Kid Cudi talks exclusively to HYPE about booking films, making his own beats and what he learned watching Kanye work.
HYPE: You’ve expressed an interest to pursue more film, whether it be in front of the camera or behind it like you did on Just What I Am. Personally, I thought How To Make It In America was super dope. Are you currently working on any film projects?
Kid Cudi: “Uhm, yeah. When I get back home I’m gonna be getting ready to shoot Need For Speed”.
Wait, what? They’re making a Need For Speed movie?
“Yeah. It’s gonna be myself, Aaron Paul, Dominick Cooper, Imogen Poots. It’s a really dope cast and I’m just really excited because this is my first big studio film. I did some indies before which will be coming out later this year. I did a film called Goodbye World and another film called Two Night Stand and one is like a comedy and one is really dark, post-apocalyptic dramedy type of film. Each character is different so I’m excited to dive into that and have people see me portray something outside of Domingo, which is what people know me for. I am so proud of How To Make It In America; it gave me the platform to explore developing a character and learning the craft of acting to the point where now I’m booking films and growing. I’m really excited”.
Dope, we’ll be looking out for that. For a rapper, your form and flow is very unconventional. I’ve always been interested to know, how do you approach your writing process?
“Well. Firstly, I’ve realised just recently with Indicud that I write better outside of the studio, as opposed to being in the studio and feeling the pressure of having to write. I hate that. So I find myself writing songs when I’m waking up, eating breakfast or doing whatever. It doesn’t really come to me when I’m in the studio but sometimes it does like with Just What I Am. I made Solo Dolo part 2 in the studio too. Then there other songs where I have to take a step back and make sure I approach it a certain way ‘cause I wanna prove a point lyrically more so than I ever have. With Man On the Moon 1 & 2, it was more the impulse of just getting the emotions out so the writing was fluid. I’ve come to find that my technique is, in the studio I make the beats and come up with all the ideas and then I keep them with me and I’ll be listening to that shit all day driving or whatever and I’ll come up with some shit when I’m driving. Then I’ll pull over and write it down, you know? That’s working for me lately”.
So you’re your own making beats now?
“I started producing my own records again with WZRD and with Indicud so it’s music first. The other way around when you’re working with different producers, it’s a process and you have to wait until they give you what you want. And it could be a while until you get what you want so sometimes I’ll have an idea and just write it first. But making my own beats, there was no waiting process. I made the shit and then I sat with it. And it was dope to be able to be involved in the process from the beginning to the end. I’ve been in sessions with producers sometimes and things just didn’t come out right. I’m glad I’m able to eliminate that stress factor now ‘cause I know more than anyone the kind of sound I’m looking for”.
You’ve done a number of collabs with King Chip and really brought him to people’s attention. Any plans to start your own sort of G.O.O.D Music empire and just sign and nurture talent?
“No ‘cause I don’t have the interest or the energy for that. I think I’m really pleased with just Chip right now, you know… yeah, and that’s it. Chip is my friend first before anything else. A lot of staff and people I work with are basically down to the relationships I have with these people. I’m not gonna go out and seek artists to sign to the label because I want a cheque or because I wanna put someone on, I don’t have that motivation. If I do a record with someone then that’s that. But there’s a lot that goes into it and I’ve watched Kanye work with G.O.O.D Music and I got a chance to see what that’s like and be able to say that’s not want I want for myself and my business. It’s just not how I wanna do things”.
For the full interview, cop the new issue of HYPE on shelf now!