Kid Cudi is trying to start a culture war. But does the lonely stoner have enough ammo to dethrone the two most famous rappers in the world?
Cudder let off a string of tweets Wednesday calling out his former mentor and collaborator Kanye West, as well as his longtime peer and former pal Drake, for betraying Hip Hop’s most sacred tenant: Keep it real.
According to Cudi’s standard of authenticity, Yeezy and Drizzy have violated a number of creative codes, the biggest being taking credit for other artists’ work. In the eyes of Cudi and many other Hip Hop purists, last summer’s revelation that Drake enlists unknown writers to help pen his bars disqualifies him from any discussions among the all-time great MCs. Kanye has also been taken to task at many points in his career for tapping skilled lyricists like Rhymefest, Lupe Fiasco, Cyhi The Prince and Consequence to help write some of his biggest tracks.
The practice of performing someone else’s lyrics is common in most other genres of music. Throughout Hip Hop’s nearly 40-year history, ghostwriting and co-writing have produced seminal records including “Rapper’s Delight,” The Chronic and West’s 2010 masterpiece My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. But even though Drake and Kanye usually credit their collaborators in their liner notes (making the term “ghostwriter” inaccurate), it still rubs many fans and artists — including Cudi — the wrong way to hear Kanye or Drake boast about being the best when we don’t even know if they authored their bars themselves.
But Cudi’s beef is deeper than ghostwriting.
But if Wednesday’s ambush wasn’t spur of the moment, it means Cudi has been harboring these feelings for some time now. Could they date back to before February when he and Kanye celebrated the release of The Life Of Pablo together at Madison Square Garden.
Drake clearly didn’t care enough about Cudi’s shot to pay a writer to pen a better response than “You need to Cudi-it,” but Kanye was clearly hurt by Cudi’s words and struck back while performing in Tampa, Florida.
“Kid Cudi, don’t ever mention ‘Ye name… I birthed you.” – Kanye West
So when an ex-G.O.O.D. Music soldier fires back at his captain, is it really about protecting the culture? Or is he simply tired of not getting enough credit for himself?