Kanye West And Kid Cudi: How The Rappers Went From Close Collaborators To Near-Enemies

Once upon a time, it seemed as though Kanye West and Kid Cudi were, if not the best of friends, then at the very least close colleagues as a result of the mentor/protege relationship they shared when Cudi first rose to prominence after writing on Kanye’s 808s And Heartbreaks. The two remained close collaborators for the next decade, even joining forces in 2018 for the joint album Kids See Ghosts, which was one of the better projects to come out of their GOOD Summer release schedule. So how did they go from that to Cudi catching a stray on Kanye’s Instagram post trolling Pete Davidson after he broke up with Kim Kardashian?

Well, Pete Davidson might be the linchpin to the whole falling out between them, as Davidson and Cudi have shared their own friendship over the years stemming from Cudi’s many appearances on Saturday Night Live, on which Pete was a regular cast member since 2014. In addition to bonding over their love of comedy, both men have been open about their struggles with mental health, with Pete even going as far as crediting Cudi’s music with saving his life. “I would have killed myself if I didn’t have Kid Cudi,” he told The Breakfast Club in 2016. All three celebrated Cudi’s 35th birthday at Nobu with Kardashian and Timothee Chalamet in 2019.

Kanye’s issues with Cudi likely came to a head after he and Kim filed for divorce in 2021 and Kim began dating Pete late that year. Kanye, sensitive soul that he is, took issue with his wife moving on while he wanted to reconcile, viewing Pete as the biggest obstacle to their reunion. After Kanye launched several social media attacks on his rival earlier this year, it’s clear that he wanted Cudi to side with him. And while Cudi never publicly sided with Pete, an increasingly paranoid Kanye began taking even neutrality as a sign of betrayal.

In one Instagram post, he wrote, “I just wanted my friend to have my back the knife just goes in deeper.” He also declared that Kid Cudi was disinvited from his album Donda 2 (honestly, no big loss for Cudi there, all things considered), prompting Cudi to call him a “dinosaur” in the comments of the post. Two months later, both featured on Pusha T’s album, but Kid Cudi minced zero words when talking about their proximity. “I am not cool w that man,” he told his Twitter followers. “He’s not my friend and I only cleared the song for Pusha cuz that’s my guy. This is the last song u will hear me on w Kanye.”

Pusha’s response to that? “It f*cking sucks,” he told Vulture.