Listen: Kid Cudi’s ‘Pursuit of Happiness’

09.09.09 8 years ago

Ennio Leanza/AP

As he showed with his smash, “Day ‘N’ Nite,” Kid Cudi has a way with insinuating, hypnotic rhythms. The Kanye West protégé continues to impress with “Pursuit of Happiness,” the next single from his Sept. 15 album, “Man on the Moon: the End of Day.”

“Day ‘N’ Nite’s” “lonely stoner,” or “lonely loner” as it has been changed to for radio, who frees “his mind at night” seems to have found some friends, specifically MGMT and Ratatat, who appear on the song. There are already two mixes of the song on youtube.

The first is far dreamier and more intricate with a really wild, distorted guitar at the beginning.

The second, the Radio Rip version, is more up-tempo, features more sound effects and has MGMT further up in the mix. (The guitar may be just as upfront on that one…the version we were listening to sounds like the beginning may have been lopped off a little). Both are pretty trippy and infinitely interesting because of the way Kid Cudi puts together traditional melodies with disparate elements.

Lyrically, Kid Cudi is on a nihilistic crash course here at the beginning of the song; though he tells himself he’s “on the pursuit of happiness,” and there’s no room for looking back, it also feels like a dark and ominous road that starts with Cudi high and drunk behind the wheel. Then come the night terrors and sorrow. His flat, deadpan delivery only adds to the vulnerability. You can’t help but root for him when he promises “I’ll be good” if he can just reach his goal.  

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