Dec 1, 2021: Kid Cudi daps up Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Darius Garland after the Cavs won against the Miami Heat.
Credit: Cleveland Cavaliers
Kid Cudi, left, daps up Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Darius Garland after the Cavs won against the Miami Heat, Dec. 1, 2021.

A kid from Cleveland - Kid Cudi edition

Award-winning artist Kid Cudi has had a successful career so far, with an abundance of skills under his belt. His many accomplishments and tough upbringing has made him into the creative he is today.

Scott Ramon Seguro Mescudi, bettter known as Kid Cudi, is a music artist. Born January 30, 1984 and raised in Cleveland, Cudi moved to New York City to pursue his musical career in 2006.

Growing up in Cleveland, Cudi attended Shaker Heights High School for two years before transferring to Solon High School. While he didn’t get a degree from Solon, he later earned his GED. Cudi studied film at the University of Toledo, but dropped out after a year.

Finding his name 

Cudi always had a love for music and rapping. He first stepped into the world of rap when he was just 15. He started with the name “Lil Scott,” which stemmed from his interest in well-known rapper Lil Wayne. Cudi then went through a couple of stage names, including “Kid Mesc,” which was the first part of his last name. However, when people began to confuse the name “Mesc” for “Mess,” Cudi dropped that name entirely. Cudi played around with the name “Kid Mescudi” which is his full last name and eventually broke it down to his now globally known stage name “Kid Cudi.”

Kid Cudi's music career

Cudi started making music when he was 15. But his talent was evident well before in the poems that he started to write at just 11 years old. Cudi did an abundance of things to get his name out there, including talent shows, open mics and freestyle battles. 

After moving to New York from Cleveland in 2006 at age 22, Cudi had a few jobs that he couldn't keep. After getting evicted from his place in the city, Cudi moved in with his friend and producer Dot. He soon realized that he couldn't sit around at his friend's house all day and locked in on his music desire. 

In 2006, Cudi had an idea for a song he called “Day ‘n’ Nite,” one of the biggest songs of his career. He didn't have a goal when he made his number one song. What Cudi knew was that he wanted to make music that he felt was for him. 

“It came out how it came out,” Cudi says about his timeless record in a 2006 interview. Without a computer to his name, Cudi crafted “Day ‘n’ Nite” in 2006, then managed to get it on MySpace in March 2007. The song was not released until 2008 and even after it went public, Cudi was not signed with a label until 2009. “Day ‘n’ Nite” made Billboard's charts without the cushion of a record deal. 

In 2008, Cudi released his first mixtape, “A Kid Named Cudi,” in collaboration with New York street brand 10. Soon after the release of his tape, Cudi did his first tour, starting out in Australia, with no end goal. Fifteen to twenty people attended his first show, the start of a long road of touring around the world.

As Cudi’s career started to grow, he began to lay a foundation for his music. It was important for him to make music for kids that felt like how he felt. He refers to these people as “broken and lost.”

In 2009, he released his first album, “Man On The Moon: The End of Day.” Cudi said the second track, "Soundtrack 2 My Life," was the one he resonated with the most. Cudi described “Soundtrack 2 My Life” as his introduction and mission statement. 

Kid Cudi's music style

Kid Cudi has never been your usual, modern-day rapper. In 2006, while working with producer Dot da Genius, Cudi explained in the documentary, "A Man Named Scott," the origins of his eclectic taste in music. 

“Pretty much all I've been listening to is ColdPlay, John Mayer, other things than hip-hop,” he said. All these alternative styles of music are mixed in with Cudi’s rap style, making him the unique artist he is today. 

For an early 2000s rapper, it wasn't typical for an artist to reference alternative styles like rock and electric rock, and bands like Electric Light Orchestra, Crash Test Dummies, and Queen. While other rappers were using the same, overused styles, Cudi was creating a different style of music that fit him as a rapper.

Producer Emile Haynie had this reaction to Cudi’s music style when he was first introduced to the rapper in the early 2000s. 

“It just sounded new, like what is this genre,” Haynie said in 2021. “Everything about it sounds new and exciting.”

Kid Cudi's main genres are alternative hip-hop and rock neo-psychedelia trip hop. 

Kid Cudi's accomplishments

Cudi has many accomplishments since coming to the music scene in 2006. He has sold over 22 million units domestically and won two Grammys. He has worked with artists spanning numerous genres, including Jay-Z, Drake, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, David Guetta, Kanye West, Arianna Grande and Micheal Bolton.

In 2021, Cudi released his documentary, “A Man Named Scott”, which featured celebrities like Kanye West, Pharrell, Dot da Genius, SchoolBoy Q and Denius Cummings. The following year Cudi dropped his eighth studio album, “Entergalactic,” and soon after created a Netflix series with the same name. The animated series follows the life of ambitious artist Jabari (voiced by Kid Cudi) as he attempts to balance success and love after moving into his dream house in Manhattan. 

Kid Cudi & Cleveland

Kid Cudi joins a long list of artists from Cleveland who've had an impressive impact on pop culture, including Tracey Chapman, Machine Gun Kelly and Rich Paul. Although most of these artists don’t live in Cleveland any more, all of them can still call the city home. 

Cudi often travels back to Cleveland for holidays and breaks despite his busy schedule.

“Mostly when I’m in Cleveland, it's family time,” Cudi wrote in a tweet, “Not only does the city embrace me, I make most people in the city and the state of Ohio proud.”

In honor of the sports town that Cleveland is, Cudi supports his hometown teams. Last year Cudi attended the season opener Guardians’ game and signed bobble heads for his fans. 

Cudi still makes time for his homeland and puts on incredible performances every time he comes back to Cleveland. In 2022, Cudi hosted a one day festival called “Moon Man’s Landing at the West Bank Flats.” He recently announced his world tour, “Insano: Engage The Rage Tour,” this year and is set to perform in Cleveland July 31, at the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.

Kid Cudi is an American actor, Grammy Award winning musician and multi-platinum recording artist from Cleveland, Ohio. He is a diverse artist who paved the way for artists to be more vulnerable and open with their style of music.