Scott Mescudi otherwise know as Kid Cudi is not a super huge influential artist but I choose to write about him because of his different style of music in the world that differs from the typical mainstream hip hop. The Cleveland rapper came to prominence from his mixtape “A Kid Named Cudi” in 2008 as well as his vocals on famous albums by Jay Z and Kanye West, “The Blueprint 3” and “808’s and Heartbreak”. Kid Cudi became very popular after his first album release “Man on The Moon: The End of Day” in 2009 which included the hits “Day ‘n’ Nite” “Make Her Say”, and “The Pursuit of Happiness”. Kid Cudi was clearly different than any other rapper of the time after his debut album release because his lyrics pertained to kids around the world going through struggles, but also about his life and growing up feeling lonely in hopes to show people they are not alone. Aside from his lyrics, what separated Cudi from other rappers was his production/beats. Being a fan of rock groups like Ratatat, Nirvana, and Green Day his beats were very unique and out of this world. The main porducers of this album included Emile Haynie, DotDaGenius, Plain Pat, Kanye West, and Free School among others who can be credited with creating these unique “trippy” beats Cudi is so famously known for. Fast forward 6 years, 4 albums, and drastic musical evolution of his work Kid Cudi is preparing to release his newest album on December 4th, 2015. Don’t expect the rapper Cudi that you may know him for, like many artists he is changing each year and at this point in his career he has taken up the electric guitar and is rocking out in this one. Kid Cudi is one of the most meaningful artists out there and speaks the truth and is real with his music and fans.
Hip Hop production is the making of Hip Hop music. More specifically it refers to the groundwork of a song or the instrumentation of the song rather than the lyrical side of a song. From this, its fair to say that the hip hop producers are the instrumentalists of a rap song. Hip hop producers use instruments like samplers, sequencers, drum machines, synthesizers, turntables, and live instrumentation to make the background music or instrumentation of a rap song. This background music is often casually referred to as the beat making the producer also commonly referred to as the beatmaker. What I think is interesting is how little recognition producers receive from the public. I would relate them to the offensive linemen of a football team, in football the O-line is the base of the team and usually determines how successful an offense is but wont receive recognition like the running backs or wide receivers. Similarly the producers lay the groundwork for big rap artists but wont receive the recognition like the artist rapping in the song will. That is why I think a truly skilled rap artist is one who produces his music and also raps the lyrics like Kanye West. Today some of the biggest names in the rap production world include Dr Dre, Mike Will Made It, DJ Mustard, Pharrel, and Earl Sweatshirt just to name a few.
An MC or at the root of the word is defined as a Master of Ceremonies or someone who is the official host of a staged event or similar performance. MC’s in the hip hop world took the abbreviation to describe a skilled rap artist. The word also written as emcee has been used in the rap names of many artists, like the famous MC Hammer, but does not mean those artists are the only MC’s in the genre of hip hop/rap. This is true because many artists like Nas, Tupac, or even B.I.G represented the qualities of a true MC. These qualities that make a true MC for example include rapping to inform the public, trying to uplift people rather than degrade. They also include the ability of an to ‘control’ the crowd, and exhibit good showmanship. Perhaps most importantly they use thoughtful lyrics, and need to be able to freestyle or rap whatever comes to mind in order to show real skill. Although the word MC is originally used to name someone hosting an event the hip hop world, as they often do with words, has taken it and given it a new meaning to describe a skilled rapper.
Kendrick Lamar is Compton born rapper who is arguably the most talented rap artist of his generation. Having been through numerous trials in life and struggling his way to the top his lyrics are raw and real. many say that he is a lyrical genius and has numerous hits on top of that. With his breakthrough album of 2012 good kid, m.A.A.d City, he instantly became a classic. That breakthrough album produced several hits while telling his story of his adolescence growing up in the middle of Compton touching subjects of robbery, alcoholism, and shootings. With this album Lamar, also known as K-Dot, helped put Compton/LA back on the map musically. Kendrick’s most recent album to pimp a butterfly has influenced many artists as the deep meaning of Kendrick metaphorically blossoming into the butterfly he is now with all of his fame and how his life was before his fame. Kendrick’s themes of each album are truly artistic the way he presents to topic, ties each song together, and preaches his message to listeners. This style of an album is not unheard of, but the way Lamar does it certainly is very distinct to the way anyone else has. Kendrick Lamar is certainly and artist that many years for now will arguably be remembered like artists like Tupac, Biggie, or Dr. Dre.