KiD CuDi's fourth studio album takes listeners on another trip to outer space proving once again this Cleveland native isn't meant for this world.
Kid Cudi has never been one to hold his tongue or boast modestly. The Cleveland native is infamous for his onstage rants and mid-performance meltdowns. So it should come as no surprise, when talking about his fourth studio album, Cudi likened Indicud to Dr. Dre’s classic 2001 album. A bold statement indeed.
Hot on the heels of his announcement of an amicable split with Kanye West’s imprint G.O.O.D. Music, Cudi serves up his latest offering for his fans. Originally slated to drop April 23rd, the release date was moved up a week after the entire album leaked online.
Backing off of his lofty comparison to Dre, Cudi has since clarified that on Indicud, he would be the puppet master behind the scenes orchestrating a collaborative effort. “Some things I’ll produce, others i’ll feat &/or play songwriter” he tweeted.
Kid Cudi fans are well aware of the rapper’s affinity for all things outer space. The signature feel of his debut album Man on the Moon and its sequel, felt like an acid trip through the solar system. After his foray into the rock world with last year’s WZRD, Cudi is once again aiming for the stars with Indicud. This time he is the captain of the spaceship, handling most of the production himself.
Joining the lanky sometimes actor along for the ride is an eclectic bunch of artists that only Cudi can bring together, making this the most hands-on project for the Cleveland rapper to date. At times, the album lacks the feel producers Dot Da Genius and Emile created on other Cudi projects but the monotone rapper stays true to his loner, depressed, nihilistic, bravado self, a trait that so many of his fans relate to. “Lord Of The Sad And Lonely” further proves that Cudi is the king of the misunderstood misfits.
“Cold Blooded” is directed at Cudi’s naysayers and doubters:
"I live for the day to watch all you pussies roast/ Whoosah, whoosah, so I don’t slit nobody’s throat/ Aw, it ain’t my fault, homie, thought he had the juice/ Bash a nigga face in, watch the blood leak/ Put my ear where his jaw was, tell a nigga to speak/ Standing in a monsoon of cool, karma is my armor/ Was only scared of my father"
In “Unfuckwittable” and “Immortal,” Cudi oozes with braggadocio rhymes but he is always at his best when he’s self-reflective. In “Burn Baby Burn,” he addresses his previous issues with drugs:
"Been the nigga sittin in hell in fresh ass clothes/ I know what it feels like to have a broken nose/ And ain’t nobody hit you in it/ It’s really cause that shit you snorted and put all in it/ That time you thought I was finished, no I just experimented/ And it helped me adjust and be okay with being demented"
More than a lyricist, Kid Cudi is establishing himself as a producer. His skill behind the boards especially shines through when he is paired with someone else on the track. RZA makes a stellar appearance on the Wu Tang Clan homage “Beez.” Too $hort helps Cudi pay ode to the opposite sex in “Girls.” Father John Misty uplifts the chorus in “Young Lady.”
One of the standout tracks from Cudi’s debut album was “Solo Dolo” and Cudi blesses his fans with a sequel, this time recruiting Kendrick Lamar. As always, K.Dot steals the show, which is hard to do since Cudi is as razor sharp as ever. The award for weirdest collaboration goes to “Afterwards” featuring Michael Bolton and King Chip but unsurprisingly on a Kid Cudi album that already took a left turn straight out of the gate, this unusual gathering of the minds fits snuggly in place.
Indicud is a natural transition from WZRD back into the hip-hop realm. Cudi has never been one to remain inside the box and his fourth studio album further proves he will never be contained. Indicud has a crossover appeal that other music genre lovers will enjoy. Cudi seamlessly weaves hip-hop, punk and alternative rock into an 18-track odyssey through space. Though he may not be the wonderful wizard that is Dr. Dre, he’s Kid Cudi and that’s good enough.