"Whatever we were dealing with, it was a beautiful thing to clear the air about."
Kid Cudi's Speedin' Bullet 2 Heaven was a divisive project, but his contributions to Kanye West's The Life Of Pablo have been one of the most universally praised aspects of the album. While it's difficult to imagine the album without his presence, Cudder has explained in an interview with Billboard that his exhilarating hook on "Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1" and powerful wordless bridge on "Waves" wouldn't have happened if he and Ye didn't sit down for a man to man conversation prior to the recording process.
"That was the first time I had been around him and his team in a while," he revealed. "In order to get back into the creative process, we had to talk. I’m not one of those people who’s just going to come around after a while, jump in and make music. We needed to have a big bro, lil bro convo. As soon as we had that, we were good. Whatever we were dealing with, it was a beautiful thing to clear the air about. I’m really happy to be back working with my friends."
Cudi explained that singing on West records is the most comfortable collaborative dynamic for him. "‘Ye and I have speckles. Maybe we’ll both be in the same place at the same time and be like, “Let’s do this” and have 30 songs with each other," he said. "But for now, I’m just happy to lend a hook. The last thing I want to do is write a rap for someone else’s song. I’d much rather have a hook and fall back. And that’s what Kanye wants from me. I sing and Kanye ensures me that it’s dope."
Later on, he gave some insight into the creation of "Waves," which he said was the first song Kanye sent him. "He sent me that in December. It was different than it is now," he explained. :I remember one night we were all just sitting there and I was hoarse from a show the night before where I lost my voice. I was in New York listening to the latest edit. Chris Brown was already on it and we were thinking about how we could make it better. Chris really has this amazing voice. But there were all these ad-libs around it. So I cleared out all the extra and let’s just hear him. That’s ultimately what you hear now. We all bounced ideas around and came up with this minimal version. Once we got that, I hummed on it a little. Kanye had been working on that album for a while. And as you can see, it’s still changing. That song wasn’t even going to make it. But I was like, “We have to do something.” And then Chance the Rapper pushed. And Mike Dean and Plain Pat were key players, too."
Read the full interview here.