A kid from Cleveland who went by Kid Cudi impressed A-Trak enough to have him support his mixtape back in 2008 with a release from his budding Fool’s Gold imprint. With tracks like “Day ‘n’ Nite,” which eventually reached No. 3 on the Billboard Charts, “Man On The Moon” which became the title of his debut album with the song featured, “The Prayer,” “Embrace The Martian,” “Cleveland Is The Reason,” and more, the project artist became one of the most successful mixtapes off Datpiff and caught the attention of Kanye West, who signed Scott Ramon Seguro Mescudi to GOOD Music that same year.
The mixtape had an obscure ambiance that became unique to Mr. Rager, combining various elements of indie rock and electronica seamlessly into a hip-hop tone that supported the vocalists crooning and rapping with poetic prowess. Cudi changed the hip-hop landscape with his debut full-length, bringing a new kind of emotional rapper into focus whose cadence and style opened doors for the singing and rapping contrast abundant in popular music today.
Photo credit: Julian Berman