Revisiting Mr. Rager: KiD CuDi’s “Cudi Get” and “Day ‘N Nite Crookers RMX” reflections on Wiz, Cudi, once indie artists


[Unreleased Alternative Hip-Hop:] KiD CuDi – CuDi Get

[Sample:]
Gimme more… Uh-huh!
Come on [people], feel the noize…. / Girls, rock your boys
We’ll get wild, wild, wild. WILD WILD WILD!! (Yeeaah!)

[LINK: My review of CuDi’s latest EP Satellite Flight: The Journey to Mother Moon

The Throwback Session [Real Hip-Hop:]
For our next throwback segment we go to spacey moon-man, psychedelic funk master, borderline bipolar rapper and rock-star KiD CuDi. Cudi’s musical genius and prowess shouldn’t ever be slept on. Kicking dope rhymes since 2007 the differenter rapper has been hot long before Day ‘N Nite. On “Cudi GetCudi kicks it old school with a relaxed, catchy head-bobbing beat. The sample here could not have fit better. Cudi uses no other than the legend J Dilla’sWild” as a sample. This masterpiece itself is originally sampled from version of the classic rock song “Cum On Feel the Noize” by Neil Innes & Son.

The result is an interesting flip on the “we get wild/wild/wild” chorus of the original that matches the laidback hip-hop beat. For some reason this song really reminds me of a winter wonderland or something…
Maybe it’s the kid at the end yelling “And that’s the end of my sleighing song!

Though some may say Cudi may be more “mainstream” these days, who isn’t? I’ve got nothing but love for the Moon Man, he has made some of the most inspiring music that I have heard and felt a connection to…ever. Cudi throughout his career has touched many chords with people like me for being that “different, weird” guy, the “smart, dorky” rapper, the outer-space head, stoner and briefly, coco-indulger. Mr. Rager‘s struggles with life, his family, kid, friends, drugs, past loves, depression and medications are laid out on the table in a way not pitying, but more relatable and as something to learn from. This is in stark contrast to say, Joe Budden whose works (at least around 2008-2009) were much more “I’m whining because I’m depressed!! Aaaah I’m depressed cause I’m not good enough…blah..blah..blah” He had some banging beats but no lyrics that people wanted to hear. If you’re gonna rap about being depressed or down and out, at least make it interesting or funny… not just…sad.


One of the best tracks off of Wiz’s self-released EP: Deal or No Deal

I went out and bought Wiz’s Deal or No Deal, and still have no regrets. It felt good to support an artist I knew was going to make it big once enough people heard his sound. Most of his fans today are preoccupied with Wiz’s new songs, or only know his radio bangers (a la Black & Yellow; We Dem Boyz), but Wiz has been churning hits and industry shaking releases since around 2005Deal or No Deal was his first independently-released album, meaning Wiz had a lot of control over the album and you can really hear it in its sound.

It’s smooth, it’s polished, its got that laid-back stoner vibe Wiz was originally known for and wasn’t anything too flashy. Compare to his following EP Rolling Papers, an album that while good, had more than a few songs the label probably forced Wiz to do and just had more songs that did not match his previous style. Wiz later commented in an interview, after the interviewer commented Wiz had said “[he had] wrote a couple lines about [Rolling Papers] in which you[Wiz] said, ‘maybe [if I had more control], [I] would have done things differently [with the album].” Leading Wiz to explain to the interviewer that his true fans would stick with him and should know that album was like an “experiment” and that his long-term success could not be predicted from a single album (and his first on a major label). Wiz predicted his future right as shortly after Rolling Papers he began to soar in popularity: Papers‘ “Roll Up” was a mainstream-hit, “Rooftops” with Curren$y became a rap classic, and “On My Level” featuring Too $hort became a party-favorite. This interview was later sampled in one of Wiz’s mixtape songs as an outro.

He was a Pittsburgh treasure/secret, and peeping his early mixtapes (How Fly, Show and Prove, etc.) showed me that Wiz would be an artist to watch. Like Kid Cudi and Dot Da Genius, Wiz also had a very creative synergism with his main producer and others of his crew, like Chevy Woods, Sledgren and Jeremy “I.D. Labs.” Though I am no where near the fan of Wiz as I was back in 2008, after watching him show up on radio, then TV, then the numerous concerts around Atlanta (he performed at The Masquerade a ways back and a few years later performed with Young Jeezy at Emory University. I snuck into that show and ultimately my favorite performance of his before I considered him as the superstar he is now. Kush & Orange Juice launched his career and his performance with Juicy J [at Atanta’s Masquerade] proved that “bands” will make her dance! (Below is another one of Wiz’s hit “indie” songs before he blew up) “In the Cut” sampling Frou Frou‘s “Let Go”.

Cudi has been just about everywhere a musical artist could go. He started indie. The lone black guy trying to come up in the independent rap game, rapping over tracks sampling electronic music akin to the likes of Frou Frou (worth nothing, Wiz later did the same sampling Frou Frou on “In the Cut” from his legendary mixtape release Kush & OJ).

Cudi, the ‘duder’ himself a.k.a. Mr. Rager, and Mr. Moon Man, has come a long way from his days of rapping over spacey, trippy, completely mind blowing beats. Cudi really has 10 x Deep, Plain Pat and a host of other supporters to thank for his jettison into the mainstream. They helped him release his first mixtape Man on the Moon which became one of the most iconic mixtapes of the 2007-2009 era. Smooth vocals over the heavenly ethereal Nosaj Thing sample in “Man on the Moon” is a life-changing song (especially after seeing it live).

Cudi’s rap albums did not disappoint either, though became less and less original than the last. I supported his first full length CD which had some decent new songs, but many from his mixtape. Nonetheless Cudi was fresh, new and looking to be the light of hip-hop. Until he began to start doing more features than actual music (*ahem Kanye, 88 Keys *ahem) and by the time CuDi got back to where and when he could focus on his self, he would release WZRD. An ultimately forgettable mix of “cuder music” with pop/alternative rock, which received very mixed reviews. Kid Cudi’s latest album (reviewed here) was not as bad but still doesn’t live up to the initial hype and promise we were given for a completely different rapper, black man even, one from outer space, who doesn’t mind rapping over a Led Zeppelin sample or focusing on atmospheric sounds over driving EDM beats or common street rap hits and hi-hats.

[Atmospheric Instrumental] Clams Casino – Gorilla // [Dream Music] XXYYXX – DMT | Instrumental Throwbacks


Make sure you do not sleep on these two standout tracks from two of the hottest producers in the music game right now. The first “Gorilla,” comes to us from EDM/chillwave/hip-hop producer Clams Casino, who gained much recognition after producing several songs for Lil’ B and A$AP Rocky (Lil B’s “I’m God and A$AP’s “Wassup”) as well as Mac Miller’s “Angel.” Clams is well known in the hip-hop and electronic community and his beats are revered as being very unique, different, often hauntingly good. His self-released instrumental EP, Rainforest, was very well-received. Featuring original beats and instrumental versions of his tracks artists have rapped over, his instrumental tapes became a series (Instrumentals) which is available fore free from his website.

Our second highlighted producer is a god in the indie music community and is celebrated as one of the most prolific and youngest electronic producer to date. “DMT” is one of XXYYXX’s more atmospheric, entrancing and aurally euphoric instrumentals from his popular sophomore album. XXYYXX first gained popularity following the release of his first album Still Sound and his very successful, influential self-titled EP, XXYYXX in 2012. One of the standout singles “About You” (see below) was extremely popular with its calming yet repeating, expounding beat. The song was so popular that a remix featuring rapper 2 Chainz surfaced shortly after the originals’ release.

[Today’s Throwbacks:] The Roots – Criminal (feat. Truck North & Saigon) [Rap] / [Alternative Rock] Chasing Victory – Oceans Away


Our throwback selection for the day are some tracks from the mid 2000s. First up, released in 2008, we have the ever classic “Criminal” by The Roots with Truck North & Saigon. This is real hip-hop to its fullest, coming out during an era that marked the come-up of conscious, real and meaningful hip-hop (as opposed to snap music and whatever else was on the radio at the time). It was these fandoms of non-mainstream, but current hip-hop rappers that gave fuel to and led to the discovery of some of the games’ biggest names today: Wiz Khalifa, Kid Ink, Lil B, Curren$y, Mikey ‘Sir Micheal’ Rocks, Big K.R.I.T., Action Bronson and more.

Around the time I heard this song I also was shown another good song for real “hip-hop heads”, “The Far Left” by rapper Evidence, produced by and featuring famed producer, The Alchemist and also backed by the very talented Fashawn. The pounding beats drive into a powerful message carried into tonal bliss by a sick sample. The music video even features a very artistic expression of the lyrics as flash cards. Check it out below under my rock throwback highlight.

For Rock, today on shuffle I heard a rock song that takes me back to my high school days. Released in 2005, Oceans Away is characteristic of much of the rock that was coming out during those days. Though some might describe it as a bit emotive, its lyrics and overall sound are very catchy. Don’t get me wrong “emo-rock” back when I was in high school was big, especially with the “rocker” chics and some of the more “scene” kids I used to run with. It was during this stage I discovered Fall Out Boy, Say Anything, Killswitch Engage, Gym Class Heroes, The Receiving End of Sirens, Death Cab for Cutie and many other artists I still at least listen to from time to time, and definitely will always respect and admire their works.

[CON’T from above: “The Far Left (feat. Fashawn & The Alchemist) – Evidence”]