Kid Cudi

Kid Cudi is an American rapper, singer, producer and actor who first rose to prominence as a cult sensation on the word of mouth success of a mixtape which caught the attention of some very important people, most notably Kanye West. Since then, Cudi's muse has lead him in many different directions, some rewarding, some frustrating, but always interesting and unlike any other star, whether it's releasing a left-of-field rock album, becoming a one man band on an obscure sketch comedy show, or collaborating with Michael Bolton (yes, THAT Michael Bolton). Born Scott Ramon Seguro Mescudi on January 30, 1984 in Cleveland, OH, Cudi was raised in the neighborhoods of Shaker Heights and Solon. The youngest of four children, his father, Lindberg Styes Mescudi, was a house painter, substitute teacher, and WWII vet, while his mother, Elsie Harriet Mescudi, was a middle school choir teacher. At the age of 11, Cudi's father died of cancer, sending the young man down a rough patch that lasted throughout his adolescence: he was expelled from Solon High School for threatening to punch his principal (though he later earned his GED), dropped out of the film program at the University of Toledo after one year, and was barred from enlisting in the US Navy due to his juvenile police record. In 2003, inspired by his love of hip-hop groups such as The Pharcyde and A Tribe Called Quest, Cudi moved to New York City. He stayed with his Uncle Kalil in the Bronx, and eventually got a job at the BAPE clothing store in Manhattan. It was there that he first met the man who would become his musical and professional mentor, Kanye West. Cudi's track "Day 'n' Nite" caught West's attention, and he signed Cudi to his personal imprint, GOOD Music. Kid Cudi's debut mixtape, "A Kid Named Cudi" (2008) was released as a free download in July of 2008. Before long, Cudi was the most buzzed about new rapper in years, with the mixtape and his contributions to West's "808s and Heartbreak" (2008) and Jay-Z's "The Blueprint 3" (2009) turning heads. He was called an artist to watch by Rolling Stone, Vibe, The Source, and MTV News, and XXL included him in their 2009 annual Freshman Class. Cudi's debut album, "Man on the Moon: The End of Day" (2009) was released on September 15, 2009, entering the Billboard charts at number 4 and receiving generally positive reviews. He spent the next year touring with 50 Cent and Wale, as well as fellow 2009 Freshman Class members Asher Roth and B.o.b., while also expanding his repertoire to include acting by appearing as himself in an episode of "One Tree Hill" (The CW, 2003-2012), and taking a starring role in the comedy series "How to Make It in America" (HBO, 2010-11). On November 9, 2010, Cudi released his second album, "Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager" (2010), another Billboard hit. Despite his continued success, Cudi was growing artistically restless. He then announced that he was forming a rock band, eventually called WZRD (pronounced "wizard"). It would be another two years before fans heard any music from Cudi's new group, as he battled writer's block, checked into rehab, collaborated with Shia LeBeouf on a short horror film, "Maniac" (2011), and collaborated with a number of artists including Wale, Travis Barker, The Knux, and Far East Movement. The album "WZRD" (2012) was finally released in February of 2012, to wan reviews and sales. Cudi returned to rap, though not to coherence, with his next album, "Indicud" (2013), a sprawling, 18-song, 71 minute psychedelic suite of a record which was met with decidedly mixed reviews, but somehow managed to debut at number 2 on the Billboard 200. Following a summer tour with Big Sean, Tyler the Creator, and Logic, Cudi dropped yet more music: a 10-track EP entitled "Satellite Flight: The Journey to Mother Moon" (2014), which was surprise released with only a few hours noticed, and only on digital platforms. Cudi also continued to act, appearing in the action thriller "Need For Speed" (2014), the film adaptation of the HBO showbiz comedy "Entourage" (2015), the indie drama "James White" (2015), and taking on a short-lived stint as bandleader in the fourth season of "Comedy Bang! Bang!" (IFC, 2012-16), only to be replaced by "Weird Al" Yankovic in season five. As it turns out, Cudi was not done experimenting with rock music, or with asking his audience to indulge him; in 2015 he released his fourth full-length album, "Speedin' Bullet 2 Heaven" (2015), a 26-track, 90 minute excursion into 90s alternative and indie rock, with skits performed by Mike Judge in character as Beavis and Butt-Head. Critics balked, and the album was his lowest-selling yet. Cudi cancelled his 2015 summer tour, and instead headed back into the studio. In October of 2016, Cudi posted a statement on his Facebook page revealing that he had checked himself into rehab to seek help for depression and suicidal urges. Two months later, Cudi released his fifth album, "Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin'" (2016), a 19-track, 87-minute return to hip-hop, which was called a return to form by critics and debuted at number 11 on the Billboard charts. Cudi kept this renewed sense of purpose going by reuniting with Kanye West to form a new group called Kids See Ghosts. The project's debut album, "Kids See Ghosts" (2018), was met with widespread acclaim, even more than West's own solo album, "Ye" (2018), which had been released just a week beforehand. In July of 2019, Cudi announced his sixth album, "Entergalactic" (2020), which would be accompanied by a Netflix animated series which Cudi co-created with Kenya Barris.