Thursday, August 27, 2009

Mixtape: Kid Cudi - A Kid Named Cudi (July 17, 2008)

Kid Cudi - A Kid Named Cudi

For the first mixtape review, we delve into the official Kid Cudi mixtape.

Kid Cudi is a 25 year old artist from Cleveland. He hasn't released an album yet, but has a mixtape (this one) and has dropped two singles, one of them features both Kanye West AND Common. This early in his career, you know that he's pretty good, or did he some favors for some pretty important people.

His most known song was his debut single "Day 'n' Nite", which dropped February 2008 and became a hit over the internet. It has had remixes featuring artists such as Jim Jones, Styles P, K'naan, Collie Buddz, and others.

After "Day 'n' Nite" was released, anticipation built up for his debut mixtape, which dropped July 17th, 2008. I got into it late in the game, downloading it November 15th (according to my iTunes). I listened to it that night, wasn't so sure. I pretty much only played the catchy-as-fuck "Day 'n' Nite" and tucked the mixtape away for another day.

Fast forward to April when a friend asks me for Cudi recomendations. I take a second listen to A Kid Named Cudi... and this time it clicked. I thouroughly enjoyed it and have listened to it several times since.

With Cudi's album dropping soon, I felt it was a good idea to take another listen to this mixtape in anticipation, and to do a review on it.

Here we go...

1. Intro
A simple hip-hop intro set in a movie theater with people talking as the movie begins... then we head into the mixtape.

2. Down & Out
Produced by OutKast

To begin, Cudi swipes the beat for "Chonkyfire" from OutKast's Aquemini to great results. The first time I listened to the mixtape, I must've not been paying attention as I completely missed the fact he was on the "Chonkyfire" beat. The second listen was a quick "WHAT THE FUCK?!" moment, followed by marking out as this example of beat-jacking is amazing.

3. Is There Any Love? (feat. Wale)
Produced by Emile

Fellow hip-hop up-and-comer Wale drops by (he has an album coming out soon, and a mixtape set to be reviewed sometime). The song is a bit slow, compared to the "Chonkyfire" beat jacking beforehand. I'd also say that Wale (pronounced Wah-lay and not Whale) actually shows up his host, delivering the best verse.

4. CuDi Get
Produced by J Dilla

Cudi hops on the beat for J Dilla's "Wild" off of the Ruff Draft EP. As such, Kid Cudi sounds pretty fucking good over a Dilla beat. If he hopped on one from Donuts, though...

5. Man on the Moon (The Anthem)
Produced by NOSAJTHING

I love this song. I really like when Cudi does songs like this and "Mr. Solo Dolo", both of which are fucking amazing. I've been playing this like crazy on my iPod lately.

6. The Prayer
Produced by Plain Pat

Based around the "Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep Prayer" (that would be the prayer mentioned in the title). I like how Cudi takes a shot at Flo-Rida and his song "Low" ("If I slip away, if I die today, the last thing you remember won't be about some Apple Bottom jeans with the boots with the fur"). That's kinda ballsy on your debut mixtape. Near the end of the track, you can detect the "Day N Nite" beat, allowing the mixtape to seemlessly transition into Cudi's biggest song to date...

7. Day N Nite
Produced by Dot Da Genius

Also known as my ringtone. This song is catchy as fuck. I'll listen to it once and it'll be stuck in my head for a couple days (and nights, nice pun, rite?).

8. Embrace the Martian
Produced by Crookers
Crookers, the Italian DJ duo that made a techno remix for "Day 'n' Nite", come by to provide Cudi the beat for a pretty good song.

9. Maui Wowie
Produced by Guerilla Tek & McKlezie
Cudi steals the beat for southern group Grind Mode's "I'm So High" and pens a song to his favorite strand of weed, Maui Wowie, which apparently is in Hawaii. I wouldn't know. It's pretty catchy, but fails in comparison when you place it up against previous songs such as "Down & Out" or "Man on the Moon (The Anthem)".

10. 50 Ways to Make a Record
Produced by Emile & Plain Pat
Cudi jacks Paul Simon's "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover" and decides to pen it about making a record... instead of leaving a lover. It's slow and soft, but for some reason it kinda bores me. But then again, that could be fact I'm really fucking tired, but I wanna finish this review tonight.

11. Whenever
Produced by Andre 3000
Continuing the streak of beat-jacking, Cudi digs back into the south and pulls out Andre 3000's "Pink & Blue", off The Love Below, from the Speakerboxxx/The Love Below double album OutKast put out. Cudi's jacking produces good results

12. Pillow Talk
No idea who produces this. I don't care enough, I'm not a big fan of this.

13. Save My Soul (The CuDi Confession)
Produced by Danger Mouse
The beat-jacking continues! This time, Cudi takes Gnarls Barkley's "Save My Soul". This actually sounds pretty good. I appreciate the fact he kept Cee-Lo's chorus in his version.

14. T.G.I.F. (feat. Chip tha Ripper)
See track #12 for the producer. Chip tha Ripper would be another rapper from Cleveland, Ohio, who, according to, has dropped plenty of mixtapes for you to enjoy, if you feel like checking him out. I don't, though, since he had a meh appearance. Overall, this song is pretty meh.

15. CuDi Spazzin'
Produced by The Neptunes
Cudi hops on N.E.R.D.'s "Spaz" to awesome results. I've said that before, haven't I? I think I have.

16. Cleveland is the Reason
Produced by Dot da Genius
Dot da Genius, the producer of "Day N Nite" drops back for a decent song. That's all I got.

17. Heaven at Nite
Produced by Ratatat
The final song. Blah, blah, it sounds good.

Conclusion: You should go find a link for this. Somewhere, there's a download for A Kid Named Cudi, and it shouldn't be hard to find. You should also cop Man on the Moon: The End of Day, dropping September 15th. I'm gonna, and you should too.

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