Kid Cudi really didn’t have to release much music before he blew up. The rapper, surprisingly, only had one official mixtape under his belt before he moved upwards and onwards. There were, to be sure, unofficial compilations (Dat Kid from Cleveland, for example) that more or less acted as “official” mixtapes because of his slim discography at the time, but they were not released by the artist himself.
The lone mixtape is A Kid Named Cudi, and it housed his break-out hit “Day N Nite,” among others. These days, we’re used to rappers coming out of the woodwork of some obscure city, or at least one that isn’t traditionally known to create rappers. Cudi was really ahead of his time in that sense, putting Cleveland on the map, and helping his fellow artists like King Chip Chip Tha Ripper break out from Cleveland too.
On A Kid Named Cudi, Cudder linked up with Dot Da Genius to pay homage to his hometown with “Cleveland is the Reason.” It’s a smooth, and appropriately outer-space-y record thanks to its wide, distorted synths. Cudi flows effortlessly, and while this was before “earworm” became rampant, there’s definitely something earworm-y about this cut.
If you want to, you can still download A Kid Named Cudihere.
I come from Cleveland
Y’all can really hear it now
Hit ’em like comic books
Into a girl’s mind
Spit fine; no wine, dine
I keep two phones, sidekick for bad dimes
And a topical question is why I’m so chill
Girls don’t understand, “He ain’t even made a mill”