Kid Cudi’s artistry has been in a constant state of evolution through the years.
The musician, born Scott Mescudi, is now entering a new space in his career with his latest project Entergalactic. Mescudi had a vision of releasing his eighth studio album with a visual component that would be inspired by the songs, and he used the 15 tracks as inspiration to create an adult animated special by the same name also arriving on Netflix on Friday (Sept. 30).
Mescudi tapped Kenya Barris to join as executive producer on the TV special, and while at first it was announced that Entergalactic would be an episodic series, it ended up as a 90-minute story about love. Entergalactic is a modern take on a romantic comedy that attempts to portray what the dating world is like in New York City in the age of technology. With its bold colors, stunning animation, and charming performances from the cast, the story unfolds into a fun, fresh look at what it is like to connect with and fall in love with someone when you least expect it.
Mescudi stars as Jabari, a cartoonist who is on the brink of major success after landing a dream gig at a comics company to bring to life a popular character from his street art called Mr. Rager (Keith David)—inspired by the rapper’s song of the same name from his 2010 album Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager. It is also one of the many Easter eggs from Cudi’s career sprinkled throughout the special. Jabari’s career and life are taking off, and after a short-lived rebound with his ex Carmen (Laura Harrier), he swears he is not in the space to be in a serious relationship. That is until he moves into his dream NYC loft where he meets a neighbor named Meadow (Jessica Williams), an endearing, down-to-earth photographer, who flips his world upside down.
The sequences of Jabari and Meadow getting to know each other and falling for one other are simply stunning. The vibrancy of the colors and accuracy of the animations—the animated characters’ features are inspired by the real-life actors who portray them—are a highlight of the TV special. As their story unfolds, viewers are led into different chapters in Jabari’s life that are precisely and beautifully scored with the songs from the new album. This creative endeavor was all born from Mescudi but he partnered with people in his circle and others he had collaborated with in the past to bring it to life. He worked on the music first to inform the script that he wrote alongside Maurice Williams and Ian Edelman, whom he had previously worked with in 2010 on the cult favorite HBO series How to Make It in America.
Complex chatted with Edelman at the Entergalactic premiere in NYC, and he said Mescudi came into it with a precise vision. “He came with so much of the album done and the songs were landmarks to write to and he had the vision mostly fully baked in his head,” Edelman tells Complex. “He truly is a visionary. He knows what he wants and he knows what he likes. He’s also open to collaboration. He’s open to things and ideas and it was really mostly formed and we helped him flesh it out and then obviously write big characters together and tell a story. But he knew it was a love story. He knew it was New York City. And those are two things that when done right really become special.”