Kid Cudi live in Hollywood (w/ B.O.B. & Asher Roth): In which expectations are lowered and anticipation is transferred

Photo by Keith Mokris / keithmokris.com

7/17 in Clevand. Photo by Keith Mokris / keithmokris.com

A funny thing happened on the way to this post… I’m rereading my Head’s Up ’09 post looking for my first hype-filled words on Kid Cudi and, well, he isn’t there. I never actually hyped Kid Cudi for 2009, despite later statements that I had. One week ago this discovery may have left me scratching my head, however after seeing his performance at The House Of Blues on Sunday night I am left nodding my head. “Good call” I mumble to myself, “Dude is on some seriously whack shit.” If hearing disparaging words like that directed at “yer boy” Cudi makes you mad/annoyed/cry then walk away now, it only gets worse.

Now let’s keep one thing in mind, I am not a negative dude. Readers of TBE will know my vibe is enthusiastic and positive and although I have not loved everything I have heard from Cudi some of his tracks are great and I was really looking forward to his live show selling me on his flavor. That was my mindset going in. In an effort to keep this as simple as possible I am going to just give you the play by play of what happened next. Start after the jump…

  • Driving to the show I look for The Crookers remix of “Day N Nite” on my iPod and it’s not there! What have I done? Sure “She Came Along” is awesome and “Switchin Lanes” is great driving music but I’m trying to get hyped here!
  • With frat-fave Asher Roth headlining and Kid Cudi’s indie-crossover cred the venue is predictably filled with it’s fair share of white college “bros“. Further thought on this is halted by B.o.B.’s epic and engaging set. Holy wow. Can we give this guy some more love? [Start here]
  • Cudi’s stage entrance in proceeded by a looong intro tune and him singing off-key stage. Cudi finally emerges looking fly as usual. (see photos, not from same show but pretty much same outfit.) Behind him is a huge screen with various images/videos coming across, most of them implying that Cudi is flying at the audience via flames, outer-space, clouds, etc. The whole thing screams “Loook at meeee!!” We are looking man, we are looking.
Photo by Keith Mokris / keithmokris.com

7/17 in Clevand. Photo by Keith Mokris / keithmokris.com

  • Cudi opens with 3 songs I don’t really know, one of which has him encouraging me to look all over cause I’ll “never find anyone better” than him. Ok.
  • At this point I notice the two white dudes in front of me with their hands in the air doing the hip-hop arm bounce thing. The one dude’s hand is so limp and lackluster I am worried about his circulation/bone density. Since floppy noodle hip-hop wrist is not really the freshest steez I leave my hands at my side to avoid a similar public blunder.
  • Next from Cudi is “Mr. Solo Dolo.” I have heard it before and live it’s no better. It’s about here that I realize maybe I just don’t really like Cudi’s music. It’s also about here that Cudi let’s us know that we are “about to experience some next shit.” Ok.
  • Cudi goes through “Man on the Moon” (not to be confused with “Call Me Moon Man“), one that has a lot of “hey hey,” and then one where he gets super amped and jumps around a lot. I appreciate the energy, dude is definitely running around the stage.
  • After introducing and performing new track “Heart Of  A Lion,” Cudi gets pretty distracted/fascinated with the echo feature on his microphone. We get to watch him amuse himself for a moment. It’s about here that I realize that he is super stoned (duh).
  • “Embrace The Martian” and one about being “sky high” follow. Spilling some water on his shirt gives Cudi a chance to flash his sun-complex again as he tells the crowd to “Give it up for my water stain!” As the crowd erupts in applause it all becomes clear: Cudi is so damn hyped that all he has to do to get praise is spill water on his shirt. This explains a lot.
  • Cudi to the crowd: “I love my little microphone stand. It’s pretty rock n roll.” I take note that his microphone stand is not rock n roll (or even adorned with bandanna’s, à la Steven Tyler), it’s a normal microphone stand. But yes Cudi, you are a “rock star” so I guess everything around you is “rock n’ roll.”
Photo by Keith Mokris / keithmokris.com

7/17 in Clevand. Photo by Keith Mokris / keithmokris.com

  • I am really starting to feel like a hater and it’s weird, but somehow I feel validated. This show is just not engaging me. The music is boring, Cudi is obsessed with himself, and the dude in front of me is still bouncing his arm. Ok, so that last one is actually entertaining but no thanks to Cudi. After “Sky May Fall,” another Cudi jam I find lackluster, he rips into “Make Her Say.” Finally a beat I can get down with, best part of the show so far. Cudi could have definitely used more of A-Trak’s flavor tonight. The crowd and I are in sync and enjoying the moment… for all of 80 seconds because his verse is all we get. Oh well.
  • Cudi opens “Day N Night” a Capella with a heavy echo. After two rounds (!?) of this “singing” the beat finally drops and the official video begins on the screen behind him. Cudi wastes no time is pointing out that the silhouette onscreen is him. Really Cudi? Is that you? We are at your concert! You are on stage! We know! Congratulations on being semi-famous! He is like a three year old who is still convinced that the world revolves around him. I’m sure Kanye will groom that right out of him. Right out.
  • He milks “Day N Night” for all it’s worth going through the original version before dropping The Crookers remix beat and doing almost all of it over. I would hate on it but frankly it’s the highlight, the thing I have been wanting to hear all night. In front of me Limp Arm is going wild.
  • “Cudi dips off stage only to return moments later to treat us to an a Capella version of “Pursuit Of Happiness.” Is this singing? Is this rapping? Before I can figure out what he is doing the song is over and he is suddenly holding his black converse sneakers in his hand. He proceeds to pass them out, one to a guy, one to a girl. What? Really? Who gives their shoes to the audience!? That’s gross. I mean at least keep the pair together so some lucky and hygienically challenged dude can wear both.
  • Cudi closes out the show with some kind of anthem/lullaby about going to heaven. I’ll pass on the easy jokes on this one.

After Cudi was Asher Roth who was predictably ridiculous for the 2 songs I stayed for. I’ll spare you the details of the undersized plastic truck he rode in on, or the oversized fake joint he asked the crowd to take a communal hit off. I’m just glad I got to see B.o.B./Bobby Ray.

I am no longer that stoked about Cudi’s debut. I am curious to hear it, sure, but my hopes for a fresh debut have definitely been transferred to The Adventures Of Bobby Ray. Anyone else seen Kid Cudi live? Thoughts?

11 replies
  1. dan
    dan says:

    well you are an indie person at a hip hop show what did you expect, besides cudi has made plenty of good songs you dont sound like a fan at all. he has a great freestyle over paper planes i recomend to all, heaven at night is beautiful, the prayer is also good, and embrace the martian is a good tune also just not on par with the latter two but good. you just have to look you are a casual fan and just jumping on the bandwagon, youve got to look through his whole catolog it wont kill you, its not like he has hundreds of songs hes a young artist

  2. dan
    dan says:

    well you are an indie person at a hip hop show what did you expect, besides cudi has made plenty of good songs you dont sound like a fan at all. he has a great freestyle over paper planes i recomend to all, heaven at night is beautiful, the prayer is also good, and embrace the martian is a good tune also just not on par with the latter two but good. you just have to look you are a casual fan and just jumping on the bandwagon, youve got to look through his whole catolog it wont kill you, its not like he has hundreds of songs hes a young artist

  3. dan
    dan says:

    okay im going to apologize i got too agressive im sorry from my heart. but i am just a big cudi fan and i can agree not all his songs are for everyone, but it didnt help that he was stoned i think he smokes a few blunts before every show so im not sure if that helped the atmosphere. but heaven at night, the prayer, maui wowie and the freestyle with paper planes + the sharam song are all good tunes, just give cudi a chance i know some of his songs are more ghetto but he is coming from hip hop culture not indie rock culture you know what im saying, i guess its a culture gap

  4. dan
    dan says:

    okay im going to apologize i got too agressive im sorry from my heart. but i am just a big cudi fan and i can agree not all his songs are for everyone, but it didnt help that he was stoned i think he smokes a few blunts before every show so im not sure if that helped the atmosphere. but heaven at night, the prayer, maui wowie and the freestyle with paper planes + the sharam song are all good tunes, just give cudi a chance i know some of his songs are more ghetto but he is coming from hip hop culture not indie rock culture you know what im saying, i guess its a culture gap

  5. Brandon @ TBE
    Brandon @ TBE says:

    Thanks for your thoughts Dan, although I don’t see myself as jumping on any bandwagon. I enjoyed a few tracks and was hoping for more of that. He didn’t even play “Switchin Lanes” or “She Came Along” and I was dissapointed. As I said, I will definitely be checking out his album when it comes out. I don’t think being from “hip hop culture” or “indie rock culture” has anything to do with anything. There is more and more hip hop I am digging these days, I just don’t find his music that engaging.

  6. Brandon
    Brandon says:

    Thanks for your thoughts Dan, although I don’t see myself as jumping on any bandwagon. I enjoyed a few tracks and was hoping for more of that. He didn’t even play “Switchin Lanes” or “She Came Along” and I was dissapointed. As I said, I will definitely be checking out his album when it comes out. I don’t think being from “hip hop culture” or “indie rock culture” has anything to do with anything. There is more and more hip hop I am digging these days, I just don’t find his music that engaging.

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