care about Cudi? Has he fallen out of hip-hop's favor? I want to hear it from the people who know best, the fans. In the meantime, I'll just listen to this.
This article originally appeared on RefinedHype.com, which has now merged with The DJBooth. For more info, click here.
Written by Lucas G. on 02/25/14
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