If you were to look at some the most influential hip-hop artists the last 20 years, Kanye West and Kid Cudi would probably be at the top your list. Kanye changed the game when it came to production and melodies, while Kid Cudi’s flow laid the foundation for a lot the music you hear today. In a recent retrospective from Complex, multiple artists were interviewed about Cudi and his impact on the music industry. As you can imagine, Ye lent some words to the piece and reflected on what it was like hearing Cudi for the first time.
“When I first heard Cudi, his voice, his melody, his subject matter, and the combination him putting the melody with the rap in a way that I hadn’t really heard since Bone Thugs felt really new,” West explained. “When I heard his mixtape, I said I wanted to write with him.”
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Kanye also went into a bit deep dive on how he linked up with Cudi for the recording 808s & Heartbreak. This particular album is littered with Cudi’s influence and Kanye was quick to pay homage to the man who helped put together one his most groundbreaking works.
“I remember working on ‘808s & Heartbreak’ and he was sitting in the front area in the Hawaii studio. I was on the laptop, and he was like, ‘OK, this is what I got… In the night I hear them talk.’ It went somewhere else and, course, I put the pop—‘the coldest story ever told,’ which came] from me listening to country music and Coldplay,” West remembered. “How that happened is how we’ve written music together over the years.”
It’s pretty incredible to hear Ye get so deep on Cudi’s influence. His comments speak to what Cudi has accomplished as an artist, especially when it comes to his role in crafting today’s sound.