KC: I like A$AP Rocky. I love how him and Schoolboy Q chopped up the “Pursuit” shit. I was really flattered, because in my head, I think the young kids think I’m fucking lame and old [Laughs.]. I feel like they think I’m old school. So it’s like, when they honor me in a really creative way, it’s like, “Yes!”
I like A$AP Rocky. I love how him and Schoolboy Q chopped up 'Pursuit.' I was really flattered, because in my head, I think the young kids think I’m lame and old [Laughs.]. I feel like they think I’m old school.
They did really well on that.
KC: It’s really fucking genius, and I had no problems that it wasn’t me, because the Lissie cover [of “Pursuit of Happiness”] I’m a fan of. So I thought it was really interesting. If they would have used the original, it would have been like, cliché. It would have been like, “Aw, fam.” Her version was such a different way of interpreting the song, then the way they chopped it up was really on point. Whoever produced that: bravo. Then my attorney hit me up and asked me to clear it, and I was really excited. That was the first time I was clearing one of my songs for someone’s sample. I was just really flattered, and I was like, “Alright, yeah. Cool. Approve.” That’s fucking alright. That’s cool, man. It’s groovy.
Did it get easier to make songs as Cudi got better at playing the guitar?
DDG: Absolutely. It was easier for him to play ideas he had.
KC: Basically, what he’s saying is that I fucking stumbled upon some cool ways of playing it. I fumbled my way through it, and we kind of ended up figuring out the sound that we want. That’s how it happened.
There’s been other rock albums by rappers. The most recent one is Lil Wayne. What do you think WZRD brings to the table that other artists have failed to do?
KC: I don’t know, man. I think, anyone who sets out to do anything out of their comfort zone deserves a round of applause. When people critique people so hard, I think that’s really wack. You’re supposed to be someone that pushes the envelope. Yeah, it might have been odd for Lil Wayne to say he wanted to do a rock album, because he’s been doing hip-hop for so long, but it’s like, “Shit, man. Why not? Fuck it.” People are like, “Well, we don’t want you to sing.” It’s like, “Man, fuck that.” The artist is supposed to do what they’re passionate about. I mean, WZRD brings that same energy. But being that, we are a different thing—we’re a band. We have our own sound. We really built this shit from the ground up with me playing guitar, without much experience, playing this shit on the tour bus. It was almost like we were in a high-school garage band.
DDG: We didn’t get into one studio.
KC: Yeah. You know why, though? The reason why I didn’t get into the studio was because I was afraid people would leak the records. So it was like, I wanted to keep it a secret for a long time. That’s why people still haven’t even heard anything. You can’t even ask around the business if anyone’s heard it, because nobody has. ‘Ye hasn’t even heard all of this shit, yet. He’s heard maybe like, six or seven jams, because I didn’t have much finished or on me at the time.
How did he react?
KC: He loves it. That’s always a good feeling, when I bring something around him and he’s like, co-signing it. He was like, really excited.
I always wanted to ask you how it felt when Kanye was like, “Kid Cudi’s my favorite artist in the world.”
KC: It was an amazing feeling. I couldn’t believe it. I still can’t believe it. I think he’s full of shit [Laughs.] I love him for saying that. I really do. That was one of the most flattering things anyone’s ever said to me. As mega as he is, it’s an amazing thing to say. He didn’t have to say that. Again, I think he’s out of his mind for saying that [Laughs.]. But that’s really fucking cool.