By Roya Fathalizadeh–
Kid Cudi released his sixth studio album “Passion, Pain, and Demon Slayin’” on Dec. 16. Over three months later, I am still shocked to see the lack of acclamation he has received since.
Like many artists in the industry, there is almost always an absence of complete cognition between what the artist is trying to convey and what the audience hears. It is vital to have some sort of understanding of what the artist is going through behind the glitz and glamour.
Just a year before, Kid Cudi released “Speedin’ Bullet 2 Heaven.” The 26-song album had fans confused and disappointed, which could also lead to why many didn’t even give his newest album a chance. Lyrics like, “hate the drugs but I love the numb,” “everything, everyone sucks,” and “I’ll be happy getting sh*tfaced by myself” all established a befuddling tone set apart from the music he has made before. The rock star vibe he tried to administer mimics those from hip-hop artists in the past, and did not go well with fans either.
As a result of the huge amount of backlash he received, he went silent. We didn’t hear much from the Grammy winner until this past October when he announced he would be checking into a rehabilitation center for depression and suicidal thoughts. Suddenly, those despicable lyrics became a true depiction of his cry for help.
Since, countless fans and musical artists have reached out to show their support, which he thanks one by one on his Facebook page. “Passion, Pain, and Demon Slayin’” doesn’t steer much further from the pain he tried to describe on his previous album. Yet, it was the way in which he used his lyrics to illustrate his struggles as well as connect to the everyday person which made this album so phenomenal.
His use of syntactic ambiguity in the words that he delivered was so well considered and astounding. The song “Releaser“ stood out to me the most with lyrics like, “You know where to find me” and “Your glory is blinding.” Knowing his past, this is a sheer obvious reference to his drug use. However, these lyrics from the distressed, misunderstood artist could also be interpreted to just about anything someone considers a “drug.” Something that is ever so alluring that the person doesn’t realize it is actually causing them harm, thus the “glory” being “blinding.”
It’s no surprise that Kid Cudi is a gifted individual who shares a remarkable vision for creativity that puts him on the pedestal with artists like Kanye West and Travis Scott. Although he may have steered a wrong path in his vision, he has successfully found a medium in expressing his emotions through exotically produced music and ambiguous lyrics.