It was a tumultuous last quarter in 2016 for the melodically humming wzrd Kid Cudi after throwing Twitter shade at his on-again/off-again big bro Ye, as well as taunting mainstream radio’s sweetheart Drake for being among the “fake ones” who keep “talkin’ top five & be having 30 people write songs for them.”
That received a swift response from Drake on the single Two Birds One Stone, with a subliminal double entendre low jab at Cudi’s ongoing battle with depression, by comparing Cudi’s moods to the lunar phases &, at the same time, Kid Cudi’s own Man on the Moon LP series, rapping “you were the man on the moon, now you just go through your phases,” dropped with class a couple weeks after Kid Cudi admitted himself into rehab for depression & suicidal urges, which ultimately postponed his sixth album, Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin’.
Before rehab, Cudi dropped two sonically bipolar visual singles , Frequency & Surfin’, to satiate his fans disappointed pangs for his long awaited return to rapping after his unappreciated experimental hiatus from hip-hop on his fifth studio album, Speedin’ Bullet 2 Heaven, that received shockingly harsh reviews from both critics & fans alike who didn’t appreciate his genre bending, alt-rock ode to Kurt Cobain & teenage rumination from the early-nineties grunge era.
The second video single, Surfin’, is the manically playful, uplifting & motivational of the two, a side of Cudi that we haven’t heard from for a while. His lyrics remind listeners that it isn’t always easy to stay true to yourself & “ride your own wave,” but that he’ll forever keep “ridin’ his own wave, baby” in today’s pre-formatted, boxed in, single driven, mumble rappin’, auto-tuned, radio-edited, “on to the next one,” hip-hop culture full of vultures who keep sippin’ the easy money from their Styrofoam cups.
But, ever since Cudi gave up his Kanye West bestowed Jesus chain & dropped himself from the G.O.O.D. Music label to start Wicked Awesome Records (WAR), it’s been obvious that he’s been on his “Kubrick horn” and not giving a fuck about what the industry or critiques think of him or his genre-melting aural experimentation.
But, Kid Cudi has always marched to his own beat…
Or, more literally speaking on Surfin’, Cudi bounces over-top of a joyous ensemble of triumphant horns & trancey tribal samples instrumented by Pharrell Williams to create a beautifully uplifting soundscape for Cudi’s singalong hums to amp-up & energize listeners into a frenzied celebration of the self that ends the Lonely Stoner’s sixth LP on a euphorically high note of positivity & optimism.