Listening to albums is a full time job. Every day, new bodies of work flood iTunes and your favorite mixtape sites. I love the process of giving an album a spin from start to finish. It’s like test driving a car: wavering back and forth between committing and seeking alternatives with every turn. After a few listens, I tend to pick out favorites I religiously quote, place on playlists and recommend to friends.
The Standout is here to highlight one record from a particular album that fits the criteria above.
Album: Travi$ Scott’s Birds In The Trap Sing McKnight.
Song: “Through the Late Night” (Feat. Kid Cudi)
The 411: J. Cole once said, “long live your idols, may they never become your rivals.” We’ve seen the phrase ring true for many artists in the past — think LL and Canibus or Weezy and Thug — but Travi$ Scott made sure that his idol became his friend. On his sophomore album, La Flame accomplished a career-long dream in working with Kid Cudi not once but twice. Cudi’s contribution to “Way Back” is minimal in comparison to “Through the Late Night,” which is a big nod to one of Cudi’s biggest hits to date.
Travi$ Scott is a great curator of concepts — or, depending on who you talk to, is good at snatching ideas/songs from others. He turns everybody he touches into a guest in his world, a place that’s often dark and moody in sound and full of energy everywhere else. Kid Cudi meshed so well, because Scott is one of Cudi’s descendants. And what better way to collaborate than to bring out the early Cudi that we saw on one of his breakthrough singles. Essentially, Travi$ Scott remade “Day N Nite,” and this is what it sounds like.
Here’s a list of signs why “Through the Late Night” is memorable:
1. Kid Cudi starts out humming.
2. Those hums you hear coming from Kid Cudi’s mouth.
3. “Hmm, nah, nah / Mmm, nah, nah.”
4. Scott Mescudi + humming = amazing.
5. Did I mention Kid Cudi’s game-changing humming?
Kid Cudi’s humming is the equivalent of Wayne’s signature lighter flicking. Whenever those sounds start a song, it’s going to be a good record. “Through the Late Night” lives up to the expectations. It’s almost like a Kid Cudi song featuring and executive produced by Travi$ Scott, which sounds like a great combination, one that will spark the “Travi$ should executive produce a Cudi project” messages.
There’s a moment on Scott’s verse that we can’t unhear, and it’s the only time you question what the hell is going on during the song. Following a bit of homage to Cudi’s flow, he drops a dope line (“Relieve my heart of malice”) and follows that up soon after “Stroke my cactus.” STROKE. MY. CACTUS. Yes, it’s an actual pun referring to…gross. We’ve been subjected to so many ridiculous d*ck comparisons, but this is next level. It sticks out like a sore thumb, or, dare I say, cactus (gross).
Just like when The Game signed to Dr. Dre or Nas collaborating with Kool G. Rap, there’s a sense of shared joy for Travi$ Scott getting to work with Kid Cudi, which totals out to three times if we’re including an upcoming song on Cudi’s album. Not just the idea of them doing songs together, but that they actually sound like you’d expect. Out of everything on Birds in the Trap, I always keep coming back to “Through The Late Night.” Maybe one day we get an album from the two, but that’s jumping too far and fast into the unknown. For now, turn the volume up and get “sleep through day / then we play all through the late night” stuck in your head for endless hours.