We're celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month with Future Hispanic History Month, highlighting rising stars who are creating history before our very eyes. Today we salute Kid Cudi, who hopped on the scene as a lonely kid rapper, grabbing the attention of Kanye West and the rest of the world.
Although Cudi (born Scott Mescudi) first met West while working at a BAPE store in Cleveland, it was his A Kid Named Cudi mixtape that caught West's attention after he released it in 2008. After being signed to G.O.O.D. Music, Cudi was recruited to work on 808s & Heartbreak and Jay Z's The Blueprint 3. His mixtape's standout, "Day N Nite," became his biggest hit, reaching No. 3 on the Billboard charts, but its message has lasted even longer. "Day N Nite" was exceptional because it had a rapper admitting to his inner madness and depression. It set the scene for Cudi's brand of raw, confessional raps, with undeniable hooks.
"Day and night
I toss and turn, I keep stressing my mind, mind
I look for peace but see I don't attain
What I need for keeps this silly game we play, play
Now look at this
Madness to magnet keeps attracting me, me
I try to run but see I'm not that fast
I think I'm first but surely finish last, last"
Five solo albums, one rock band and several acting gigs later, Cudi is still battling the inner demons he sang about in "Day N Nite." With his sixth album, the double-disc Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin', on its way, Cudi admitted that he had to delay the project and check himself into rehab for "depression and suicidal urges."
"I am not at peace. I haven't been since you've known me," Cudi wrote in a letter to fans. He apologized for his mental state, which has since opened up a conversation about destigmatizing mental health. See, while Cudi is finding help for himself, he's setting an example for everyone else who had seen a little bit of themselves in the Man on the Moon. It's OK to talk about your darkness. It's OK to ask for help.
Listen to our latest episode of Back of the Class, where we discuss Kid Cudi: