The CuDi Experience
By Sydney Owens
In October of 2016, Kid Cudi admitted himself into rehab for suicidal thoughts. He wrote a heartfelt letter to fans about his search for peace and lifelong struggle with depression and anxiety (read the full post on Rolling Stone). The announcement came shortly after a spat between Cudi and his good friend Kanye West and right before the release of his new album Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin’.
Flash forward to November 5th, 2017 in Chicago, IL: Kid Cudi, who has been out of rehab for a year now, is on stage full of energy, love, and quite possibly the peace he has been searching for. Nobody really knows what goes on in the eccentric hip hop artist’s mind; however, this performance along with the release of Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin’ has shown tremendous improvements in his overall mental health, at least on the surface. This is considering what his prior mental state must have been when he released the seemingly Nirvana inspired album Speedin’ Bullet to Heaven, or what some have named the worst album of all time.
Cudi opened the show with “Frequency”, the same track that opens his new album which is where most of the show’s tracks came from. The stage was decorated with green vines and smoke, replicating the riveting “Frequency” video. Besides new songs, Cudi played an equal mix of songs off of previous albums with the exception of Speedin’ Bullet to Heaven. The crowd joined in for classic hits like “Pursuit of Happiness” and “Mr. Rager” fueled by Kid Cudi’s positive energies. He also performed a Travis Scott song and a Kanye West song, both of which have Kid Cudi features.
Although Kanye didn’t make an appearance for Cudi’s second night in Chicago like he did for the first night, rapper King Chip joined Cudi on stage for “Brothers” and “Just What I Am”. King Chip contributed to the overall excitement and recited his verses to perfection.
Looking past the musical aspects of the show, Kid Cudi really knows how to make a connection with his fans. Vada Mescudi, Cudi’s 7-year-old daughter, was seated in the balcony with her mother and was warmly pointed out to the crowd by Cudi himself. He also made a statement regarding his recent issues with mental health. He mentioned feeling much better since leaving rehab and reminded fans that if they’re struggling with mental health that they are not alone and that they can get past it. It was heartfelt and sincere.
Limited edition merchandise by Kanye West collaborator and Off-White designer Virgil Abloh was also available at the show. Prices ran high for obvious reasons.
Cudi finished the show with a confetti shower and the Pharrell-produced hit “Surfin’”. Like much of Kid Cudi’s life experiences and music, the concert was a roller-coaster ride. Many songs were energetic and positive, but many of them were also sorrowful and full of intense emotions. However, by finishing the show with such an exuberant track, Cudi ended on a positive note, ensuring hope for not only his future but also his fans’ futures.