Music

Kid Cudi: Indicud

Back with his first solo effort in over two years, Kid Cudi gets back to his famously atmospheric style of rap. Indicud is an album that is sure to please the Kid Cudi fanbase.


Kid Cudi

Indicud

Label: Wicked Awesome / G.O.O.D. / Republic
US Release Date: 2013-04-16
UK Release Date: Import
Amazon
iTunes

The kid named Cudi has never been one for conformity. Since stepping into the mainstream music spotlight just a few years ago, Kid Cudi hasn't been afraid to push the envelope and experiment with his music, fusing elements of electronic, pop, and punk rock into a sound that ultimately falls under the rap/hip-hop label. This bold approach to making music has created two extreme standpoints for fans. While some laud Kid Cudi as a savior bringing a unique style to a genre they've become bored with, others renounce the unfamiliar sound. One side connects with Cudi's personal stories, while the opposition is annoyed by his sometimes self-loathing lyrics. Indicud is an album that feels right at home in Kid Cudi's discography and isn't likely to sway a listener from one end of the spectrum to the other.

Back with his first solo effort in over two years, Kid Cudi's Indicud gets back to the eclectic sound displayed on the first two entries of the Man on the Moon series. Cudi knows how to make a deeply atmospheric album. The heavy drums and melodic synthesizers take you on a guided tour through Kid Cudi's mind. The energy and tone of Indicud is a bit lighter than Cudi's previous two albums, but the dark, signature sound is far from absent. A number of tracks have a very mellow, and somewhat brooding style, such as "Lord of the Sad and Lonely" in which he addresses the fans who have been in the same position as him.

Indicud shows a proper balance of light and dark, though. The first full song of the album is "Unfuckwittable", pushing an image of empowerment into the uplifting anthem "Just What I Am" that follows. What makes Indicud different from Kid Cudi's previous efforts is that he handled the production almost entirely on his own. Cudi has apparently taken the familiar sounds he has used while collaborating with producers in the past and found a way to master it himself and put his own spin on things. It's an impressive task, especially considering that you've never seen Scott Mescudi listed by himself in the production credits of a song. In fact, the beats on this album are solid at the very least. It's nice to see the diversity in Kid Cudi's game, and it'll be interesting to see how he flexes his production skills in the future. It's just a small task that makes it easier to appreciate Indicud as a piece of art, as Kid Cudi had full control over the direction of this album.

Kid Cudi has never been the rapper who aims to wow the listener with complex wordplay or overly impressive multisyllabic rhyming. Cudi's charm as an emcee comes from how relatable he is to some people. He has gained a fanbase of people that have experienced similar stories to the ones he tells through his music. Cudi has never been one to put on a show and pretend to be something he's not. On all his albums, now including Indicud, Kid Cudi offers an introspective insight into his emotions through his honest lyrics.

Indicud offers some divergence by way of a few guest appearances. Kid Cudi grabs fellow Cleveland rapper King Chip for three tracks, delivering an enticing display of the chemistry between the two. A$AP Rocky joins the pair for one of the standout tracks of Indicud, "Brothers". I wouldn't be surprised if this song is pushed as the album's next single. It has the makings of a hit. RZA makes an appearance on "Beez", a Kid Cudi beat on which Kid Cudi doesn't appear for anything more than a short hook. RZA does his thing with the beat and provides a nice variation in the middle of the album when things might start feeling stale. Many took notice of "Solo Dolo Pt. II" when the Indicud track listing was first released, seeing that Kendrick Lamar would be featured. Like the original "Solo Dolo", the sequel features a sample of the Menahan Street Band, though the beat doesn't turn out all that well. Both Cudi and Kendrick come off sounding out of place on the beat, and Kendrick at this point feels like he's just jumping on a song with anyone who will pay his price, and he's not putting that much effort into any of the verses.

At it's best, Indicud delivers catchy, meaningful tunes with a cinematic quality in the way that the'’re delivered. However, the album isn't able to consistently hold this level of gratification over its entire course. At times, certain tracks dip down from being deliciously ambient to being just uninteresting. While Kid Cudi is a much better producer than many would've expected, he doesn't have quite the same touch that some of the top guys in the industry do. There isn't much progression in the music from the start of a song to the end of it, and while it isn't always a necessity, a lack of much variety becomes noticeable on focused listens. If you've heard a Kid Cudi album before, you probably know what you're going to get from Indicud, and for those who have been patiently awaiting his latest release, that's great news. Indicud features some of Kid Cudi's best songs to date, and is an overall enjoyable listen from start to finish.

6

So far J. J. Abrams and Rian Johnson resemble children at play, remaking the films they fell in love with. As an audience, however, we desire a fuller experience.

As recently as the lackluster episodes I-III of the Star Wars saga, the embossed gold logo followed by scrolling prologue text was cause for excitement. In the approach to the release of any of the then new prequel installments, the Twentieth Century Fox fanfare, followed by the Lucas Film logo, teased one's impulsive excitement at a glimpse into the next installment's narrative. Then sat in the movie theatre on the anticipated day of release, the sight and sound of the Twentieth Century Fox fanfare signalled the end of fevered anticipation. Whatever happened to those times? For some of us, is it a product of youth in which age now denies us the ability to lose ourselves within such adolescent pleasure? There's no answer to this question -- only the realisation that this sensation is missing and it has been since the summer of 2005. Star Wars is now a movie to tick off your to-watch list, no longer a spark in the dreary reality of the everyday. The magic has disappeared… Star Wars is spiritually dead.

Keep reading... Show less
6

This has been a remarkable year for shoegaze. If it were only for the re-raising of two central pillars of the initial scene it would still have been enough, but that wasn't even the half of it.

It hardly needs to be said that the last 12 months haven't been everyone's favorite, but it does deserve to be noted that 2017 has been a remarkable year for shoegaze. If it were only for the re-raising of two central pillars of the initial scene it would still have been enough, but that wasn't even the half of it. Other longtime dreamers either reappeared or kept up their recent hot streaks, and a number of relative newcomers established their place in what has become one of the more robust rock subgenre subcultures out there.

Keep reading... Show less
Theatre

​'The Ferryman': Ephemeral Ideas, Eternal Tragedies

The current cast of The Ferryman in London's West End. Photo by Johan Persson. (Courtesy of The Corner Shop)

Staggeringly multi-layered, dangerously fast-paced and rich in characterizations, dialogue and context, Jez Butterworth's new hit about a family during the time of Ireland's the Troubles leaves the audience breathless, sweaty and tearful, in a nightmarish, dry-heaving haze.

"Vanishing. It's a powerful word, that"

Northern Ireland, Rural Derry, 1981, nighttime. The local ringleader of the Irish Republican Army gun-toting comrades ambushes a priest and tells him that the body of one Seamus Carney has been recovered. It is said that the man had spent a full ten years rotting in a bog. The IRA gunslinger, Muldoon, orders the priest to arrange for the Carney family not to utter a word of what had happened to the wretched man.

Keep reading... Show less
10

Aaron Sorkin's real-life twister about Molly Bloom, an Olympic skier turned high-stakes poker wrangler, is scorchingly fun but never takes its heroine as seriously as the men.

Chances are, we will never see a heartwarming Aaron Sorkin movie about somebody with a learning disability or severe handicap they had to overcome. This is for the best. The most caffeinated major American screenwriter, Sorkin only seems to find his voice when inhabiting a frantically energetic persona whose thoughts outrun their ability to verbalize and emote them. The start of his latest movie, Molly's Game, is so resolutely Sorkin-esque that it's almost a self-parody. Only this time, like most of his better work, it's based on a true story.

Keep reading... Show less
7

There's something characteristically English about the Royal Society, whereby strangers gather under the aegis of some shared interest to read, study, and form friendships and in which they are implicitly agreed to exist insulated and apart from political differences.

There is an amusing detail in The Curious World of Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn that is emblematic of the kind of intellectual passions that animated the educated elite of late 17th-century England. We learn that Henry Oldenburg, the first secretary of the Royal Society, had for many years carried on a bitter dispute with Robert Hooke, one of the great polymaths of the era whose name still appears to students of physics and biology. Was the root of their quarrel a personality clash, was it over money or property, over love, ego, values? Something simple and recognizable? The precise source of their conflict was none of the above exactly but is nevertheless revealing of a specific early modern English context: They were in dispute, Margaret Willes writes, "over the development of the balance-spring regulator watch mechanism."

Keep reading... Show less
8
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 Popmatters.com. All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.

rating-image