Kid Cudi, Indicud

Dan Hyman

By Dan Hyman

on 04.18.13 in Reviews


Kid Cudi

“Niggas thinking I’m living life paranoid,” Kid Cudi says early on his third album, Indicud. He’s done a lot to cultivate this perception: The rapper’s persona — solitary stoner-turned-cocaine-addict-turned-bedroom philosopher — has been delivered to us as one long-form soliloquy to a shrink. But if his 2009 debut, Man on the Moon: The End of Day, and the following year’s equally soul-spilling effort together form one long-winded tale of woe, the singing/rapping emcee’s self-produced new effort, teeming with guests, feels a deliberate attempt to show he’s emerged from the deep unscathed.

An attempt to show he’s emerged from the deep unscathed

There are still classic Cudi confessionals here (“I just experimented and it helped me adjust” he says of his well-publicized drug troubles atop brooding bass on “Burn Baby Burn”), and stabs at musical innovation — see the puzzling four-song, mid-album instrumental interlude. But Indicud thrives when at its most forthright and simplistic: “Just What I Am,” typical weed-praising fare, bangs with Cudi’s best. Dude’s curatorial chops are also top-notch: Kendrick Lamar kills on the staccato-pulsating standout “Solo Dolo Pt. II,” A$AP Rocky and King Chip exchange biting barbs on “Brothers” and the HAIM sisters complement Cudi’s trademark catharsis-inducing moan on “Red Eye.” Kid Cudi remains hip-hop’s resident weirdo, albeit a noticeably more self-assured and socialized one.