KID CUDI at the Drake Underground (1150 Queen West, 416-531-5042), Saturday (June 14), 2 am. $5, free w/ NXNE wristband (see page 62). Rating: NNNNN
Kid Cudi’s hipster hip-?hop anthem Day N Nite blew up in the clubs long before Fool’s Gold released the single, but that doesn’t mean you should take the lead of lazy rock journalists and assume he’s a MySpace star.
“I don’t know where they’re getting that from, because I didn’t really blow up on MySpace. If you check out my plays, it’s not that crazy,” Cudi explains from Cleveland, where he’s taking a break from touring to visit family and friends.
“I have a comfortable 7,900 friends, but I’m not Tila Tequila or anything. I’m only getting 1,000 plays a day, but I’m not mad, because there were times when I was only getting 20 a day.
“What made me hot was rolling with Fool’s Gold and being a part of something, part of a movement that saw my vision and presented it to an audience I’d never even thought of. I didn’t think the overseas market would get it so quickly or that I’d be poppin’ in the UK before back here at home.”
Day N Nite, with its hypnotic slo-?mo electro-?hop beat anchoring his lazy half-?singing, half-?rapping flow, sounds like a rapper’s impression of new wave (which is much better than a new wave band’s impression of hip-?hop). It falls into a unique little crack between hip-?hop, indie rock and dance music that gels quite well with the vibe Fool’s Gold has been pushing.
Founded by DJ A-?Trak (DMC champ, Kanye West’s tour DJ and kid brother of Chromeo’s Dave 1), the label has been busy making connections between scenes that previously rarely mixed. In fact, before getting hooked up with them, Cudi had no idea there was a waiting market for his outsider hip-?hop.
“I wasn’t familiar with that crowd at all. Being part of Fool’s Gold has broadened my horizons and made me aware of this whole new scene. It’s really ill, because the kids listening to that kind of music seem to be more open-?minded to what I’m trying to deliver, and they’ve been loving it.”
Cudi’s currently working on a full-?length album, and has a mixtape dropping over the summer to satiate some of the demand. While he’s vague about the specifics, expect the upcoming material to further expand his repertoire of styles. Alongside a handful of obscure up-?and-?coming hip-?hop beatsmiths, he’s also excited to bring electro-?house remix kings Crookers on board after being impressed by their bangin’ reworking of Day N Nite on the single.
“These new producers are the way of the future. They’re the ones actually trying to create new sounds to make a name for themselves. Better them than the guys who want to charge me $75,000 for a beat.”
Kid Cudi explains the impact of moving to Brooklyn from Cleveland:
Kid Cudi talks about his songwriting process and his upcoming album: