CD Release Party @ The Jane Hotel
“He’s the future of hip-hop and the future of music; an artist who has no bounds when it comes to genre, format, race, color, topic or emotion. Those are the kinds of artists I love to be involved with.”
– Sylvia Rhone, Universal Motown President (www.Billboard.com, April 15, 2009)
If Kid Cudi were a painter, what type of painter would he be? I think he would be a post-impressionist who is influenced by his predecessors (Kanye West), but takes this influence, refines it and takes it to another level. Cudi’s sometimes mellow or trance inspired beats are his canvas and his unexpected raspy, but melodic voice is his brush of choice.
Classical music influenced the works of painter Wassily Kandinsky. He would listen to it and abstractly interpret what he heard into art. Kid Cudi took his personal reflection on his childhood, loss of his father at a young age, and dreams of reaching the unknown and vividly created Man On The Moon: End of Day, his debut album released on September 15th.
So to answer my question even further, I think Kid Cudi would be the kind of painter who would use a contrast of colors and textures to guide the viewer’s eye along the painting. In Soundtrack 2 My Life, his delivery is full of vibrant colors, but the lyrics still paint a gloomy portrait of being a loner. “I’ve got issues that nobody can see and all these emotions are pouring out of me, I bring them to the light for you, it’s only right, this is the soundtrack 2 my life.”
I must admit, on first glance of Kid Cudi, I assumed that his music would be a reflection purely of 80s Hip Hop influence. When I first saw the video for Day N Night, his debut single that reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100, I must admit that I didn’t give him a chance. I quickly put him into a general category of generic artists who are trying to recreate the 80s through fashion and music. I wasn’t inspired. In one day alone, I came across his music video at least ten times. Apparently I needed to take notice of Kid Cudi.
As if I were in a museum surrounded by Kandisky inspired artwork and seeing it taken to the next level, Kid Cudi’s album had my absolute attention. With collaborations with Kanye West and Common on Maker Her Say, Chip the Ripper on Hyyerr, as well as with MGMT and RATATAT on Alive (Nightmare), it was very clear to me that he had created an unpredictable work of art. With songs like Enter Galactic (Love Connection Part 1 and Up Up And Away, Kid Cudi goes far beyond being labeled Hip Hop, Alternative, or Experimental. He successfully created a new genre, putting himself in class of his own. Man On The Moon: End of Day is a must have in your music collection.
Images: © Martin Roe