Front Page: Kid Cudi Covers Complex’s October/November 2011 Issue
Rapper Kid Cudi is covering the October/November issue of Complex magazine. In the cover story, Cudi talked about being sober, spending time with Kanye West, Wale, his upcoming album and much more. Below are some excerpts:
Our October/November 2011 issue completes Cudi’s Complex hat trick. This year has been filled with change for Cudi—quitting weed, parting ways with some longtime business partners, making up with some old friends, and recording a rock album called The Wizard. Can he keep it all together? Complex Editor-in-chief Noah Callahan-Bever caught up with Cudi to find out where his head is at and where he’s going. The new issue hits stands on October 4, but we’re giving you an early look at the cover story (and extended gallery) now…
Is that drug hangover why you disappeared after you released your second album?
I wanted to clear my head, besides detox. I had to look at the root of the whole problem, and that was work and the business.
As soon as the album was released you disappeared. What did you do?
Hung out with my mom a bit. Went out to L.A., cleared my head. I had a couple shows here and there, but I wasn’t trying to tour.
At the top of the year you seemed to be spending a lot time in New York with Kanye.
I was at another place, another dark place. Me and my girl had broken up. I wasn’t fully healed yet. And being around Kanye and music was my escape. He’s a sober guy, he has a drink every once in a while, but seeing how he throws himself into the studio when he’s stressing about something, I totally admire that. Being around that was therapy for me.
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Speaking of people you don’t fuck with musically, you coined that phrase in Complex last year talking about Wale, but now you guys have peaced it up and you’re doing a feature for him.
Wale is the homie, and I like the record he wants me to get on. This is my redemption for those comments last year. I definitely want people to see that we can create music together.
He’s been talking it up, too. He asked you about finishing up your part the other day—
I know he’s excited. I’m working on it. But I’ve got to do it at the proper time. I haven’t had time and he knows that. I’m happy to do this one, but I’ve been busy touring and working on my project.
Let’s talk about your number one commitment, the Wizard album. What made you want to take a break from the MOTM series to do something different?
After I got off the drugs I was like, I need a fucking hobby. I can’t be chillin’ in the house playing video games all the time. And I can’t be in the clubs, ’cause that led to the disaster. So what am I going to do? Why don’t I try to pick up an instrument?
I always wanted to play guitar. I tried it as a child and failed, tremendously. I tried to play the trumpet, the fucking clarinet, violin. Back then, when you tried that in school they would want you to read sheet music. It wasn’t about, “Can you play by ear?” I’m not one of those musicians.
So I picked up the guitar last fall and I started fiddling with it. It came kind of natural to me. I’m not saying that the first time around I was shredding riffs. But I was able to pick it up and pick, and go up and down the neck, and find melodies. I was like, “Shit, I want to just make jams with this instrument.” It was something that I took very seriously.