Following the release of the highly-anticipated final album of his trilogy, Man on the Moon III, it’s about time we credit his musical genius and the impact Scott Mescudi, more commonly known as Kid Cudi (or Mr. Rager), has left on the music scene. Mescudi is a rapper from Cleveland, Ohio known for being vulnerable and relatable in his lyrics. Few artists open up about their own insecurities and flaws as much as Mescudi does, and even fewer in so much depth. “I am happy to be alive, cause I know I could not be in a place so filled with lies,” Mescudi raps in SoundCloud release “love.” His melodic lyrics touch on a large array of topics including depression, suicide and other mental health issues, reminding his listeners that they are never alone in their battles. He is extremely authentic and real, which is part of the reason he is so widely respected, even by those who might not personally love his music.
Beyond his touching lyrics, Mescudi has remained a powerful force in the music industry for over a decade because of his unique style and fearlessness to experiment. He combines elements of alternative and electronic genres into his music, which results in some pretty unique and awesome sounds.
Kid Cudi is probably your favorite rapper’s favorite rapper. Artists like Lil Yachty, A$AP Rocky, Logic, Juice Wrld, Ski Mask the Slump God among many others have credited Mescudi as a prominent source of inspiration. Perhaps the biggest fan of all is Travis Scott, who has publicly idolized Mescudi since before the release of his iconic album Rodeo, one of his earlier projects. It’s even rumored that the “Scott” in Travis’s stage name (his real name is Jacques Berman Webster II) is an ode to Scott Mescudi. “In my whole career, all I wanted was acceptance from Kid Cudi, I don’t care about nothing else! This dude saved my life,” Scott gushes in an interview with the Rolling Stone. “He kept me from doing a lot of f*cked up sh*t to myself, kept me on the right path. That’s why I make music, that’s why I go hard for the fans.”
He also caught the attention of Kanye West after dropping A Kid Named Cudi. Kanye was so impressed that he flew the emerging artist out to Hawaii, where they worked together on Kanye’s future-platinum album, 808s and Heartbreak. At one point Kanye even dubbed Mescudi “his favorite artist in the world. Although they encountered a bit of a rough patch and feuded publicly for a little, they have since released Kids See Ghosts together and continue to collaborate frequently.
In sum, Kid Cudi will go down as one of the greatest artists in history due to his authenticity and unapologetic lyrics. No matter your personal preferences regarding his music, it’s impossible to ignore the lasting influence he’s left on today’s most popular artists and the music business as a whole. I am beyond excited to see what future projects he plans on, but for now, listening to the entirety of Man on the Moon III at full volume will do.