With a new album that sold nearly 90,000 copies in the first week with no promotion, a role in the new action film Need For Speed, and a set of brand new teeth that are so white they have an 800 credit score, a confident Kid Cudi visited The Arsenio Hall Show to promote all of the wonderful things orbiting his world. Given his new film’s subject matter, Hall posed a question to Cudi about the exotic sports cars that fill his garage, and got a surprising response.
Cudi stated that if he chose to rap about his cars and material possessions, “there would be no Drake.” Even though the pair have been friendly in the past, and the statement was somewhat tongue in cheek, given Drake’s well-documented sensitivity and love of subliminals, a round of shots courtesy of the Canadian emcee may be heading Cudi’s way. Who knows, maybe it will evolve into a full blown rivalry, perhaps creating the most delicate beef since Miguel and Lloyd argued over who had that stupid haircut first.
On a more serious note, Cudi had some more pointed words on the state of hip-hop in 2014, specifically the focus on materialism that still pervades the culture. Cudi actually got emotional as he shared that the desire to keep kids from committing suicide became one of his main musical motivations. He also talked about his own struggle with suicidal thoughts even in the midst of fame and apparent success.
The comments underscored a need for more attention to real life in music, and less on meaningless trinkets, but also a lack of understanding of the full width and breadth of Hip-Hop music and culture. There are plenty of artists that address subject matter beyond “money, cash, hoes,” but we as fans and documentarians of the culture have to do our part to support them and spread the good word.