Kid Cudi third rap album Indicud reminds us just how unique and fun the former G.O.O.D. Music artist is, as he rides in and out of the most unique beats you’ll hear all year.
Cleveland’s own Scott Mescudi is not one to just stay in one musical lane. Instead, he is one to morph them into a genre that only Cudi can popularize. His critically acclaimed rap series Man on the Moon showcased his denial of normal, bringing in elements of electronic, horror, spoken word, and alternative music into two incredible albums that I still listen to from time to time. And then there was WZRD, his foray into alternative rock which – at least for me – fell incredibly flat and lacking in any sort of emotion. This left me skeptical in what Indicud would bring to the table. Was it going to go back to MotM type hip hop, or WZRD’s slow and methodical alternative? Well, luckily for us, we get Cudi returning to hip hop, and making a statement doing so.
The first single off of Indicud “Just What I Am” with King Chip is a straight party starter, with a banging back beat that you can just rock to all night. “Mad Solar” has a spacey, open beat that would make this a perfect fit somewhere in the Man on the Moon series. “Brothers” featuring Chip and ASAP Rocky rocks around with a slow beat, and features some of the best verses on the album. And then there’s “Solo Dolo Pt. II” with Kendrick Lamar. The flow, speed, and percussion doesn’t quite resemble to original, but listening to the songs back-to-back gives a sense of completion that just wasn’t there the first time listening to it.
Indicud showcases not only his rapping talents, but his ear for beats and samples. There are a couple of times where Cudi takes a backseat and lets his guests take the song over, like the gorgeous “Red Eye” featuring HAIM and the wonky “Beez” featuring RZA. And his samples are anything than normal, but way too awesome. “Immortal” takes MGMT’s “Congratulations” guitar part and makes it his own, making for one of the most memorable and fun songs on the album. And then there was the Father John Misty sample for “Young Lady.” If anyone could take Misty’s “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings” and make it sound that much better, it’s Cudi. It might just be the sample, but “Young Lady” is probably my favorite song on Indicud.
Though I’ve praised it so far, there are some things worth noting that aren’t so keen. “Unfuckwitable” is the best WZRD song to make it on the album, but besides the chorus, it fell flat as the first song on the album. “Afterwards” with King Chip (for the third time) and Michael Bolton starts out pretty fun an original, but because of its nine minute length, it just bored me right out of the album. And, just to nitpick, the instrumental interludes throughout the album could’ve been more memorable, especially when it opens and closes the album.
This isn’t Cudi’s best outing, but what it does best is reaffirm why I enjoyed him in the first place. Cudi isn’t afraid to push his own, the genres, and music as a whole. If you want Man on the Moon type of songs, stick with those albums. Indicud is a strange and entertaining album that doesn’t hold anything back. The best thing about Indicud , though, is setting us up for more Cudi releases in the future. And now that he is no longer with Kanye and Friends, I hope to get more Cudi as soon as possible.
Final Grade: B+
Go Download: “Young Lady (feat. Father John Misty),” “Just What I Am (feat. King Chip)”