The new album serves as the basis for a new 50-minute conversation between Cudi and Zane Lowe. The full experience, available via Apple Music, sees Cudi touching on everything from the Man on the Moon II era to his 2018 work with Kanye West for the Kids See Ghosts collab album.
"I had to give into the pain because that was the only way I was gonna heal … I wrote [Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin'] from a hopeful place," Cudi said. "Like, these are the things I wanna feel one day but I was still completely miserable when I made that record. So that's why Kids See Ghosts was so big because it was like, for the first time in almost forever in the history of my career, I was like really excited about doing some new shit that was positive and wasn't a downer and it was uplifting."
Cudi was also asked about the respective creative processes behind his music and acting projects, revealing they actually have quite a bit in common.
"They both give me the shit that I need, the feeling," Cudi said. "It's like, the music, it ignites something in me every time I'm doing it. It never feels like a chore. It never feels like work and I feel really lucky to be doing what I'm doing. And the same thing for acting. You know, I literally have an out-of-body experience and I'm in the moment and I'm there with the other actors and the camaraderie."
For a performance like the one Cudi gave in Luca Guadagnino's excellent HBO series We Are Who We Are, a "hyper-focused" approach was required due to the nature of his character, Trump-supporting Lieutenant Colonel Richard Poythress.
"That was a character that was so far from me and so different than anything I've ever done before that it needed my attention like that," Cudi explained. "I needed to be hyper-focused on what I was doing."
Elsewhere, Cudi shouted out three of his personal OGs—Kanye, Pharrell, and André 3000—and gave some insight on MOTM III and more. Among the other highlights are the backstory on how his pre-MOTM III Eminem collab came together, what it was like to have the late Pop Smoke on the new album, what kind of headspace he was in the last time he visited the MOTM universe, the power of isolation for an artist, and much more.
Catch the full interview up top or on-demand via Apple Music. Man on the Moon III: The Chosen is out tonight at midnight.