Asked what he’d say to his fellow rappers about the state of Hip Hop, Cudi criticized a focus on materialism in the culture. “I think the braggadocio, money, cash, hoes thing needs to be deaded,” he said. “I feel like that’s holding us back as a culture, as Black people, that doesn’t advance us in any way, shape, or form. We been doing that same theme for years, now it’s been like what, four decades of the same old bullshit, sorry for my language. I feel like, if you’re gonna be an artist, it’s a time when you just have to embrace the responsibility and understand the power of music is something so special and to be able to do it on this magnitude where you reach millions of people, it’s like, why not use that for good? Why not tell kids something that they can connect with and use in their lives? Really, my mission statement since day one, and I’m getting so worked up talking about this, all I wanted to do was help kids not feel alone and stop kids from committing suicide.”
Responding to audience applause, Cudi described his usual reluctance to engage in political discussion. “I’ve never tried to be political, and I’m actually shaking, I can’t believe I’m saying this,” he said before offering his own story of suicidal thoughts.
“I’ve dealt with suicide for the past five years,” he said. “There wasn’t a week or a day that didn’t go by where I was just like, ‘You know, I wanna check out.’ I know what that feels like, I know it comes from loneliness, I know it comes from not having self-worth, not loving yourself. These are things that kids don’t have music that can coach them and give them that guidance. I didn’t have that, I had to listen to Jay Z and take certain things from it and the other shit I just didn’t know what he was talking about. Now I’m 30 I’m like, “Oh that’s what Hov was talking about, I get it now.’ But what about the kids—you never really had an artist where you connected with them all across the board? I think that that’s my job, I’m really just trying to guide people and help people. Loneliness is a terrible, terrible thing, man. If you don’t know how to conquer it, it can eat you alive.”
When asked by Arsenio how he is currently faring, Cudi reassured him, “I’m good, I’m alright.”
While on the show, Cudi also described his current stable of cars, naming a 2012 Mercedes SLS AMG Gullwing and a Porsche Carrera 911 4S among others. The emcee joked that if he rapped about his cars and personal wealth “there would be no Drake” with a laugh. Segments of Kid Cudi’s interview with Arsenio Hall are available below.
Kid Cudi’s latest album, which was released without much promotion earlier this month, received four out of five stars in HipHopDX’s recent review. “Flaws and all, SATELLITE FLIGHT: The journey to Mother Moon stands as one of Kid Cudi’s biggest accomplishments,” DX wrote. “Call it what you will. Scott Mescudi made an EP’s worth of material feel like an album, and he did it without surrendering his artistic integrity in the process. If SATELLITE FLIGHT truly is a bridge between Indicud and Man on the Moon III, fans will be in for a treat when the third installment is finally released.”