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Kid Cudi Steps Out On His Own with “Indicud” (Album Review)

Universal Republic (2013)

Kid Cudi is a rebel, go-against-the-grain kind of artist. He introduced himself as such when he first emerged in 2009 with the smash hit “Day ‘N Nite,” and while he aligned with Kanye West’s GOOD Music label, it became apparent it was Cudi that was influencing West – not vice versa. With a dark, sing-songy style, the Cleveland native has blazed his own trail. It was almost no surprise when he announced just a few weeks ago, with the impending release of new album Indicud, that he had departed GOOD Music.

Indicud is a cohesive self-produced project with 18 tracks chock-full of shifting moods and emotions–a continuation of the sound he offered on the memorable “Creepers” track from GOOD Music’s Cruel Summer compilation. Perhaps the best way to describe it is dirty experimental electronic music, chopped and screwed with a trace of hip-hop.

The opening track, a robotic instrumental dubbed “Resurrection of Scott Mescudi,” sounds like it could be Terminator movie theme music. “Unf**kwittable” sounds like Red Hot Chili Peppers chopped-and-screwed, and its sound should be an acquired taste for most fans. Cudi all but confirms as he moans, “You know that I’m a rebel/Don’t you feel it?”

Just as it becomes apparent that Kid Cudi prefers singing to rapping, he brings out fellow Clevelander King Chip (formerly Chip The Ripper) to handle rapping duties. Chip is serviceable in that regard on “Just What I Am,” although the chorus is awful, as is “Young Lady,” which is just plain weird with a Father John Misty sample on the chorus.

Indicud picks up momentum with the single “Immortal,” which is dark but has an anthemic appeal, and continues through the end. “Solo Dolo Part II” features an intricate verse from Kendrick Lamar, and “Girls” features raps from Too $hort while Cudi indulges in his signature crooning, the same style likely inspired Kanye West to make 808s & Heartbreaks. “Brothers” is a solid hip-hop track dedicated to loyalty among friends and features King Chip and A$AP Rocky, while the driving guitar riff and Michael Bolton (yes, THE Michael Bolton) make “Afterwards (Bring Yo Friends)” easy on the ears despite being over 9 minutes long.

Kid Cudi’s Indicud is an experimental album from an avant-garde artist who enjoys experimenting in his music. It’s one of those records that sounds weird on first listen, if not outright atrocious. But, it may very well be the kind of work that stands the test of time and influences the next generation of artists not averse to experimentation.

 

3.5 / 5 stars     

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About the Author

on MUSIC IS MY OXYGEN WEEKLY.

Slav Kandyba has worked as a journalist for more than a decade for a number of general interest newspapers, a wire service, trade publications and music and culture magazines and websites. Slav is currently a tech reporter for iTechPost.com, and has previously written for The Source and contributed to HipHopDX.com from 2007 until 2011. He began writing about hip-hop in 2006 when a friend challenged him to write about L.A.'s hip-hop scene, and he was one of the first journalists to spotlight Pac Div and U-N-I. Slav is a respected writer covering hip-hop culture and rap and has assisted in organizing events including the One Nation Hip-Hop Summit in Santa Monica, California, which featured a concert with Pete Rock and CL Smooth, and the first annual Academic Hip-Hop Conference at Cal State Northridge.

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Posted in: Album Reviews, Featured, Hip Hop Music


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