#ONREPEAT: Kid Cudi’s “Immortal”

In his latest song, experimental hip hop songwriter Kid Cudi sampled MGMT’s “Congratulations” and created a track that’s empowering. But why do hip hop critics still love to make him the butt of their jokes?

Not only did Cudder produce “Immortal,” but he let his vocal fly on the track, attempting to harness notes that we’d love to hear coming from someone like, say, Adele. Despite his smidge-too-high singing ambitions, however, he sounds great on the Indicud (April 21) song, and his hyper-supportive fans are eating up the positive messages woven into the lyrics. Maybe I’m biased because, like Cudi, I thought I had powers as a little kid too, but generating upwards of one-hundred-thousand streams on each of the six days “Immortal” has been on Soundcloud is a solid amount, especially for a song that was released on Twitter sans a big label push.

The beef that so many rap know-it-alls have with Kid Cudi is that he allegedly “doesn’t rap,” or is “soft,” or “emo,” but what critics of the G.O.O.D Music artist and songwriter fail to realize is that Cudi has always been in his own eclectic, uncategorizable lane. Less nutty than Lupe, he’s the guy who doesn’t care if he fits the classic hip hop criteria, but still goes on defensive rants to protect his craft. And why shouldn’t he? The Ohio native has been making music that’s alternative-but-complimentary to the genre from day one, and that’s likely what caught Kanye’s ear and got Cudder scooped up and added to the team in the first place. Keep in mind: this is the guy whose song-writing and vocals made it on multiple 808s and Heartbreaks tracks when he had only released A Kid Named Cudi, his 2008 mixtape.

Like our beloved Kanye, Cudder is emotional and makes introspective, outcast-friendly, sometimes-uplfiting music for himself and his fans. That’s what made them drawn to his super powers in the first place. And while a quote-un-quote “tougher” artist like Meek Mill or 2 Chainz might not be proud of having “pioneered the sad robot rap subgenre” as a line on their resumes, it’s something Cudi should shout from the mountain tops. On “Immortal” he does, but this time, he’s in better spirits. Take a listen.