Born Again: Kid Cudi Talks Making "Indicud," Leaving G.O.O.D. Music, and Where He Goes From Here

Born Again: Kid Cudi Talks Making "Indicud," Leaving G.O.O.D. Music, and Where He Goes From Here

You’ve touched on Kanye’s reaction when you told him you were leaving G.O.O.D Music, and it seems like there’s mutual respect there. Have you talked to him since? Has he heard Indicud?
Definitely. I sent him a link. He listened to it. He wanted to hear it. And he wrote back, telling me that he was fucking with the "Unfuckwittable" beat. So we’re in touch. We’re supposed to link up and work on some things, work on his album. That’s why the whole leaving thing is not that big of a deal. I’m really surprised that people are making such a big deal out of it. It’s not like I’m on every song on Cruel Summer. It’s not like I’m on every song on Watch the Throne. It’s really not that big of a deal. Me and him will always work. Big Sean and I have a song on his album. I got this record that I produced with Dot Da Genius called “Vortex” that I’m going to give Pusha for his album. I want to get in the studio with him so we’re working on that. It’s really from a business standpoint, it’s not “This artist hates the label and nobody’s cool no more.”

 

[Kanye] listened to [Indicud]. He wanted to hear it... So we’re in touch. We’re supposed to link up and work on some things, work on his album.

 

You’ve called yourself an outsider of hip-hop, and you definitely do things your own way. How do you feel about the reaction to Indicud so far?
Yeah, it’s a hard road to go down. When you’re doing things that haven’t been done yet, you’re going to get some backlash. You’re going to have a lot of people who don’t get it. One thing that I noticed with the reaction is that there is a ton of people who love it so much and there’s a nice amount of people that fucking hate it. I cannot understand how one could call it “terrible” or “wack.” I don’t understand that but it’s not meant for me to understand because my mind is so far ahead. A lot of my fans are a bunch of kids and I can’t expect kids to understand a 29-year-old man’s mind. This is what I’m starting to realize.

I like to use Hov as an example. When I was coming up I was a huge fan of his work and there were a lot of songs that I got and then there were a lot of songs that I didn’t get. Not the part when he was talking about drugs—I got that shit, but just about his lifestyle, dress, and enjoying life. I didn’t understand that. And losing friends, having his situation with Dame, a lot of things he rapped about  I’m discovering now, like, “Oh shit, that’s what Hov was talking about.” I feel like that’s what happening with me. You don’t get it now? You will. I’m ahead of muthafuckas. That’s how I look at it. In time people will get it and like I said I’m still listening to Hov shit and catching on. That’s what I’m talking about. I’m dealing with this experience right now. As you get older, you will be in some shit like that. It’s just one of those things. If the kids don’t discover it now... I’m patient.

My music is going to be around forever. I cut myself out a nice path that will keep me musically living forever. I’m happy about that. None of my songs have been overplayed on the radio, so when you discover these albums, enjoy them. It’s not like there’s that single that got played out on the radio. With Indicud, with “Just What I Am” and “King Wizard,” they haven’t been raped on the radio, so when people play the album it’s like they are hearing it for the first time.

Speaking of Jay-Z, you talked to him before you spoke with Kanye. Did he give you good advice?
Yeah, it’s so fucking annoying how fucking ill he is. He’s just the man. We know Hov’s story. He’s a real nigga through and through. That’s why I’m so happy for him because Hov is grown. He’s a grown man. And to have him take the time to talk to me, like really talk to me—not on some like, “Ten minutes and we will talk.” He has his daughter, he has a newborn, he has things he’s got to do. But to see that’s he’s interested in taking a minute to talk to me about this album and everything, it just means so much. I’m going to always cherish those conversations. I don’t even talk about it during interviews. He has given me great advice and guided me since day one. He’s always been supportive and that’s one relationship that I have that I hold very dear to me. Beyoncé has been very, very sweet to me, too. Every time I see her. They're two of the most amazing people that I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. And it’s so fucking annoying how awesome they are together. It’s why I love them because I aspire to have what they have one day. It’s just dope that I have that support system.

 

[Jay-Z] has his daughter, he has a newborn, he has things he’s got to do. But to see that’s he’s interested in taking a minute to talk to me about this album and everything—it just means so much. I’m going to always cherish those conversations.

 

The media always called you Kanye's protege, even though he wasn't very hands-on. Did you ever take offense to that?
No, not really, because I understood what they were trying to say. It was always like I got my stuff and people knew who I was working with. It was me, Emile, Plain Pat, and Dot, and it was all good. Time will tell. That’s one thing with Indicud. I have always had my own thoughts, my own vision.

The young cats in the game seem to be feeling that vision. Tyler, the Creator very rarely props people up and it seems like he genuinely fucks with your music. What is it like getting support from him, or having Rocky do a verse on your song?
It makes me feel special. All my life I just wanted to fill a void and it just makes me feel like, “Damn, Scott, you really affected people. This is what you wanted to do.” And it’s so fly that any of those kids—that anybody shows me love, because I feel old. It’s just humbling. Those guys are amazing. It’s just such a cool thing. It’s just humbling. They have no idea what that does for my ego. I thought all these kids thought I was this mainstream artist—maybe that was just me in my own head around the time of my first album, second album.

What do you have coming up next from Wicked Awesome? 
Working on a box set, with all of the albums and some new stuff, hopefully coming out during Christmas, old raps and photos that my mom has in an old box. That will probably be the next thing that comes out.

I want to do something that's the ultimate Kid Cudi collectors item. Four albums is a big deal. People don't like to count WZRD, but that did happen. I worked hard on it. It's me compiling the ultimate package for my fans. It's very personal to me, and I think people will get a kick out of it.

You keep pushing yourself to try new things, and not make cookie-cutter albums. How do you handle the naysayers now compared to back in the day?
The fact that I went ahead and did it is enough of a “Fuck y’all.” That’s enough of a fuck you to everyone who has something to say. There’s no one who has the balls to try and reinvent themselves with an album, unless you're an indie band—no one. The fact that I even went and tried to execute something outside of my own comfort zone, whether you like it or not, you have to honor it. You have to respect it. And if you don’t then you’re just going to hate it. And that’s all I think about them. Nobody has the balls to do anything I have done in my entire career. So y’all can kiss my ass!

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