Before recording his breakout single “Day ‘N’ Nite,” Kid Cudi received a text message that nearly derailed his career before it began: He was about to be evicted.

The aspiring rapper was in his early 20s, living in New York City after recently relocating from Cleveland. Every month, he gave his share of the rent to his two roommates, assuming it would make it into his landlord’s pockets. And it did, until his roommates neglected to pay their portions and he received a message notifying him that he was being kicked out of the apartment by his landlord.

Kid Cudi, born Scott Mescudi, was working miscellaneous jobs (including a retail position at the BAPE store in NYC) and had little savings to survive on. With no place to call home, his only clear option to avoid homelessness was to move back to Cleveland.

But, sensing positive momentum in his music career, Cudi wasn’t ready to go home. Instead, he found another option, thanks to his friend and producer Dot Da Genius. Cudi received an offer to move into Dot’s parents’ East New York home, where he formed a tight collaborative bond with the producer, recorded his earliest hits, and met a father figure who gave him invaluable life advice.

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