KiD CuDi - All Day And All Of The Night
Monday, 16 June 2008
KiD CuDi, aka Scott Mescudi, is a 'one hit wonder' - but not in any conventional sense. The US MC has scored an overground hit with his emo-rap Day N Nite - only without sucking up to commercial radio. Instead he's generating heat through MySpace and blogs. That's the 'wonder' part. Now the music media is catching on.
The MC is already heading off on his first jaunt outside North America - to Australia, no less - with tour promoters impressed by the level of interest.
CuDi hails from Cleveland, Ohio, but has called New York home since 2004. It was here he befriended Kanye West cohort Plain Pat, who'd become his manager.
The Mid-Western maverick is emerging at a time of widespread disillusionment with mainstream hip hop.
Nas is right: the booty n bling hegemony must end. CuDi, too, feels that commerce has superseded creativity. CuDi's sound fuses hip hop with RNB and alt-rock - but, significantly, he writes wry lyrics. For the sing-song Day N Nite, he discloses his personal failings (dude penned it while holding down a shitty security job). Certainly, CuDi is an individual. Few MCs profess a love for Coldplay (except Hova). This anti-T-Pain is on a mission to restore personality to hip hop.
'I really wanna change peoples' opinions of hip hop, opinions of what content should be in hip hop,' he asserts. 'Even people who are not familiar with hip hop, I wanna open their minds and let them know that hip hop is a form of art - just like rock n roll, just like country, just like RNB, just like any other type of music.
'Some people are a little bit stand-offish with hip hop because of the clichÃ©d hip hop that they tend to just think about only when they think about that type of music. I'm definitely trying to bring a whole other vibe - something very refreshing, more positive, more open-minded, more conscious, and, at the same time, fun.'
Having released his inaugural single on A-Trak's label, Fool's Gold, CuDi will follow with a mixtape, A Kid Named CuDi, in July and then his debut, Man On the Moon.
CuDi's album is taking shape, but it's been a long process as he 'reinvents' himself with every new track. 'We've got a lot of album joints, but I'm still recording 'cause I have a lot of different ideas,' he says. 'The album is gonna be remarkable - I'm excited about it so far!'
Meek CuDi is not. Like Kanye, he's a disarming mix of humility, braggadocio, good humour and affability. (Of the album, he's boasted, 'All I can say is 'Grammies'.') However, CuDi is astonished that, of all songs, Day N Nite should be his breakthrough.
'It's surprising because people are very open-minded now to my music. It's kinda weird 'cause I never thought people were really into my stuff, but then I started getting good vibes. The response to Day N Nite was so major, I was like, 'Word-'
'I made that record solely for me. It was therapeutic for me. I really wasn't like, 'Oh, I gotta make a hit...' It came out ill and it just happened to be one of those records where we were like, 'Yo, this feels right as a single, let's push it'.'
WHO: Kid CuDi
WHAT: Plays La Campagna, Liverpool St
WHEN: Saturday 21 June