How did you get the name Kid Cudi?
My last name is Mescudi and I just chopped it in half and put the kid in front of it because I started off rapping young. I also thought it was a timeless name even though I’m 25. ‘Kid’ sounds like a really fresh thing that explains my personality.
Would you say you’re like a kid at heart then?
What’s the most childish thing you’ve done?
I’m always silly. I’m really like a goof troop. Every day I do something childish.
How do you define what you do? Are you a rapper, musician or an artist?
I’m this guy who moves off of straight honesty and creativity. I just let the music tell me what to do.
You mentioned in a previous interview that you want to be around for decades. How do you think you’ll achieve this?
I look at it as quality over quantity that’s how I’m going to achieve it. Not making 20 albums but by making a solid three or four that will last a lifetime.
What in your opinion is a successful artist?
Someone who is very true to themselves and is very prolific with creating and putting out music.
Are there any artists in mind that do that for you?
Snoop Dogg is one of my favourite artists. He’s one of the most creative artists to date.
Is there anyone you look up to in the industry?
I look up to everybody who came before me and paved the way whether it be Jay-Z or Noreaga. I just really respect all those who came before me because those are the guys I came up listening to.
Why should people listen to your music?
With my music, I feel like it’s defined by “being true to yourself”. Definitely the things that I touch on people can relate to. It has something for everyone.
When you’re grey and old, what would you like to be remembered for?
My honesty, my positive spirit in the face of turmoil. I want people to realise I was as human as possible.
Is honesty a big thing for you?
Yeah man, because there’s not enough of it. Sometimes, the music industry is such an illusion. People forget that there are some artists that spit true to life.
Why do you think first impressions are so important for an artist?
It’s just that first impressions are important to life in general. You get that one shot to give off a great first impression and it could make or break you.
Why do think hip hop is so judgmental?
That’s because for decades hip hop was based on ignorance. It’s fizzling out but it hasn’t phased out completely, there are still remnants of it. But if my album is successful it will help destroy all the ignorance. That’s because I’m not your typical hip hop artist.
What is your dream?
This! This is my dream and I’m living it.
What is the best advice that you’ve been given by someone else?
My dad told me to keep my head up. When I was younger I used to walk around with my head down a lot. But ever since he told me to do that I’ve been doing it ever since.
What has made you who you are today?
Everything before this day, my life up until this point. I’m a kid who’s lived off and grown off experiences. I learn from my mistakes.
Kid Cudi’s debut album Man on the Moon: The End of Day is out now
Words by Denise Kodia