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The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

Kid Cudi passes as a “WZRD”

(Courtesy of Universal Republic Records)

A rapper has released a rock album. If this statement causes you to panic, you are totally justified.

    Rapper Kid Cudi’s stab at rock music comes in the form of the band WZRD, which he formed with one of his producers, Dot Da Genius. Cudi plays guitar and sings, while Genius plays bass. Both handle keyboards and production.

    The worry about this genre shift has merit. On Lil Wayne’s 2010 rocker “Rebirth,” Weezy channeled his inner Guns N’ Roses through layers of autotune. At its best moments, it didn’t work out. At its worst, it felt like a giant practical joke someone managed to pull on Wayne.

    WZRD’s debut album, “WZRD,” isn’t a great album by any means, but it’s decisively better than “Rebirth.” However, unlike “Rebirth” in which Lil Wayne attempted to reinvent himself, “WZRD” works by playing to Kid Cudi’s strengths.

    See, Kid Cudi was never your typical rapper. His persona was extremely down-to-earth and emotionally bare, much like an indie rock musician. Cudi’s debut, “Man on the Moon: The End of the Day” (which by the way is one of the best rap albums I’ve heard) displays this well, as it is a concept album about his dreams.

    Thus, Cudi lends himself well to making a rock album. In addition, “WZRD” sounds like Sleigh Bells’ debut with the volume turned down slightly. The shift works as it isn’t a total divorce from the sound featured on Cudi’s previous albums.

    But does it work well?


    Don’t get me wrong, the album isn’t a total wash. “Teleport 2 Me, Jamie” is the album’s highlight, a ballad about wanting your significant other to be present that is built around a sample of a song from the “Drive” soundtrack. It really struck a chord with me and definitely ranks among Cudi’s best.

    However, most of the songs don’t match that high. The first real song on the album (after the intro), “High Off Life,” is too long by a minute and a half and is a terrible way to start the album.

    There’s also a cover of “Where Did You Sleep Last Night,” a folk song made popular in recent years thanks to Nirvana’s version at the end of the “Unplugged” album with it. The song sounds too similar to Nirvana and ends up as a try-hard attempt to come across as serious rock musicians.

    Cudi also is an okay singer but he never sounds very confident or happy at all. In fact, he sounds like a male Lana Del Rey. Admittedly, he sings on his previous albums but at least those had some rapping.

    Thankfully, Cudi hasn’t given up on rapping. He’s promised that his third album will come out sometime this year. In the meantime, “WZRD” is an effective substitute for Kid Cudi but it’s not as good as the real thing.

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About the Contributor
John Kesler
John Kesler, Opinion editor
Opinion editor, spring 2012. Staff member, fall 2011.

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Kid Cudi passes as a “WZRD”