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Kid Cudi

Kid Cudi is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, actor, and fashion designer. Born and raised in Cleveland, Cudi moved to New York City in pursuit of a musical career, where he first gained recognition for his song "Day 'n' Nite." Initially self-published on his MySpace page, the song became a hit online and served as a catalyst for Cudi to team up with record producers Plain Pat and Emile Haynie to record his first full-length project, a mixtape titled A Kid Named Cudi (2008). Its release helped Cudi rise to prominence and establish a fanbase, catching the attention of rapper Kanye West—who signed Cudi to his GOOD Music label by late 2008. With "Day 'n' Nite" issued as its lead single, he released his debut studio album, Man on the Moon: The End of Day (2009) to critical and commercial success, receiving quadruple platinum certification by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). It spawned the follow-up singles "Make Her Say" (featuring Kanye West and Common) and "Pursuit of Happiness" (featuring MGMT and Ratatat)–the latter received diamond (10× platinum) certification by the RIAA. His second album, Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager (2010) was met with continued success; it received platinum certification and spawned the singles "Erase Me" (featuring Kanye West) and "Mr. Rager." Cudi formed the rock band WZRD with long-time collaborator and producer Dot da Genius; their eponymous debut album (2012) debuted atop the Billboard Top Rock Albums chart. His self-produced third album, Indicud (2013) peaked at number two on the Billboard 200, was led by the platinum-certified single "Just What I Am" (featuring King Chip), and served as his final release with GOOD Music. It was followed by the tepidly-received experimental albums, Satellite Flight: The Journey to Mother Moon (2014) and Speedin' Bullet 2 Heaven (2015). His sixth album, Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin' (2016) saw an improvement in critical reception and was supported by the lead single "Surfin'" (featuring Pharrell Williams). Cudi formed the duo Kids See Ghosts with former label boss West in 2018 to release a self-titled collaborative album in June of that year, which was met with critical acclaim. His 2020 single, "The Scotts" (with Travis Scott) became his first song to peak atop the Billboard Hot 100, foreseeing the release of his seventh album, Man on the Moon III: The Chosen (2020) to commercial resurgence and favorable reception. Cudi released his eighth album, Entergalactic (2022) to coincide with his adult animated special of the same name; both were critically praised. His ninth and tenth albums, the trap-inspired Insano (2024) and its sequel Insano (Nitro Mega) (2024), were his final releases on Republic Records. Outside of recording, Cudi has launched his own vanity labels: the now-defunct Dream On, and his label imprint since 2011, Wicked Awesome Records. Cudi ventured into acting with the HBO series How to Make It in America in 2010, and has appeared in the films Goodbye World (2013), Need for Speed (2014), Entourage (2015), Bill & Ted Face the Music (2020), Don't Look Up (2021), and X (2022). In 2015, he starred as a bandleader in the IFC series Comedy Bang! Bang!, and did so in the short-lived HBO mini-series, We Are Who We Are in 2020. That same year, he launched the production company Mad Solar; its first release was the documentary A Man Named Scott (2021), which chronicled Cudi's career and upbringing. In fashion and modeling, Cudi has partnered with Giuseppe Zanotti, Virgil Abloh, Bape, Coach, Adidas, Calvin Klein, and Levi's on campaigns before launching his own clothing line in 2022. Cudi has been recognized as an influence on contemporary hip hop and alternative acts. His lyrics are often autobiographical, describing childhood experiences of depression, loneliness and alienation; his struggle with drugs into adulthood and themes of spirituality, heartbreak, dissipation and celebration. The majority of his impact stems from his ability to display vulnerability and address mental health. He is noted for his experimental nature, combining psychedelia, R&B, electronica, synthpop, dance, house, punk and indie rock in his music. Cudi has sold over 22 million units domestically and won two Grammy Awards. He has worked with artists spanning numerous genres, namely Jay-Z, Drake, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, David Guetta, Shakira, Ariana Grande, and Michael Bolton.
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