I’ve been listening to Kid Cudi since 10th grade (that’s 6 years, which is insane). I’ve also been picked on relentlessly by my ex-boyfriend, current boyfriend (to a lesser degree because he’s not a jerk), my parents, etc. for liking his music, probably because I’m a lame, nerdy white girl from Amish country listening to a guy from Cleveland talk about doing psychedelic drugs and stuff.
But Kid Cudi’s music isn’t just about doing drugs and partying, though his songs about that are fun and upbeat. Cudi’s music has always had this underlying current of “otherness”, of not belonging anywhere and feeling let down by people. In my depression-era (we shall not go there), I identified with this heavily. Now, not so much. But listening to his music still gives me that deep feeling of connection, and makes me feel understood.
As of this writing, Cudi yesterday posted on Facebook that he checked himself into rehab for depression and suicidal urges. In the post, he apologized profusely, saying he was “ashamed” and “sad” to tell his fans, and that he’s been “living a lie”. Reading the post took my breath away, firstly because I’m so unused to honestly and forthrightness from celebrities (especially male rappers!!), and second because it was so obvious and I had never even considered it.
Listening to his music, like I said, can either be a fun or trippy experience (for instance, “Up, Up, and Away”, “Ashin’ Kusher”, “Enter Galactic”), or more somber and introspective (“Soundtrack 2 My Life”, “The Prayer”, “Down & Out”). Thinking back, in the thoughtless bliss of 10th grade, I was obsessed with his happier tracks. And into 11th and 12th grade, when my mental health was at its lowest ever, I found solace in my room or car playing track after track of his deeper stuff.
If I identified with it, and I was depressed, how could I not recognize that in someone else?
I think cultural norms have a huge, huge amount to do with it. I didn’t expect it because he was a black male rapper. It almost screams Strong. Resilient.
I’m stupid, basically.
Anyway, I didn’t open up WordPress to write the article everyone else on the internet is writing right now, about race, masculinity, and mental health visibility. Because I’m not good at that crap. I just wanted to post this drawing I did today of Cudi (while listening to his music for like 2+ hours) but instead I just haaaad to spill my discombobulated thoughts.
So yeah. Here’s my drawing. Drawn/scribbled with a regular ballpoint pen, highlighted with sharpie, then scanned and the paint splatter effect added using Affinity Photo.