Now that Kid Cudi is past the prescriptions, the therapy, and the breakup depression, he’s reborn. Demons still linger, but the rapper/producer got his mind right where it should be: in the music.

Kid Cudi’s brain is wired differently.

That’s not to say the human brain doesn’t differ from person to person, but a unique set of circumstances has shaped both the career and circuitry of 28-year-old Scott Mescudi, one of hip-hop’s most cerebral artists. Cudi’s trials and tribulations have been splashed all over these pages throughout the years: the come-up, the drug use, the birth of his daughter. As the Cudi cycle has played out in the public eye, it’s become a rinse-and-repeat formula: drop an album, take a few acting gigs, disappear until it’s time for another album. But Cudi is far from formulaic. Where many rappers and actors pursue endless press exposure, Cudder prefers seclusion. Where others are uncomfortable discussing depression and death, Cudi fluctuates between dark thoughts, funny voices, and laughter.


A visit to Cudi’s newly purchased luxe bungalow in the relatively sleepy L.A. neighborhood Los Feliz—far from his previous digs in the celebrity-stacked Hollywood Hills—reveals Cudi’s muted mind-set. Tall opaque windows line the exterior so that Cudi can see out, but onlookers can’t see in. Once you get past his bulldog, Freshie, the interior yields more clues to Cudi’s psyche: A framed hologram of Jimi Hendrix hangs on a wall near the front door. In the living room, an easel holds a white canvas with the word “immortal” painted in bold, capitalized, black letters. The word is both the name of the second single from his forthcoming release, Indicud—his fourth album in five years—and a signpost for the themes of mortality that have always been undertones in his music. Yet as brooding as one might expect Cudi’s home to be, the mood inside is bright. His protégé King Chip and another friend sit on the couch as he clicks through beats he’s created. Time is split between discussions of crafting the Cudi sound and Googling YouTube clips of Chris Farley, until a decision is made to watch Norm Macdonald’s ’90s cult-comedy Dirty Work. The night ends with an episode of AMC’s zombie apocalypse drama The Walking Dead.

Read the cover story from Complex’s February/March issue.

Post by Natasha

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