Last week, Kid Cudi released a documentary about his career titled A Man Named Scott. The film dives into the very first beginnings when he first recorded “Day ‘N’ Nite,” follows the ebbs and flows of his mental health, and concludes when he rebirthed himself on his collaborative project with Kanye West titled Kids See Ghosts.
Throughout his entire career, Kid Cudi has always been brutally honest, and he doesn’t shy away from any topic in A Man Named Scott. He has worn his heart on his sleeve ever since he first started making music. This film shows us that doing so through art can help many people, but it also can seriously affect the artist.
We learned a lot about one of our favorite artists while watching this film, and we wrote down some of the most eye-opening insights and compiled them into a list to share.
Below are nine things that we learned from A Man Named Scott. You can watch the film yourself right here.
1. Kid Cudi put “Day N Nite” on MySpace in 2007 and it was on the radio for two years before he got his deal.
He wasn’t trying to make it for anybody else but himself, but he knew that it was going to be a hit as soon as he recorded it.
2. Kid Cudi quit his day job at Bape to tour Australia for three weeks with no plan for income afterward.
He believed in himself and his music so much that he was willing to put it all on the line.
3. “Soundtrack 2 My Life” is Cudi’s mission statement.
When making Man On The Moon, Kid Cudi wanted to create something that called out to the broken and the lost. “I wanted to design something that was tailor-made for Scott.”
4. His label wasn’t happy with Man on the Moon at first.
They wanted him to make a radio hit instead of putting out “Pursuit of Happiness” as the lead single. The album of course went on to be a big success and one of the most influential projects of the last 20 years. Man on the Moon is widely regarded as one of the first hip-hop albums that allowed the artist to appear as a “weirdo” or “introvert.” He dove into his darkest and most private thoughts. That vulnerability was a new thing in hip-hop.
He wasn’t able to adjust from being Scott Mescudi to Kid Cudi. He quit cocaine after getting arrested while trying to finish Man on the Moon II. “If people didn’t find out about it, I would’ve kept doing it.”
5. Kid Cudi believes he sacrificed the privacy of his life to put his story out there to help others.
One of the strongest quotes in the documentary comes from Lil Yachty who echoes this sentiment. He’s quoted saying: “I wanted to thank him for being him so I could be me.”
He didn’t anticipate that being so honest would in turn end up having people ask him so many personal questions. He became a shut-in to avoid such interactions. It was through cocaine that he felt like he could be out in the street, which started him down a dangerous path
6. He had Shia LaBeouf write a treatment for an Adult Swim cartoon about Kid Cudi’s childhood.
Cudi and Shia went to a meeting at Adult Swim together. Shia had written this whole script after talking to Cudi’s family and friends without fully going over it with him. While in a meeting, the Adult Swim people were into it, Kid Cudi took the treatment out of Shia’s hands and threw it out.
7. The darkest point of Kid Cudi’s career was when he made Speeding Bullet 2 Heaven.
He didn’t even want to speak about it at all during the interview. He felt like he was “living the right way but still felt empty inside.” He became very isolated, started using cocaine again, and not too many people, still to this day, know about that part of his life.
8. After rehab, Kid Cudi is finally in a better place.
In 2016 Kid Cudi checked himself into rehab for depression and having suicidal thoughts. One of Cudi’s breakthroughs with his depression was that he had to pace out his work so he had time to live his life. In his own words, he’s come to terms with his “bullshit.” His perception of his pain has changed.
9. He has no desire to make any more dark records.
“I don’t wanna put any more of that out into the world.” Cudi goes on to say: “I hope people got it when I put it out, but … that chapter is done.” Kid Cudi wants to use his power for good.