Kid Cudi may be from Cleveland, but he’s never been “embraced” by the city according to LeBron James’ longtime agent, Rich Paul.
The Klutch Sports Group founder appeared on the latest episode of the BS w/ Jake Paul podcast, where the YouTuber-turned-boxer asked Paul to share his thoughts on Cudi’s relationship with the 216.
“Do I think how Cudi treats Cleveland is weird? No, because I don’t think Cleveland ever embraced Cudi, unfortunately,” the famed agent said. “Because you can’t expect somebody to treat a situation any different to how they were treated.”
Jake Paul, who also hails from Cleveland, echoed that sentiment by claiming the Man on the Moon rapper has “switched up” on the city since rising to fame and “acts like he’s not from there.”
“Of my experience, I’ve never seen him in Cleveland like that,” Rich Paul said in response. “[Cleveland pride is] a huge thing. I bleed Cleveland so it’s not even a question about it.”
Jake Paul additionally claimed that he tried to get Kid Cudi to perform before his fight against Tyrone Woodley in 2021, but the rapper’s asking price was too high.
“He asked for an astronomical fee that was like, ‘Fuck you,'” he said. “And I get it. But it’s like, this was some shit to tap in back with the city. Like, first event back from COVID.”
Rich Paul replied: “I can’t put that on him, though. I can’t put that on Cudi because, you know, I just can’t put that on him. I wouldn’t put that on him like that.”
Listen to their comments at the 17:36 mark below.
Despite the criticism from Rich Paul and Jake Paul, Kid Cudi has long repped Cleveland throughout his career.
His 2008 debut mixtape A Kid Named Cudi featured the song “Cleveland Is the Reason” and he’s namedropped the city on songs like “Day ‘N’ Nite,” “Soundtrack 2 My Life” and “Up, Up & Away.”
Cudder has also collaborated with some of the city’s major league sports teams, designing a special edition Cavaliers basketball jersey and throwing out the first pitch at a Guardians baseball game.
His annual Moon Man’s Landing festival, which launched in 2022, also takes place in his hometown at West Bank Flats.
During an interview with Mass Appeal Magazine in 2008, Kid Cudi talked about growing up in Cleveland and how he struggled to find an audience in the city.
“It was dope,” he said. “I was exposed to a lot of different things. It was like a suburb and the hood was a couple blocks away. There was a bar at the end of my street my dad used to take me to. He would talk to his buddies and have a beer and I would sit there and eat jellybeans. I was like 5 or 6.
“I came to New York solely to do music. The response was never what I wanted [in Cleveland] because the Cleveland audience only wanted to hear that street shit. People weren’t really receptive to what I was bringing. I realized my style doesn’t fit this demographic. Let me go somewhere else and make it happen.”
He added: “My records are mellow, that’s the Cleveland in me. That’s that Ohio, Midwest shit. I love that laid back shit.”