I wasn’t going to write about this. Was thinking to myself, “don’t do it man, you already write about Kanye too much on your blog, stop stanning and write something else.” For those who think I write too much about Kanye 1. Not Sorry 2. I’ve got one more major piece about him coming up in my video essay series and you can stop whining because I will write about other things too. But I’ve got to get this off my chest. I don’t want to live in a world where Kanye and Kid Cudi have beef. It isn’t fun to watch, and there is zero entertainment factor. I don’t wanna hear Ye diss tracks, I don’t want to hear Cudi diss tracks. I highly doubt that either of them would do that, but at the same time if you would’ve asked me about the other things that I would highly doubt happening, this beef would’ve been one of them.
And for what? Hey, maybe Kanye is in the wrong here, maybe he did hurt little brother Cudi’s feelings. But c’mon, can’t we keep this out of the public eye? Not one of us fans has a single stake in the matter except for the fact that we might not be getting more music from these two any time soon, and if that happens… well that’s a damn shame, because every kid right now in hip hop needs to thank Cudi and Kanye, for damn near everything. Anybody with their wack “tiny tim” singing held up by the crutches of autotune, thank Kanye and Cudi. They’’re the only reason you’re not getting laughed off stage. Anybody who thinks they were the first people to make it cool and mainstream to be sad in hip hop and sing melodies that sound like you’re perpetually crying, nah fam… you thank Cudi and Ye for that.
Man I remember what it was like, when I first listened to Pursuit of Happiness, I was a depressed-ass little kid with a bunch of insecurities. When I say I had a bunch of them… bruh, my insecurities had insecurities, I had anxieties trying to size themselves up to my other fears like “yo, why am I not worth being worried about?! Be sad lil homie! Yeah, go kick rocks if you ain’t gonna recognize where your insomnia comes from, thaaaat’s right, Inferiority Complex right here! Reppin’ Freud all day!”
So while I had anxiety disorders fighting a turf war in my head, selling bad thoughts on the corner like crack, all I had was that music. Man that was my medicine, no lie. Anyone who knows me in real life knows that this music has probably saved my life. 2Pac would roll down the street and do a drive-by on my demons for me. Slim Shady would bust out that chainsaw and and hand me a hatchet and we’d go monster hunting… But the thing was… I never felt as strong as these guys… When the music stopped, I just didn’t feel at home in my own skin. No one killed my demons. No one gentrified the ghetto of my mind. The gutters still had piss flowing down them. I just hated where I was in life, I didn’t like being scared, I didn’t like being sad. I felt weak… I just wanted to be happy. What was a kid to do?
I don’t know how I found it, but it was like finding the holy grail… like the actual holy grail… from “Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade.” Remember at the end of the movie when there were all those crazy, gaudy cups and only one of them was the Holy Grail? And there’s that one dude who drank from the glittering chalice of gold and jewels but then he drank it and turned into a craisin? Then Harrison Ford stepped over that corpse and was like, “Bruh… Jesus didn’t have gold to make cups… homie was a carpenter!” So he found that dusty clay cup and drank the holy water.
There were two songs that really helped get me through my over-inflated self doubts and fears… Cudi’s “Pursuit of Happiness” and Kanye’s “Welcome To Heartbreak” These two songs were the first songs on a mainstream level at the time that were really speaking to how I felt without posturing. It was okay to feel sad sometimes, no need to run away from it. I think I spent most of my childhood trying to run from fears only to look over my shoulder and see they were bigger and badder than ever. I also learned that you could listen to “sad” music that didn’t necessarily feel sad. There was a joy and wonder to the production of those two songs, and Cudi’s vocals on each of the hooks sounded so damn soothing. It was like honey tea on a sore throat. My fav music was hip hop, I knew I could’ve gotten this sentimental content in other genres, but I loved hip hop too much to spend too much time elsewhere. Kanye and Cudi were filling emotional voids with their music.
“I’m on the pursuit of Happiness and I know,
everything that glitters ain’t always gonna be gold,
I’ll be fine, once I get it… I’ll be good.”
Like I said… Medicine. You know you heard that melody when reading those lyrics.
“My friend showed me pictures of his kids/And all i could show him was pictures of my cribs.”
I related to Ye and Cudi. I related to being surrounded by every reason to be happy and still feeling hollow inside. I was like the Tin Man, just knocking on my chest hearing echoes. Somewhere along the way I found my heart, and I think the music helped in paving the yellow brick road that took me there.
There’s kids out there, kids that need the music. So seeing this back and forth doesn’t make me pick a side, it doesn’t make me want to see someone win… we all lose. I’m not gonna promote a black man tearing another black man down, so I have no opinion on who should do what other then I hope they reconcile. I hope we have more “Beautiful mornings” to hear and more music for these kids to hum along to when they feel alone. To Cudi and Kanye, Listen to the kids bro!