Why Kid Cudi Is The Most Important Musical Artist of This Century
By: Alex Marcheschi
Kid Cudi is the most influential musical artist under the age of 40. Many scoff at this notion because Kid Cudi’s music has taken a turn for the depressing in recent years, and he ventured down a path that strayed away from hip hop and wandered into rock music, but his early work set the tone for today’s sound.
When you really sit back and observe the direction rap and pop music has taken, it’s extremely clear that Kid Cudi was at least a decade ahead of his time.
His vibe is now being recreated by nearly every mainstream artist. He made being a “skinny jean rapper” cool during an era when baggy shorts and throwback jerseys were the norm. He essentially invented today’s version of “sing rap”, which obviously existed before Cudi with Andre 3,000 and others, but the laid back, spacey stoner sound had yet to be perfected before he came around. His mellow hustler vibe has been proven to be highly profitable as artists like Chance The Rapper, Justin Bieber, Post Malone, Childish Gambino, Young Thug and many others have taken it to the bank in recent years. Cudi has played vital roles in some of Kanye West and Jay-Z’s most celebrated anthems. From Kanye’s most recent transcendent song…
To one of JAY-Z’s most underrated songs of all-time…
Cudi has been influencing the music industry for years. And, he has provided the world with a healthy serving of his own ballads.
Sadly, like Allen Iverson with tats and a shooting sleeve in the NBA, the first person to blaze a cultural trail often pays the price. Cudi opened the door for many of today’s artists, but he had to struggle to get accepted in the industry, and it led to bouts with drugs and serious depression. For those who question Cudi’s significance, ask yourself this: has anyone else ever made it cool to be from Cleveland? LeBron doesn’t even really claim Cleveland, he makes sure you know he’s from Akron. Cudi has anthems, and he always makes sure to mention Cleveland. Hell, this song had kids buying Indians hats and pretending to be from The Land while I was at Ohio University from 2010-2014.
He’s been in and out of rehab lately, but his hardcore fans still hold out hope that he can come back and continue to set trends in the music industry. He was in the news a few months back after Drake and Kanye took some shots at him, but Kanye later came around and called him “the most influential artist of the last 10 years.” I’m going a step further, he’s the most important musical artist since the turn of the century. Today’s style is selling like hotcakes with sold out show after show and social media shares piling up in the millions. If Cudi didn’t initially knock down the door and make this style of music cool, we’d still be listening to G-Unit.
When the history books are written, something tells me Scott Mescudi will get overlooked. But, former stoner kids and Midwest rap junkies will carry on his legacy to the next generation. Long live Kid Cudi, the father of today’s music industry. As his career in music has proven, sometimes ya gotta do it alone.