05/14/13 06:07 PM Filed in: Video Vixens
Kid Cudi's third studio
album takes listeners on a dark, psychedelic journey
through the artist's psyche. Cudi is known for
pushing the envelope with his music and aims to
reinvent himself after each release. He took complete
control of this album by essentially writing and
producing the entire project, which is a feat
unbeknownst to most rap/hip-hop artists.
While Indicud hasn't won Cudi any new fans amongst
critics, it certainly has warranted him respect. The
focal point of this album is whether Cudi can create
an entire musical project by himself. Hence, you have
extended instrumentals and tracks where he may take
the backseat in lyrics and focus on production. This
is most apparent when he collaborates with
rhymeslayer Kendrick Lamar on "Solo Dolo Part II".
While Lamar brings consistent lyrical fire
("Eternity, no such thing as time will tell /
Infirmary, burn like magnetic combustion / Bad credit
with me, and paramedics are hustling"), Cudi produces
rather uninspiring lyrics ("Searching all day in the
streets for DMT / Don't sip it, though -- it couldn't
answer / Drip, drip all day -- bumping' MGMT,
homie"). Granted, it is difficult to hang with the
likes of a superior wordsmith, such as Lamar, but
Cudi could have given us a bit more substance.
One of the albums best moments comes from the
lead single, "Just What I Am", which is reminiscent
of various Cudi throwbacks of quirky stoner jams.
King Chip delivers a solid sixteen, and the hazed
party beat helps masks Cudi's deficiencies on the
mic. Juxtapose this against "Unfuckwitable," and
listeners can understand why the album is such a
bumpy experience. A grimy beat with amateur guitar
playing collides with the deliberately un-melodic
singing. Cudi's got passion, but when he's calling
out "Woahhhhhh!", he's terribly tone deaf, and I
can't push play fast enough.
"Young Lady" is cut from the same cloth as "Erase
Me," but achieves the "rock 'n' rap" feel Cudi is
known for. To those who cannot stand the wailing
(me), it will infuriate. This distribution is
followed fairly evenly throughout the rest of the
record: "Red Eye" is a melodic gem, "Solo Dolo Part
II" is a love/hate affair, and the hook on "Girls"
should have never happened--actually the entire song
could have been cut. Too $hort is damn near
50--definitely too old for all that; however, there
are solid features from Lamar, A$AP Rocky, the RZA,
and King Chip which makes for a strong guest list
that oftentimes masks Cudi's deficiencies.
Though Indicud isn't the best we've received from Kid
Cudi, it definitely shows that he's trying to
cultivate and hone is sound. We have to reward him
for his boldness because there are since great
moments on the album. Though this wasn't a personal
favorite, I can appreciate the fact that Cudi was
trying to create an original, fresh, and unique album
without the creative constraints of a label.