Kid Cudi released his long-awaited Man On The Moon III: The Chosen album on Friday (December 11) to close out the trilogy of his fan-favorite projects. To coincide with the release, the Cleveland native also dropped a music video for the song “She Knows This.”
The visual finds Cudi heavily drinking and smoking weed at his house in the Hollywood Hills, before returning to the couch to watch the 2006 movie The Pursuit of Happyness starring Will Smith. As he’s watching him give a motivational speech to his son Jaden, Smith suddenly addresses Cudi directly, “Wow Scott, really? This is what it’s come to? Listen, brother, too many moons have passed. Get off that couch and go pursue your destiny.”
This leads to a night of more intoxication, as Cudi stumbles around the house with the city of Los Angeles behind him. The evening then takes a drastic turn for the worse when he decides to drive around with the police chasing him, before eventually meeting his fate.
The clip ends with an important message urging people not to drive while under the influence of alcohol.
“This video depicts fictional events,” it reads. “The consumption of alcoholic beverages impairs your ability to drive a car or operate machinery. Please drink responsibly and please do not drink and drive.”
Part of YouTube Music’s Artist Spotlight series, the video serves as one of a two-part narrative short film directed by Nabil, who is best known for working with the likes of Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar and Frank Ocean.
The vocal contribution from Will Smith makes sense considering Kid Cudi’s close relationship with his son Jaden Smith, who he previously collaborated with on the song “On My Own.” As well as that, the Fresh Prince’s daughter Willow Smith also appeared on 2016’s Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin’ track “Rose Golden.”
Cudi raps on the song, “Gangs of women givin’ love and easy sinnin’/Suppose you got two hoes that go both ways, don’t know my limit/Know what it is, ballin’ to afford just how I’m livin’/Can’t ask for better options, just the captain of the ship hittin’ it.”
— The Chosen One (@KidCudi) December 11, 2020
“She Knows This” flexes two verses of Kid Cudi’s lyrical ability, which is a big element of Man On The Moon III: The Chosen as a whole. During an interview with Apple Music’s Zane Lowe, he revealed Travis Scott inspired him to rap more after feeling like he’s “slept on as a rapper.”
“Before I started working on this shit, I was like my next shit’s gotta be bars,” he told Zane Lowe. “I knew that. I just remember Travis saying something to me about my raps. He was just like, ‘Your raps, man. I love when you rap.’ I kept that in mind. I was like okay, Travis is saying my raps are good. That must be something that the kids like. I’ll keep that in mind … I just wanted to give him exactly what he loved about Kid Cudi. And for him, it’s bars.”