Kid Cudi: love.

Inspiring. Uplifting. Motivating. New. These four words encompass the meaning and sound surrounding Kid Cudi’s recently released single “love.” The record has only been released on Soundcloud (no official release), but nonetheless has topped the charts of Billboard’s Top Ten and Twitter’s trending list. It’s innovative and meaningful; what else would you expect from an artist like Cudi?
The song begins by fading in to a steady, melodic beat, sampled from the Ratatat song “Sunblocks.” Right off the bat, the listener is mesmerized by the constant bass line and relaxing piano/strings playing, constantly growing in volume. Once the beat has reached its peak, Kid Cudi’s vocals come in, and while they may not be at the level of an Elton John, they do their part adding to the soothing sound of the song. What long time fans already know, and first time listeners will come to understand, is it’s not always about Cudi’s voice, it’s about the message he sends in his lyrics. He speaks to his audience in a way I haven’t really seen from any other artist. He begins by stating that he’s happy to be alive, but counters that by explaining how he can’t stand being alone. He’s hurt, but he’s getting better, stating that he’s hopeful for the future. The bridge opens up with a more uptempo version of the previous beat and Cudi yelling, “Nothing I can say, facin’ all this pain in my way/ I’m fighting every day/ Why am I this way/ A n**** tryna maintain/ I sit and tell myself okay/I gotta find another way/ WE gotta find another way.” This not only elaborates on the current problems he’s facing, but also relates to listeners going through a downfall, and urges himself AND the listener that there has to be another way to reach happiness. The long awaited chorus finally kicks in with a repetitive but inspiring “dose of dopeness.” A first time listener can truly understand Kid Cudi’s message and purpose through this chorus alone. He sings, “Don’t be so down come on young homie/ You’ll be okay you’ll find real love/ In all of the stories the hero gets lonely/ Now is the time to show what you’re made of!” Cudi is motivating his listeners to keep it together, to get up after being knocked down, to always fight because things will get better. The chorus is followed by a piano solo and then an almost identical second verse except for one line. Instead of saying, “Facin’ all this pain in my way,” he yells, “Done running from this pain in my way!” And while it may be subtle, it’s important. In the past he’s felt hopeless, but now he’s ready to fight the sadness. He’s done with being down and he’s ready to feel good.
This song is a fight song for kids like Kid Cudi who are going through a sad time and need motivation to keep pushing through. He urges his audience to continue to persevere and assures them everything will be okay. What I love about this song is how much it speaks to the listener. It feels like Cudi’s directly reaching out to you and understands what you are going through. Sometimes, one needs a beam of light to guide them through the darkness, and that’s exactly what this song succeeds in doing. Not only does it have a great meaning, but it has an innovative, relaxing sound as well, making it even more of a classic. I love the meaning. I love the sound. I love “love.”