Paper Edition | Page: 2
American singer-rapper Kid Cudi performs at the Potato Head Beach Club’s flagship Summer Syndrome party in Bali. (JP/Lawrence Lilley)
For an artist who got his big break with “Day ‘N’ Nite”, a song about loneliness and paranoia, it is heartening to see Kid Cudi now using his stardom to spread a message of hope.
The American singer/rapper has worked with some of the biggest names in Hip Hop, and his 2009 album Man on the Moon: The End of Day, his 2010 follow up, Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager, and the rock-influenced WZRD — released in February with Dot da Genius, all managed to reach the Top 5 in the Billboard 200 albums chart.
In a 2009 interview with Rolling Stone, which said that “Cudi raps about anxiety and recurring nightmares”, he said, regarding his debut album, “We had to add some more energetic songs so that people didn’t feel like they were listening to a ‘slit-your-wrists’ album.”
Given the moody themes of his material, Kid Cudi may have seemed an odd choice to headline the second Summer Syndrome, Potato Head Beach Club’s annual “strictly costume party”.
Prior to his performance, the crowd was warmed up by resident DJ Lady Flic, who mixed old-school hip hop classics (Souls of Mischief’s “93 ‘til Infinity”), with modern staples (Dizzee Rascal’s “Dance Wiv Me”) as well as slowed-down deep house grooves (Oliver $’s “Doin’ Ya Thang”).
Kid Cudi appeared to the triumphant, classic rock guitar riffs of “REVOFEV”, rapping in his trademark, sing-song style, “Let’s go, I heard they found a solution. Where will you be for the revolution?”
The 28-year-old was looking trim under the lights of the extravagant stage, in a black T-shirt, shorts and snapback cap emblazoned with Indicud, the title of his upcoming album.
He continued the performance, backed by an electric guitarist and keyboard player, the crowd moving rhythmically to the bouncy groove of “Soundtrack 2 My Life”.
Some of Kid Cudi’s biggest hits, such as “Make Her Say”, were curiously absent, and uptempo songs were scarce.
However, he engaged the audience with great ease; an almost ethereal atmosphere created by songs like “Mr. Rager” also well-served by the event’s high production-values and the booming sound system.
Being live, the best moments where when the rhymes were less dense and Kid Cudi’s loping tone was allowed to soar on tracks like “Erase Me”, echoed by the crowd of thousands, all vibrantly dressed, many wearing feather headdresses, Halloween-style makeup, or full superhero costumes.
Toward the end of his performance, he took a minute to express his thanks and address the audience.
“You guys are the reason that Kid Cudi is Kid Cudi. You guys are the reason why I’m a legend at 28 … sometimes [life is] awesome, sometimes it’s just super f***ed up, but one thing you gotta understand is that the gift of life is the illest s*** ever.
“And as long as you got fake mother****ers in your space .. they’re why life is so crazy … You gotta have real mother****ers in your life. That’s the only way you can make the start on that path
to happiness … And I know we’ll be good, because we’re not on our own, in the pursuit of happiness.”
He then, appropriately, commenced his anthemic single, “Pursuit of Happiness”. At the end of his set, the “Pursuit of Happiness (Steve Aoki Remix)” blasted from the speakers, while Kid Cudi jumped off the stage into the pool, before being extracted from the grip of grasping fans by security.