Explore Issue 01 of LOOP Magazine

Featuring Sam Tompkins and Victor Ray as our cover stars, as well as internal spreads from Girli, Jords, Mysie, Finn Askew, Kara Marni and Master Peace

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Kid Cudi’s Rolling Loud Performance and Why Fans Need to Do Better

Its no secret that Cudi was a major influence on the 2016 trap-hop era of rap artists like Denzel Curry, Juice WRLD and most famously Travis Scott (who chose his rap alias based after Kid Cudi’s real name Scott). His melodic spacey synth sounds, beautiful harmonic hums and darkly insightful lyrics spoke to a generation of kids that felt disenfranchised and hurt by the world that had caused them to be outcasts.

His influence spanned even further than his early work, most notably collaborating with Ye (Formally known as Kanye West), breaking boundaries with 2008’s polarising hip-hop-heartbreak-album 808’s and Heartbreak, before once again collaborating on a slew of West’s largest hit songs and creating a painfully introspective seven track long masterpiece together, Kids See Ghosts.

Cudi was souring through the stars, his moon man persona taking him to the upper echelon of musical greatness. Sure, there were bumps in the road. His 2015 album Speedin’ Bullet 2 Heaven is often regarded as one of the worst pieces of art ever recorded. But Cudi bounced back, with his magnum opus Man on the Moon 3, before working with Kanye once again on Donda with their track Moon, a track so immense it sat at the top of Ye’s most streamed songs without West even appearing on the track. However, it would be his relationship with Ye that would seemingly cause the most recent break in his, until now, peppy step.

Mr West’s and Mescudi’s drama is a long and complex tale, however, to summarise. Kanye West’s and his now ex wife Kim Kardashian’s divorce was a messy one that lead to a slew of online rampages from Ye towards Kardashian’s new partner Pete Davidson. Cudi maturely decided not to involve himself in the altercation and add fuel to the already raging flames, a decision that West despised and publicly shamed him for, causing a permanent rift in their often tumultuous but passionate friendship.

Cudi spoke finally on the subject matter days before the release of Pusha T’s It’s Almost Dry, stating “Hey! So I know some of you heard about the song I got w Pusha. I did this song a year ago when I was still cool w Kanye. I am not cool w that man. He’s not my friend and I only cleared the song for Pusha cuz thats my guy. This is the last song u will hear me on w Kanye.  

This was the last fans heard on the situation, for all the world were concerned this was just another spat in the Mescudi / West troubled friendship. Flash forward two months and West injudiciously and without explanation relinquishes his headline slot at Rolling Loud festival in Miami; a position that Mescudi gladly fills.

Armed with a setlist complete with his biggest fan favourite hits from across his extensive catalogue, Kid Cudi was prepared to leave his five-foot-seven mark on Fridays star studded Hip-Hop orientated line-up and Provide fans of space fascinated rapper a memory to last them for decades to follow.

However, by the sixth song in his setlist, it was clear that the crowd were anything but pleased with his presence. Audience members took it upon themselves to show their distaste for the new Friday headliner by throwing pieces of rubbish at the Cleveland rapper; leaving the stage looking less like it was at the Hard Rock Stadium and more like it was in Apex Reginal in Las Vegas.

Cudi, understandably, didn’t take kindly to being pelted in face with an array of objects that had been making friends with the dirty floor for the hours that preceded his arrival. “If i get hit with one more thing, if I see one more fucking thing on this stage, I’m fucking leaving, don’t fuck with me.” before staying true to his word and leaving the stage as more inanimate objects were hurled at him.

So why did this happen? What could possibly have enraged the crowd so much? There is no way that Ye fans would care deeply enough about a feud between two rich, famous men they’ve never met before, right? Nope, that’s exactly what happened.

Kanye west fans, despite thinking they’re in a different class to the stans of their contemporaries, are just as mindless and follow just as blindly as the Twitter bots you find in the comments of every tweet, spamming K-Pop gifs. The problem with releasing introspective music and being so famously outspoken in the public eye for two decades is fans think they know you inside and out.

An average music enjoyer would be disappointed that their favourite artist missed a show, however, they wouldn’t feel the need to attack and shame the replacement. A sea of overprotective Kanye West fans thought differently on how the situation should be handled and decided it was their responsibility on July 22nd to stick up for their favourite billionaire, by making his ex-friend’s headline performance unplayable.

Kid Cudi’s departure from the stage at Rolling Loud Miami 2022 was greeted with overwhelming applause; an event that surely affected the famously insecure Cudi more than he would be willing to let on. Whilst fans on social media were quick to defend Scott post the event, damage towards the rapper was already done.

Fuel was only further added to the already raging fire, when an apparently previously unavailable Ye came out on stage with Lil Durk, to perform Kanye and Cudi’s biggest hit, Father Stretch My Hands part 1, as if to pour salt into Scott’s now gaping wound from earlier in the evening.

The shameful fact of the situation is the reason fans disregarded Cudi’s presence. Kid Cudi has been less than perfect in the past few months, famously mis-treading his relationship with fans online. Weeks prior Cudi took to twitter to call a fan who wasn’t adoring the new “A Kid Named Cudi” album art chosen for streaming services “Bogus”; months after not being “flattered” that fans were using his song Day N’ Nite as a TikTok sound. Even recently Cudi has decided to partner with McDonalds to sell his fans a 225 dollar piece of golden arches merchandise.

But the crowd at Rolling Loud weren’t angry at Scott for any of these mildly offensive crimes. No, the crowd at Rolling Loud were simply angry that Cudi was a different man to Kanye West. Had Cudi come out with West (an event many people had theorised would take place if given the time), or had Cudi decided to give up his slot completely in place of Kanye’s albums being played across the speakers, fans would never have thought to hurl water bottles at his shaved head. However, Cudi was forced to leave the stage with his tail between his legs and his ego needlessly in disrepair.

Unfortunately, This isn’t the first time that Rap fans have done this at a festival before. It seems that festival crowds act like an easily upset, unruly child, with any sudden changes to schedule causing uncontrollable bouts anger. Take Camp Flog Gnaw 2019 for example. A sea of Odd Future obsessed fans had convinced one another that the slated secret set in the evening of the festival would be filled by the often-allusive Frank Ocean. However, when the lights went up and Drake walked out to “Started from the Bottom”, fans were less than pleased with his arrival, ultimately booing him throughout his whole set.

Whilst watching one of the world’s biggest and most egotistical artists get mocked throughout his entire set is somewhat humorous, and his humbleness at the end to gracefully end his set by saying “It’s been love, I go by the name of Drake”, Is commendable; it’s impossible to not feel bad for him.

Whilst disappointment is understandable, and in a world where artists are pulling even larger and more outlandish stunts to satisfy the insatiable hunger of their musically ravenous fans; it is important to remember that the people that you are disappointed to see on stage are still people with tangible emotions, despite their millions in the bank.

Whether it’s a surprise performance from Drizzy Drake or a last-minute set from the Moon Man, these moments are special for not only the artist themselves, but quite often the people around you. t’s easy to get caught up in the hype of hating someone or something just because it’s exciting to do; how many people hated Yeezus just because the Critics did? It’s much harder to keep an open mind about something you have preconceived notions of already.  

Some of the greatest experiences come from ganging together with a group of people to unanimously hate something, it’s great to feel part of something. However, that experience only lasts once. Opening your mind up to something new can be transformative. You might discover your new favourite artist, or even see a hated one in a new light.

Booing an artist off stage because they have drama with your favourite celebrity is a royal misjustice of public cancellation. Rather than booing Twenty One Pilots through their whole set because you want to see Post Malone (looking at you Reading 2019), put your collective voice as a crowd into showing distaste for problematic artists.

Rather than making Kid Cudi scamper because you love Kanye, force Kodak black to disappear when he comes out with Kendrick Lamar. Rather than upsetting a Canadian man called Aubrey with a heart shaved into his hair, remind Chris Brown why he hasn’t been booked in any venues across the UK in the past 12 years.

Our favourite celebrities most likely won’t remember when we stuck up for them, but they will certainly remember when we unjustly penalised them for a mynute crime that shouldn’t carry a punishment. While we could be using our vocal chords for change, we’re booing men with mental health issues off stage whilst simultaneously cheering for Da baby’s homophobia.

Fans are well within their rights to voice their opinion and collectively decide they don’t like an artist. However, if the would clubs together for a cause other than two adult men bickering we might make some real progress.

Words by Mason Meyers

Posted On 4 October, 2022