Kid Cudi is a rapper with a conscious who discusses subjects with immense depth that other artists would run a mile from. Although he’s nothing like Tupac, he was the rapper who Cudi studied most as a youngster, and his obsession made him who he is today.
When we talk about the most influential rappers from the 21st century, Cudi has earned his right to be in the conversation. He proudly wears his fragilities on his arm, and rather than play up to hip-hop’s masculine stereotypes, Cudi is himself to the core. While he has a different truth to Tupac, there’s an unflinching honesty which aligns with their styles.
Even though his life has been extremely different to Pac’s, Cudi has never hidden who he is, and this is down to his hero. He once revealed to Complex: “Tupac inspires my mouth. When I be talking my shit and I get inspired and so passionate, when I say what I have to say—Pac inspired me to be that way.
“When you believe in something, you stand up for it no matter what. When I be talking my sh*t and I get inspired and so passionate, when I say what I have to say—Pac inspired me to be that way.”
Furthermore, Cudi also highlighted how Pac was unafraid to tackle the big societal issues from the perspective of the voiceless. He made Cudi aware of using his platform for something bigger than himself with the aim of enlightening his listeners.
He added: “This man was probably one of the only MCs that took politics to the fucking records. He was talking about shit; he was the hood spokesmen. For now and forever. The stories he was telling—the hood tales—he told them from another perspective.
Cudi concluded: “This is the first rapper that educated me on some things. That’s why I have an undying love for Pac. He was such a powerful n****. His words are so powerful. What he stood for was so powerful.”
The fact that Cudi is a graduate of the school of Tupac Shakur shows just how influential the Cali native was across hip-hop. Even those who seemingly have nothing in common with him still idolise the shit out of Pac.