Kid Cudi is one of the most revered alternative hip-hop artists in music today. Akin to artists such as Tyler, The Creator and Childish Gambino, Cudi’s music doesn’t quite align with the standard sonic of rap music, yet he is still embraced and loved within the culture.
Cudi’s material is unique and draws on so many different styles it is impossible to label it. It merely exists. However, his sound hasn’t come from nowhere. The emcee (real name Scott Mescudi) has a range of influences.
Rappers are usually exposed to a lot of African-American music growing up. However, some artists, such as Lil Uzi Vert, end up becoming obsessed with rockstars, and the same can be said for Mescudi, who, in an interview, once revealed his biggest musical inspiration.
In 2012, the ‘Day ‘n’ Nite’ musician spoke to Complex about some of his biggest influences. Opening up about his childhood, Mescudi unveiled that Jimi Hendrix had a big impact on him, stating, “I love all his albums. Saying ‘favourite albums’ is preposterous. Especially because of the artists that I listen to that have multiple releases, it’s really fucking tough. But if I had to choose one, I would choose his first one because I’d have to choose the one where it all started.”
He continued, “Are You Experienced? was the first album of Jimi’s that I dove into, and I can say it inspired a lot of what Kid Cudi is today. It definitely inspired a lot of Man On The Moon, MOTM2, and the WZRDproject. Are You Experienced? was the first album of Jimi’s that I dove into, and I can say inspired a lot of what Kid Cudi is today.”
The Ohio native then “Jimi was somebody who I was getting into [during the making of] Man On The Moon. We started vibing out to that during the process of making the first album. I needed to be inspired, and I really turned to Jimi, somebody I knew of but didn’t really get into his music until later on.”
You can listen to Are You Experienced? by Jimi Hendrix below.