I just stumbled across a recent Kid Cudi interview with Music Connection that hasn't really surfaced around the internet yet. It's interesting because he discusses his early life in rap when he was in Cleveland, what it was like here, and why he needed to leave. Towards the end of the interview he also very briefly touches on signing King Chip and mentions that he is focusing on getting him where he needs to be. Below you will find these parts of the interview. For the entire thing you can click here. Music Connection: Was there a hip-hop scene in Cleveland when you were coming up? Kid Cudi: Yeah, there was a very small scene that was a dope collection of hip-hop heads, but you had to know about it and ask around. It was on the west side, and it was hard to get a ride over there, but I was always there trying to do these freestyle battles.
you’d give them an original song and they played it with other original songs, and if you win that you get to come back next week and perform the song in a 15 minute set; so you know that was my goal: “Shit I gotta have this dope song, then I gotta go perform!”
MC: Did the scene take to you right away?
Kid Cudi: I would win some competitions and lose some, but when I lost everyone looked at me like I was fuckin’ crazy. They were like, “what the fuck am I listening to?” And, “Who is this dude?” I was always pushing the envelope and trying new things, I went out of my way to find my own voice, and I think that’s how I developed my sound. I was about growth and adventures and living life and seeing what was out there, but I always felt trapped in Cleveland. I’m gonna tell it to you like this, and this might come off crazy, but I was like, “This town ain’t ready for me. Who I am don’t fit here. I need to go where I fit, where I find inspiration.”
MC: But why the Big Apple? Did the fact that it’s the birthplace of hip-hop play a role?
Kid Cudi: Something told me that to start a new chapter I needed to be in New York. Call it instinct or intuition or God looking out for me, I don’t know. I was heavily influenced by New York: its cinema and its hip-hop. And I knew it was a place where I could grow and meet interesting people, because that’s what I was really yearning for. I was pursuing a career in music and going into acting; I wanted to be around people who were like me and there were no people like that in Cleveland. New York is definitely where I shed my skin. New York was like me coming into manhood. I had done road trips, but I was very sheltered and I realized that when I came to New York it was like culture shock. It was intense, but I needed that. I experienced a lot of shit early on that I never experienced in Cleveland that made me a beast in with my business and my hustle.
MC:You’ve got your own imprint now
, Wicked Awesome Records, and recently signed King Chip. Do you see a whole roster of artists in the future?
Kid Cudi: I don’t have that inspiration right now, maybe down the line. I need to focus on Chip, get him where he needs to be. But my label was really designed so I could have control over my own music. It was for me more than anything else. It wasn’t like I was thinking I have to have my own Cash Money Records. I don’t have the time or the patience; I’m already stressed out enough doing my own shit.