Personally, I think 2011-2016 was the best era in music. So, I have a personal goal to review everything from that time period that had an impact on me. This time around its Kid Cudi’s 2013 album, Indicud. Now, I was a Cudi stan around this time, listening to whatever he dropped or was featured on just to get more of that sound I had never heard before. Hearing “Day N Nite” in the backseat of my Mom’s car was the day my ears fully opened. I couldn’t explain what I had just heard and I didn’t hear what the song was called before it went off but, I wanted to hear 100 more times. The one piano key that repeats throughout the entire song, the clap that sounds like a tambourine, the synth pads that come in mixed with that bass on the hook! Then, at the end when the beat slows all the way down and it turns into an entirely different experience?! I was 8 years old but my mind was blown, I never knew music could sound like that, I was hooked. Fast forward to 2013 and Cudi announced that Indicud was dropping, you can’t begin to imagine how excited I was. From the first singles that dropped I already knew it was going to be a classic. I could never imagine how much I would love this album, though.
Cudi stated that he wanted this album to show a different side of him, a more high-energy and up-tempo version of him that we hadn’t seen a lot of previously. It was apparent that he accomplished this as soon as you get to the second track, “Unf*ckwittable.” It is important to note that Cudi produced every song on this album. His personality shines through his beat making, the guitar on this track are rigid and distorted, the synths are spaced-out and dream-like, then they’ll all come together and form this chaotic, but beautiful masterpiece. Cudi’s vocals are just the icing on the cake. This song sees him trying to find love and happiness no matter what. The sky could fall and touch the ground, but Cudi will continue to search for the good vibes. Those good vibes continue right into “Just What I Am” featuring frequent Cudi-collaborator King Chip FKA Chip Tha Ripper. Now, everything, and I’m not exaggerating here, everything about this song is perfect. The way the intro sounds like you’re opening your eyes to this trippy psychedelic world that Cudi and Chip control, the way the drums and that groovy bassline come in at the same time, when Chip starts rapping a shaker is added behind him?! More and more elements get added throughout the song and it never gets garbled up or becomes overwhelming. Speaking of Chip, this has to be one of the best opening feature verses ever made. The whole verse is fire put this sequence is what makes it for me, “On my way I’m burning kush, n*gga don’t be worried ’bout us, Neighbors knockin’ on the door, asking can we turn it down, I say, ‘Ain’t no music on’, she said, ‘No, that weed is loud,‘” wow. The way the beat cuts in and out makes me melt every time. Then, the chorus comes in and Cudi’s voice mixes with this new synth bass that sounds like a horn section that got glitched out and sent out into space. That hook does something to me, it’s the perfect part of the song to roll your windows down to and press the gas pedal all the way down. I don’t even smoke, but when he says “IIIII NEEEED TOOO SMOOOKE” I’m right there with him, like “wow, me too man.” Cudi and Chip use this song as a form of therapy and an as a way to update their fans on just what they’ve been up to in life. Both verses boil down to: “We’re blessed to live the life we live and even with its up and downs and super downs, we have to keep going. That’s just who we are.” I love how they were able to touch this sober topic, but keep it up-tempo and positive at the same time.
“Immortal” is Cudi in his full element. He sounds like a preacher addressing his congregation, the world is in his hands and he wants us all to know about it. Over a reversed sample of MGMT’s “Congratulations” Cudi explains how he’s found peace and confidence within himself, so much so that he feels immortal. There’s so many songs on this album that just exude this insane amount of confidence and this track might be the best example of that. Cudi sounds strong, the bass punches through the other instrumentation, there’s these gospel claps on the hook mixed with a tambourine hit, the kick drum sounds like stomping feet, going back to the church analogy. Close your eyes and listen to this song and tell me it doesn’t sound like one of those outside revivals. “Girls” is a hilarious song that sees Cudi and Too $hort about, yep you guessed it, girls. This has been done time and time again, and this song isn’t anything crazy. Don’t get me wrong though, it’s still a fire song. The hook is catchy and that beat is so infectious too. I need a counter for how many times I say “synth” in this review, but man the synth stabs on this one? WOW! On the hook they sound so bombastic and groovy that once you hear them, you’ll anxiously waiting for their return.
Okay, this part of the album needs it’s own section because all of these songs sound vastly different than the rest of the album. Starting with “Red Eye,” this track features one of the only co-producer credits on the entire album with Hit-Boy not only co-producing but also added keyboards as well. This song is another favorite of mine, because it’s so hard not to yell that hook. Cudi takes a backseat in order to let HAIM and the production speak for themselves. It’s great, trust me. “Mad Solar” was one that had to grow on me because it has the weirdest beat on here. It sounds goopy, like real sticky gum that gets stuck in your teeth and you can’t get it out. Two sleepers back to back are “Lord Of The Sad And Lonely” and “Cold Blooded.” Wow, both of these songs deserved to be talked about more. LOTSAL sees Cudi at (arguably) his most frustrated and lyrical on the entire album. He’s done with being hated on, he feels underused, but he tries to keep going because he knows he’s awesome and people look up to him for guidance. “Cold Blooded” features one of the absolute grooviest beats Cudi’s ever touched. As soon as that beat drops and that bassline comes in mixed with that shaker your head is bobbing, it’s infectious. Cudi set out to show you that he’s more than just a hook and can actually rap his entire behind off. My absolute favorite part of this song comes at the end of the second verse: “Bash a n*gga face and watch the blood leak, Put my ear where his jaw was, tell a n*gga to speak, Standing in a monsoon of cool, karma is my armor, Was only scared of my father, beyond that I’m COLD!” That part gives me goosebumps every single time I hear it, wow.
This album sees Cudi at his boisterous and it would be a while before we got anything even remotely close to this energy from him. If we’re being honest, this is where my stan-esque love for Cudi stops. After this he dropped three album that I couldn’t love as much as I love this one. I feel like this album came out at the perfect time and encapsulated everything I wanted from a Cudi album, all the ones after that just didn’t hit the points I look for in a Cudi album release. Who knows though? Maybe the future will be better.
Follow DESHAUN: @deshaunstar
Follow BUMMER: @thebummermag