As fans know, Cudi’s hometown is a prominent part of the ComplexCon 2023 headliner’s ongoing artistic journey. Cudi routinely shows love to the city, while the city itself has also been known to do the same throughout his career.
But that's not the picture painted during a recent podcast discussion between Rich Paul and Jake Paul. About 17 minutes into the video below, the YouTuber and boxer asked the sports agent about Cudi and Cleveland.
“Do I think the way Cudi treats Cleveland is weird? No, because I don’t think Cleveland ever embraced Cudi, unfortunately,” Rich Paul responded. “You can’t expect somebody to treat a situation any different than how they were treated.”
While Rich Paul was more measured in his remarks, Jake Paul pushed harder, claiming that Cudi “switched up” and “acts like he’s not from” Cleveland.
“No one even really knows that,” he said. “And then, like, [he] doesn’t tap in with the people. [He] got big and all the OGs are like, ‘He didn’t do this, he didn’t do that.’”
At this point, Rich Paul chimed in again to say that, in his experience, he’s “never seen [Cudi] in Cleveland like that.” From there, Jake Paul spoke about trying to book Cudi for a performance several years ago.
"I tried to get him to perform at the Tyron Woodley fight, just before I came out, and he asked for, like, an astronomical fee that was like 'Fuck you,'" he said. "And I get it, I get it. But it’s like, this was some shit to tap in back with the city, first event back from COVID."
Rich Paul, however, declined to blame Cudi for this.
“I can’t put that on him,” he said.
On Twitter, a site I refuse to refer to as X, Cudi issued an extended response to both Rich Paul and Jake Paul. On the former's remarks, per Cudi, he's simply not one to be "hangin at Cleveland clubs or in the streets or whatever the fuck else u expect me to do" when he's back in his hometown.
"Im the most lowkey guy around," Cudi said. "You aint suppose to see me brother. Thats number 1. Number 2: I will say the city of Cleveland has embraced me over the years. So I disagree. Radio in Cleveland might not play my shit, but I had 20k people at Moon Man's Landing in Cleveland last year. A success. And were doin it again too. Not only does the city embrace me, I make most people in that city and the state of Ohio proud. Everytime I record a record I mention the city. Thats all day. Everybody that listens to my music knows Im proud of where im from."
As for the Jake Paul of it all, Cudi reminded those reading his comments that he’s an artist, i.e. “not some guy that comes out to perform at boxing matches.” Still, Cudi said he gave the invitation consideration due to who was making the request.
"Im an artist. A real one," Cudi said. "I make art for a living. Im not some guy that comes out to perform at boxing matches. I entertained it tho cuz it was u, and tho it went against what I stand for I submitted a fee. My fee is my fee. Especially for some shit thats not my style."
Meanwhile, fans got in on the conversation by pointing out instances in the past of Cudi celebrating his connection to Cleveland, and the Ohio city doing the same for him. In response to a resurfaced social media post from the official Cleveland tourism account celebrating Cudi, the Insano artist offered some timely, tongue-in-cheek comments of his own.
"That was a beautiful moment," he said. "Guess the city dont fuck w me tho."
Cudi fans have a lot to look forward to in the coming months, including a new album and a pair of shows with Red Hot Chili Peppers.