“When will I ever learn from the words in my songs?”
This lyric appears in Scott Mescudi’s 2009 track, “Solo Dolo.” At that point in his career, the artist known as Kid Cudi was writing cathartic words and guiding fans through episodes of sadness as Hip-Hop’s “Lonely Stoner.” He connected with human emotion in ways that Hip-Hop artists weren’t expressing prior and garnered a cult-like following. As Mescudi’s fame increased, so did his inherent vulnerabilities, and drug use along with a dark sophomore album followed.
On April 16, Kid Cudi’s fourth album and third solo album, Indicud, hit the shelves. Despite a premature Internet leak and issues getting the album to various stores, the album is expected to maintain significant sales and make mass musical impact.
Why? Because Indicud marks a moment in Scott Mescudi’s musical and personal evolution. The abstract outcast is now the conquering “Lord Of The Sad And Lonely.” Vulnerability has virtually vanquished, mostly because Mescudi now attains free rein as an artist, from lyric to melody to beat to overall production. His entrepreneurial nature has culminated in maximum freedom as well as a self-created music label, Wicked Awesome Records.
“Indicud is definitely a state of mind and it’s going to take a strong person mentally to be able to embrace it, and I just hope that all my fans that knew me since day one have grown with me,” Mescudi told Complex Magazine on April 16. “That’s all I ever wanted. I wanted us to all grow and reach a place of peace.”
Mescudi has acquired two types of fans within his cult-like following over the years: The obsessive complainer yearning for the distant sounds of his first album, and the resilient supporter riding emotional waves and searching for peace alongside him. The truest of true fans understand the overcoming of Mescudi’s struggles as an outsider in some way, shape or form.
Cudi has been posting various fan reactions over his Twitter feed since the album leaked, and reactions from both sectors of fans have been apparent. On April 10, he made it clear to his fans that the album supremely touches the latter fan:
“Any one expecting each new release to be like one of my previous albums will never be satisfied,” he said over Twitter. “When u grow, some people get left behind.”
That growth is apparent in both the lyrics and production of Indicud. The album is a blend of his previous works, intertwining the melodies heard in Man On The Moon: The End Of Day, epically expediting the dark tones of Man On The Moon II: The Legend Of Mr. Rager, fusing guitar riffs and progressive rhythms from his Rock project, WZRD, and features quick-witted raps from his mixtape days.
Indicud immediately commences with a dark yet epic intro lasting nearly three minutes, and fades into a quote by Macaulay Culkin in the film “The Good Son.”
"Once you realize you can do anything, you’re free… you could fly."
The album truly feels like it takes off from there, bringing you into an entrancing track similar in sound to Cudi’s WZRD project titled “Unf*ckwittable.” Mescudi’s confidence shines in the chorus and escalates as the album progresses.
Singles “Just What I Am,” “Girls” and “Immortal” show that confidence through pure energy and unconventional sounds. “Immortal” serves as the album’s anthem, similar to “Pursuit of Happiness” in his first album and “Mr. Rager” in his second. The production makes the song feel larger than life, and his words reveal the same.
From this track on, Mescudi showcases his new production skills with features from Kendrick Lamar, Too $hort, Haim, RZA, King Chip, A$AP Rocky and Michael Bolton. As the second half of the 18-track album progresses, Mescudi’s liberation transforms into uncommon moments of self-indulgence and flaunting pride.
But it’s not narcissistic. It’s triumphant. It’s inspiring. The incessantly energetic Indicud is an authentic achievement in the pursuit of happiness. For the truest of true Kid Cudi fans, this is what they’ve been waiting for all along.
He has learned from the words in his songs.
Clayton Terry is a student at Sacramento State University majoring in Communications. He writes about sports and music for two websites: hazyperspective.tumblr.com and sportsfanexperience.com. You can follow Clayton on Twitter at twitter.com/lionheartedhaze.