Speaking with Zane Lowe for a cinematically captured Apple Music interview, Cudi reflected on the impact of La Flame's words of support during "early-on" sessions prior to their "The Scotts" collab unveil.
"Before I started working on this shit I was like, my next shit's gotta be bars," Cudi said. "I knew that. I just remember Travis saying something to me about raps. He was just like, 'Your raps, man. I love when you rap.' I kept that in mind. I was like, OK, Travis is saying my raps are good. That must be something that the kids like. I'll keep that in mind."
Continuing, Cudi explained how this inspired him, while also laying out the argument that he's too often overlooked as a lyricist.
"I just wanted to give [Travis Scott] exactly what he loved about Kid Cudi," Scott said. "And for him, it's bars. But I felt like, in hip-hop, I'm slept on as a rapper, as a lyricist. I really wanted to elevate my whole shit on that front on this project. And I did that with the rapping and the singing. Everything is kind of evolved."
Cudi also revealed that fans can expect something fresh via a "little sprinkle of ad-libs," albeit done in an authentic way.
Elsewhere, Cudi gave fans insight into the speed of his creative process this go-around, specifically noting the importance of knowing when to take a step back.
"Like, for this, I might have made, like, 12 songs in two weeks and then was like, OK, let me take a step back and see what I got now," he said.
Asked if the writing was "stream of consciousness" all the way through, Cudi agreed that it was.
"Before I start the album, I'm like, what are things I want to discuss?" he said. "What are things I want to touch on? And after I do that, then it's like, I create whatever I'm feeling with the music … However long it takes me. In this case, two weeks. In a lot of cases, months. But this was really fast. And once I sit and I see all the stuff that I have in front of me and I feel like I've discussed everything that I need to discuss, then I'm like, OK, I've got the album."
In a tweet, Cudi elaborated on the Travis Scott mention in the interview, shouting out Dot da Genius and others who pushed him to rap on the new album:
Catch the full Zane Lowe interview on Apple Music on Thursday at 10 a.m.PT/1 p.m. ET right here.
Man on the Moon III: The Chosen is out Friday and features appearances by Phoebe Bridgers, Skepta, Trippie Redd, and the late Pop Smoke.