XXL interviews Kid Cudi's producer Dot Da Genius. Incase you haven't heard they have formed a band called "Wizards." Continue reading for the entire interview for some information on the band, Cudi's upcoming album, & more.
"Since producing Kid Cudi’s 2008 hit “Day ‘n’ Night”, Dot Da Genius has been Cud’s go-to-guy behind the boards. After lacing the Cleveland MC’s first two albums (2009’s Man on the Moon: The End of the Day and 2010’s Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager) with a couple standout tracks, he and Cudi are teaming up to form the rock duo Wizard, with plans to release an album later this year. We got up with Dot to learn more about the band, he and Cudi’s decision to leave Plain Pat and Emile, and whether the lonely stoner is really giving up smoking and rhyming for good. — Calvin Stovall XXL: Is the creative process for the band any different from when you were working together on Cudi’s solo projects? Dot Da Genius: We’re still kind of trying to find it. I have a very particular kind of voice. To fit it in rock, we’re still trying to figure that out. But as far as creating, we only know one way to create. Whether we’re working on some rap shit, or we’re working on our rock project, we just get in the studio and we just play whatever feels good at the time. And if it takes us somewhere, we go with it. XXL: Do you guys have traditional roles in the band? Like Cudi on vocals, you on the drums, etc… DDG: It’s traditional in that sense. But we’re gonna be moving between instruments. Like Cudi just picked up the guitar. He’s gonna be playing that primarily. And he’s vocals, obviously. And I’ll be playing bass, I’ll be on the drum machine, on the keys. Pretty much we’re like a two-man band in the sense that we create our music; it’s just me and him. Like we play all the instruments and we’re actually creating the songs, but when we hit the road we’ll probably add like another guitarist or somethin’, a drummer. XXL: No one knows what to expect from the Wizard sound. Is it different sonically from Cudi’s previous stuff? DDG: It’s not too far off. It’s more rock driven. Like, we really just digested music and just really use the guitar— like every record pretty much started with a guitar, some type of guitar riff. just really centered the music around the guitar and we just built around it. The actual tone, like with Cudi he shows little shades of it in his music, but he’s just doin’ it full on, on this album. Like he’s really taking it there. No raps. It’s just gonna be straight music XXL: Will Plain Pat and Emile be involved in this project at all? DDG: Well, Cudi is not working with them from a management standpoint. Musically, everybody’s still cool. Emile still works— not more so on our rock project, that’s pretty much just me and — but he’s still very much around musically. It’s still there. It’s just on that front, they had a disconnect. XXL: What was that disconnect? Did it have to do with the sales of Cudi’s last album, Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager? DDG: Honestly I can’t speak for their situation. I just know that there was issues on both ends, frustrations. And you just get to a point where you feel like you can handle stuff on your own and you can direct your own career. So, I don’t even know what the issue was, but it definitely didn’t have to do with the success of the album. XXL: Is this Wizard project an experimental thing? Or is this the kind of music we can expect from now on? DDG: Um, I think we’re pretty much— right now, this is the focus. This sound that we’re trying to create, the focus is what we want to build on and capitalize on and keep doing. But Cudi still spits. He’s still an MC. So, we’re still gonna be putting out Kid Cudi music. He’s still gonna be rapping. There’s gonna shades of him doing that on certain songs, but for this particular project, it’s just gonna be a different style, a whole different type of essence. XXL: So the reports that he’s done rapping aren’t true? DDG: Nah, not at all, not at all. He was getting some bars off actually on a lot of records that he’s doin’ with ‘Ye. And he’s actually spitting. And I’m just so happy because there was a lot of doubters on his talent level as an MC. But he really be spittin’. When he gets in that zone he really be goin’ off. So, he’s gonna show that off, I know. We still creatin’. So I know we definitely gonna put some real hip-hop out in a little bit. XXL: He’s not giving up rapping, but what’s good with the tweet he made last week about giving up smoking weed? DDG: It was just a conscious decision that he made…He was in a place where he felt he wanted to be more focused on his stuff. So, one day he was just like, “I don’t smoke no more.” And it was like, “Oh shit, word?” And he really sticks with it. So he definitely chilled out on that front. Like, he’s definitely not smokin’ nowhere the amounts of what he was before… It was a little while in the makin’. Before he announced it on Twitter he had been quit for a little bit. It’s just somethin’ that he just wanted to do for himself. XXL: Have you noticed any changes in him since he quit? DDG: He’s way more attentive. He sees stuff. He sees things that maybe he wouldn’t have seen. He’s more focused and he’s just more driven. And he’s a lot more about his business and he’s just more of a focused individual."