Yesha Callahan

Kid Cudi: Hip-Hop Is ‘Holding Us Back As A Culture’

On the heels of his recent release, Kid Cudi Presents Satellite Flight: The Journey To Mother MoonKid Cudi stopped by the Arsenio Hall show on Friday to perform and sit down with the talk show host. Cudi, originally from Ohio, discussed what he would change about the state of hip-hop.

The 30-year-old rapper and occasional actor, said that  “braggadocio, ‘money, cash, hoes’ thing is dead,” and that it is holding hip hop as a culture back. Cudi also went on to say that artists need to embrace responsibility and realize how important their voices are.   During his interview, Cudi passionately spoke about the reason he got into hip hop.   “All I wanted to do was help kids not feel alone, and stop kids from committing suicide,” he said. “I dealt with suicide for the past few years. There wasn’t a week or a day that went by where I was like, ‘I wanna check out.'”  Cudi has always been vocal about this mental health issues and told Hall that “loneliness is a power thing and if you don’t conquer it, it could eat you a live”.

Take a look at his interview segments below:


Clutchettes, do you agree with Kid Cudi’s comments?

  1. March 17, 2014 - Reply

    Well, when it comes to discussing my dislikes about the sub-culture. There are a few factors.
    -Like Cudi, I hate that rappers can only rap about materialism. I think that this was part of the reason why Macklemore (as well as, some songs by Drake) was able to gain popularity.
    -In regard to rappers of the XX Chromosome: I’m tired of the material that the “mainstream, hip-pop” female rappers are reciting as well. Stereotypically, the female gender is known to be “in tune” with our feelings/opinions. So, I would like to hear songs from these entertainers that reflects it. Instead of these woman trying to join the “Boys Club” by rapping of the same sh*t.

    Now, when it comes to the hip-pop culture influencing impressionable people (because let’s face it, there are a lot of adults who are impressed by this stuff than the kids), I agree with him.
    I have an Instagram account, as well as, Facebook, so I’ve seen how heavily influential hip-pop can be.From teens (and adults) taking selfies while showcasing money to people roasting (borderline bullying) other people over their choices in fashion (wearing clothes from Rainbow Shoppe, City Trends, etc. is a terrible thing…even if you’re barely making your ends meet).

    • March 17, 2014 - Reply


      Besides the fact that the artists are weak enough to go to the studio to continually produce such trivial concoctions. One also has to recognize that the industry also feeds off the capacity to degrade and demean a whole group of people with little to no effort of their own.

      I do know it is a supply/demand system but I also realize that the ones at the top of the food chain are fond of the fact that brown folks berate each other with their own dare I say it ART and kill each other at rates that those people applaud behind closed doors.

  2. March 17, 2014 - Reply

    I highly agree that HipHop is a major drag on the brown folk community. I am currently and have been to several non black less than industrialized nations and at check points where everyone has to show IDs I am often SPECIFICALLY greeted in a less than professional manner by the locals or other nationals, while my pink counterparts are given the greeting of the day/hour with a Ma’am/Sir attached. These ‘guards’ don’t know me or anything bout me but I get a “Wassup” everytime.

    Majority of what is known about American Black people in the world is dictated by the few but omnipresent images that are in the media. Whether it be news, sports or music (mainly Music)and in all of those areas Brown folk portray themselves in a a negative stereotypical manner. And that is how we are treated abroad UNLESS you are of some otherwise higher profile (in uniform, part of a specific government envoy/department or some sort of celebrity).

  3. March 17, 2014 - Reply

    Kid Cudi is absolutely, totally, positively right.

    I went cold turkey on rap about 3 years ago. I was listening to some song on the radio and the rapper was going on about ‘hoe this, hoe that.’ And in that moment I was like, ‘I am an empowered, responsible, financially independent woman. I would never let a man on the street talk to me like this, so why am I choosing to listen to it? This music is designed to degrade and humiliate women. This music is not for me.” And like that, I was done. I have listened to a few of Kendrick Lamar’s songs — the ones that are thoughtful and intelligent. But aside from that, I’ve been done.

    I think it’s so funny that people were hating so hard on Macklemore when he won the Grammys. Okay yes, he does not have ‘nearly’ the skill of a Kendrick Lamar. But the guy was rapping about SHOPPING AT A FLIPPIN’ THRIFT SHOP and SUPPORTING GAY MARRIAGE. I mean, come on! What mainstream (or indie!) black rapper do you know who would promote fiscal responsibility, anti-consumerism and anti-homophobia. I can think of The Roots, Talib Kweli, Mos Def… but they haven’t been hot in a long time. I’m talking a fresh up-and-comer.

    To be fair, I do not really keep up with the music scene, so there very well may be someone that I am not aware of. So the dual problem is that the music industry ‘machine’ won’t promote a black artist with a different message, and we as consumers don’t demand black artists who have a different message.

    Basically Macklemore took “our” platform and injected a progressive message into it. And, if rappers aren’t careful, more and more people will be taking “our” platform and using it in ways that distance them from mainstream black hip hop culture.

    I respect and salute all the musicians and poets who established rap and hip hop. It’s a potent art form that has global influence. But the reality is that we have STAGNATED. The art form has not progressed. EVERYONE — from Jay-Z to Drake — is talking about THE SAME THING; money and dominating women through sexual conquest, with a few lyrics about the difficulty of being a black man thrown in here and there. It is so regressive, ignorant and buffoonish that sometimes I can’t BELIEVE how financially successful it’s been.

    • March 17, 2014 - Reply


      What a beautiful, well thought out comment! I completely agree! With the exception of Kendrick Lamar, I can’t get interested in new and upcoming rappers who subscribe to the same ‘success’ formula. I don’t want to hear about your ‘money, cash, clothes, and hoes’…it’s just not something that’s appealing to me personally. The worst part is the influence it seems to have on men (and women) of all ages. I’ll be 30 this year and guys my age still quote rappers as if they’ve said something truly deep. Most times, I can’t even decipher what they’re talking about!

      If the site would allow me to give a thumbs up, I would; alas, I haven’t been able to use the feature for some time now.

    • March 17, 2014 - Reply


      @LN: you are right on point!

    • March 17, 2014 - Reply


      Great comment!
      I was like you, I gave up on mainstream Hip Hop and Rap because I just couldn’t deal with the profanity too: N*gga this, my N*gga that, I’ve got B**ches, I love these hoes etc. Arrghhh!!
      I prefer (Neo-)Soul, RnB, old school Reggae, Funk,Blues and Jazz (from other parts of the world like Brazil for example.

    • March 17, 2014 - Reply


      Since you think Macklemore is so great, these are some of the lyrics in ‘Thrift Shop’:

      “Walk in the club like what up? I got a big cock”

      “People like Damn, thats a cold ass honkey”

      “Probably shoulda washed this, smells like R.Kelly sheets”

      ‘Same Love’:

      ‘When I was in the third grade I thought that I was gay,
      Cause I could draw, my uncle was, and I kept my room straight.’

      ‘If I was gay, I would think hip-hop hates me’

      In this song he makes sure to tell you that he isn’t gay.

    • March 17, 2014 - Reply


      No offense, but Macklemore sucks.

      You can simultaneously agree that Hip Hop is full of commercialism and and like music that actually good.

      Kid Cudi being one example. ..

      Sorry just had to say that.

      Macklemore sucks, seriously, it’s really bad and I’m going to start liking his crap music because the white boy has singlehandedly transformed the bad negro rap music. . .

  4. March 17, 2014 - Reply

    I saw mr. Cudi on Friday and my sister loves him to death so I watch the whole.

    I agree with his saying, the hip hop genre is getting worst and outside of K. Lamar and two other rappers. I don’t listen to much new school hip hop. The genre has been culturally high jacked and squeeze until no more money can come out it. Most of the rappers don’t stand for anything instead of money and will gladly sell their souls or let anyone in/on. The female rap genre is basically gone and I doubt any up and coming female rappers can return it to its glory days. While I think money, cash, and hoes is a problem since it has become dominated in mainstream hip hop. I don’t think it’s the only problem. There are puppet master behind the scene who makes the most from hip hop being like this. Not many artists are willing to stand up and fight against. I don’t know if this just came to Kudi or he felt this way for some time because he did “Pokaface” and that was along the money and hoes route.
    Last point Macklemoore winning awards for best rap is still a trip to me. He may rap about different things but other rappers who are black have and they get sweep until the rug, out of mainstream shine, don’t get all the awards or backing like Macklemoore did.

  5. March 17, 2014 - Reply

    When hip-hop was in it’s early years all the way up to the early 90’s (yes, I’m dating myself), we had vast listening options. We had gangsta rap (NWA), conscious rap (Public Enemy), wholesome rap (Arrested Development), hippy/bohemian rap (De La Soul), dance/party rap (Naughty By Nature), female empowerment rap (Queen Latifa) and much more. We weren’t forced to listen to the same type a rap over and over again. If you didn’t like listening to songs about hoes and guns, you didn’t have to because there were plenty other rap artists with more positive and fun messages available. I remember being positively influenced by the lyrics from KRS One, Chuck D and X-Clan. These lyricist’s words caused me to want to know more about my Black/African ancestry and played a role in the pride I had in my Black/African ancestry. I know other youths may have been influenced by NWA but alot of us were not because we had other options. By the late 90’s something shifted and it became all about the bling and ass-shakin and it got stuck there. Music greatly influences cultures. Just look at music from every generation going all the way back to the birth of jazz and bee-bop to soul music and to funk. Each genre (or sub-genre) played a major role in how the youth of that generation behaves and so as hip-hop got stuck with braggin about bling and big booties so did our culture.

    • March 17, 2014 - Reply


      Though you can’t see it, thumbs up on the historical accuracy of rap. For the most part, only the NWA style combined with the “Money, Cars, Clothes, Hoes” is mainstream. Anything else has to be underground, out of my reach 🙁

    • March 17, 2014 - Reply


      I will recommend a good radio station for you guys: WeFunk radio. They play non-mainstream rap, hip-hop from across the years, funk, RnB, disco and urban music from other parts of the world like Brazil, African countries, Jamaica. A lot of stuff that you won’t hear on your average radio.

      • March 17, 2014 - Reply

        @Miss Smeeg

        I tried the radio stream and it only plays for 2 minutes.

        • March 18, 2014 - Reply

          @Knotty Natural

          Try the website again Knotty. Maybe your Internet connection was a bit rubbish at the time? You can stream on Itunes too. 🙂

  6. March 17, 2014 - Reply

    good head Arsenio!!! he is a great interviewer, he lets the person just talk and be real .

  7. March 17, 2014 - Reply

    I love Cudi. One of the reasons I’ve supported and respected his music is because of his openness about anxiety and depression as a black man. Respect.

  8. March 17, 2014 - Reply

    I agree with him 100%. I’m glad he’s doing something positive. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to be growing up as a teenager in todays society. So much pressure.

  9. March 17, 2014 - Reply

    And this is why I support his music every sense a kid named cudi mixtape came out I been a fan. We need more artist like him to speak up and tell the truth. I seen a video called yikeing it and yes its time for the bs to end….Thank You Cudi

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