matt agosta is a kid in a candy store …
Ever since he dropped his first solo album under Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music label in 2009, Cleveland-born rapper Kid Cudi has been a force in the rap game. That record, Man on the Mood: The End of Day, was certified gold and received huge critical acclaim — with many people calling it a classic. Since then Cudi has been releasing music that his core fanbase eats up but nothing has seen the critical or commercial success of his debut record. Then there was his last released WZRD. This album had fans more than skeptical about Kid since he moved away from his hip-hop roots and created an alternative-pop rock album. That album wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t what Cudi’s fans had grown to expect from him. Now with his third solo album Indicud, Cudi is back in the world of hip-hop but still finds ways to be experimental.
Cudi opens the album with a dark sounding instrumental called “The Resurrection of Scott Mescudi,” a great introduction to what’s to come on the rest of the album. As the album continues tracks like “Unfuckwittable,” “Just What I Am,” “Young Lady,” and “King Wizard” delivers powerful and catchy hooks that his true fans as well new fans will love. These aren’t the most lyrical tracks ever, but Cudi has never been known for that. His flow and his ability to craft hooks makes you forget that the bars aren’t the greatest ever. The most lyrical track on the album is part two of the popular “Solo Dolo” which features lyrical master Kendrick Lamar. If you’re a die-hard hip-hop fan and can’t get past Cudi’s unique sound, there still no denying “Solo Dolo Part II” is fire from start to finish.
The halfway point of the album is another instrumental called “New York City Rage Fest” which is much more EDM than it is hip-hop, and your opinions on the genre will determine if you can enjoy it or not. Standouts on the second half of the album are definitely “Red Eye,” “Beez,” “Brothers” and “Cold Blooded” where once again Cudi kills it on the hooks and song concepts. The second to last track is a nine-minute song called “Afterwards (Bring Your Friends)” which is surprisingly assisted by Michael Bolton. “Afterwards” is another EDMish sounding track that really drags on and I still can’t figure out why it had to be nine minutes long. The album ender “The Flight of the Moon Man” is a disappointing way to end the album because it just kind of fades out. When I listen to albums I prefer the last track to recapture the attention it got when the album started, or even put one of the best tracks last, but with this album, it is not the case.
One thing that must be mentioned about the album is that Cudi did something he has never done before on any of his projects — he produced the entire thing. The beats and samples he uses are perfect for his sound and what he wants his music to say, and it is clear that while he was away from hip-hop, he’s been perfecting his production. The beats are a mixed bag of hip-hop stuff and a more mainstream electronic sound — but they all capture who Kid Cudi is as an artist. Another thing Cudi does really well that a lot of other hip-hop artists lack today is the ability to pick features. He doesn’t overload the album with artists, but instead he is careful about who appears on certain tracks and gets the perfect artist for each one. Kendrick Lamar, RZA, Michael Bolton, and A$AP Rocky all do their best to help complement the Kid Cudi sound.
Overall, Indicud is what Kid Cudi is now, a hip-hop artist who is strongly influenced by many other types of genres and can easily flow between whichever sounds he is feeling at the time. Cudi is a much different artist than the one we heard when he first released his solo debut, but that is in no way a bad thing.