DDG: Yeah. I was already in New York.
KC: Through a mutual friend that I was working with at Abercrombie & Fitch. He was a good friend of Dot’s named Riliwan. Riliwan’s just such a real motherfucker, to this day, that we play him records and get his opinion—because he’s not going to cut us any slack. But, being that our records have been so awesome [Laughs] he barely says anything. We would rap at work, and he would spit, and he was like, “Yo, I know a producer. I want you to meet him.” I was like, “OK,” and he had him come up. We met up, and Dot played me some beats. I remember being like, “OK.” I wasn’t like, blown away [Laughs.].
DDG: I had just started producing.
It’s the perfect yin and yang. What I’m missing, Cudi’s got covered, and vice-versa.
—Dot Da Genius
KC: He had just started producing at the time. I wasn’t blown away, but I saw potential in the artistry. Just like anybody who would have heard my earlier raps, they would have been like, “OK. There’s some potential here.” We were both trying to perfect our craft. I wasn’t spitting, like, “Cudderisback” raps back in ’06 [Laughs].
DDG: You were spitting, though.
KC: I was spitting, but it wasn’t polished just yet. And I’ve always been the type of person that was, like, “I’ve just got to get in the studio and make something from scratch.” He was like, “Alright.” So we linked up, and the first session we had we made a couple jams. The first one was dope. We just started banging out records. We had chemistry instantly. When I would hum some shit, he would play it back proper— just right. We’d see it through, and he’d help me build on top of that idea and help me see it for the real vision that it is. It was literally [snaps fingers] that fast. As soon as we got in the studio, we were out of here. And we’ve been working like that ever since.
What was it like working together back then, during the “Day N’ Night” time period?
KC: Dot is a songwriter. That’s one of the reasons that I connected with him, truly. Because he wasn’t a beat maker. If you’ve heard any of his early shit, it was all R&B-type shit. He’s been playing piano since he was a kid, so he’s just a musical dude. So I knew if we just stuck it out and worked together more and more, we would end up building something that was bigger than the both of us. I think WZRD has been in the making for some time now, we just didn’t know it.
DDG: Yeah, exactly. I will say that—especially when I finally linked up with Cudi—his creativity is fucking out of here. He was always opening my mind to more eclectic-style stuff. When I first started making music, I was going with what I was hearing and trying to make something around that realm, but he’ll come and do something unorthodox, and I’m like, “Oh shit. This could work.” Then, from the unorthodox style, I started developing a different sound and really paying attention to other things. It’s the perfect yin and yang. What I’m missing, Cudi’s got covered, and vice-versa.
Do you guys feel pressure to impress each other?
DDG: Yeah, because... Well, Cudi’s very particular and...
KC: [Laughs.] It sounds like he said it in a way like, “Cudi’s very... difficult and hard to work with.” [Laughs.]
DDG: Not even. You know what it is, though. He knows what he wants. From the minute he hears an idea, he knows if he rocks with it or if he doesn’t. So of course there’s pressure when we’re in the studio, and I’m trying to make a beat or drums or something. But him actually being my friend, it’s like, the perfect situation, because you don’t want to go into the studio all tense.
KC: It’s very casual.
KC: We’ve been casually working since we met. We didn’t have any deals, we didn’t have any goals. We were just two dudes in the studio trying to make jams since we met. So it’s kind of the same type of thing, except with an album you have some deadlines. I also feel pressure to impress my friends and to impress Dot. Like, when I came up with “Dr. Pill,” I was excited for them to hear it, because if they’re like, “Aw, we’re not fucking with it,” I’m going to be like, “Oh shit. What am I going to do?” [Laughs.]