The rapper who said he is “responsible” for Kid Cudi’s career
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The rapper who said he is "responsible" for Kid Cudi's career

Kid Cudi’s status is as one of the most revered alternative hip-hop artists in music today. From early in his career, Kid Cudi set himself apart from other rappers by the way he presented himself and his music.

By creating and curating every project as an exciting work of art, as opposed to just murder music, meant he didn’t fit the traditional hip-hop mould, which is why he was so quickly noticed.

It is well-known that before fame, the Ohio native worked at the Manhattan branch of BAPE, a high-end streetwear brand created by Pharrell Williams and Nigo. However, many assume that it was only Kanye West who contributed to his success in 2008. Still, according to one New York emcee, he is responsible for Cudi’s entire career.

Jim Jones is a former member of the Harlem-based crew Dipset, initially named The Diplomats. Comprised of Cam’Ron, Jim Jones, Frekey Zekey and Jones, the collective was responsible for several hits, but Jones also claims responsibility for the rise of Kid Cudi.

During an appearance on DJ Superstar’s VIP Saturdays show on Sirius XM alongside his New York counterpart Maino, Jones explained that Kid Cudi exploded the way he did due to his cosign. 

Although Jones was a rapper first, he was also a businessman, and during the late 2000s, he became Vice President of Urban A&R at Koch Records. In this period, Cudi was signed to the label and had yet to get recognition from any mainstream artist, most definitely not Kanye West.

Speaking about the predicament Cudi was in, Jones told DJ Superstar, “Kid Cudi was nobody. He worked in a f**king store under Koch Records. I was signed to Koch Records. I didn’t even know Kid Cudi worked down there.”

Jones explained that an employee at Koch showed him a rough and ready music video of Cudi, and he heard Day’n’Nite. Following this, he decided to hop on the record to help Cudi. The Harlem lyricist even claimed that the original version of Day’n’Nite was only picked up by HOT 97.0 because he was initially on it.

Explaining this, Jones recalled, “Lisa Brunt’s nephew at the time was doing some work for me in my studio, and he’s like, ‘Yo, I manage these video directors, and I want them to shoot a video for you,’ and s**t like that. I’m like, ‘Show me the video.’ They showed me the video, ended up being a Kid Cudi video that they shot for free for him.”

He continued, “They [were] like ‘This is the kid that works in the f**king rock-n-roll store under Koch.’ They just did it for him, and I was like, ‘Give me the record, and I’ll let y’all shoot me a video.’ They got me the record. I did the record. They shot the video.”

Jones insisted that his verse was taken off the record and cut out of the deal once Cudi signed with Fools Gold Records. This record label would thrust the Ohio native into the limelight before he got picked up by Kanye.

Jones recalled how the original Day’n’Nite recording blew up, saying, “I put it on YouTube. Somebody at Hot 97 ripped it off of YouTube and started playing it at Hot 97. When he got his deal, they took me off the record and went for ads without me on the record.

He concluded, “DJ Cassidy did that, you dig. You know I bumped into him, but that’s my man, though. It’s always a joke, though, but it happens like that. I’m solely responsible for Kid Cudi’s career. You can go tell him that, and he’s going to tell you, ‘He’s right.'”

You can hear the first version of Day ‘n’ Nite with Cudi and Jones below.