For the most part, creative partnerships are inherently volatile in nature. Based on coexistence between two strong personalities and their at-times conflicting visions, striking the balance is a plight that has left many interpersonal relationships charred. Whether it’s Lennon & McCartney, Lauryn Hill and The Fugees or Cube & Dre, their dynamics all bore scars and wounds that in some cases, will never heal.

In the case of Kid Cudi & Kanye West, there was a muddied period where errors in communication and onstage barbs made it seem as though they’d become another one of those formerly fruitful teams. Sparked after what seemed to be an amicable split from his “big brother” Kanye’s G.O.O.D Music stable, a series of crossed wires and subtle prods would soon escalate to the point where Cudder verbally eviscerated Kanye on Twitter over what he saw as disloyal behavior in September of 2016. The next day, Kanye hovered above the crowd at a Saint Pablo tour stop and unloaded his retort in his protégé’s direction: 

“I am so hurt. I feel so disrespected. Kid Cudi, we are two black men in a racist world. ... Don't ever mention my name in a bad manner, none of y'all."

A mere 6 days later, Kanye extended the olive branch to Cudi, declaring him to be “the most influential artist of the past 10 years.” An accolade that could arguably be assigned to either men, it would take a further two years until the two would lay every last remnant of ill feeling to rest on their collaborative project Kids See Ghosts. Lauded for its therapeutic honesty and sonic experimentation, the album still feels as fresh today as it did upon its release on June 8th last year. More than capable of acting as the perfect aural accompaniment for one another’s material, the anniversary of Kanye’s Wyoming spree of records seems like a fitting time to examine who’s got the bragging rights over their collected catalog.