Kid Cudi has gone to hell and back. Thankfully, with the release of his critically acclaimed collaborative project with Kanye West, Kids See Ghosts, the Cleveland rapper is finally receiving his flowers. It isn’t easy being one of the most influential artists of the last decade. In a new Billboard cover story, Cudi opens up about life after entering rehab for “depression and suicidal urges” and how it has changed his music.
“It hasn’t been said that I’m good, that I’m OK,” Cudi said. “On Passion, Pain, I never let the world know that I’m good, because I wasn’t good yet. I was thinking, how can I let the world know? It was great when Kanye wanted to use [the song], because it was perfect for both — we are both reborn after what we went through. I couldn’t have made a song like “Reborn” until now, because I didn’t feel reborn yet.
“Reborn” is one of the most inspirational songs on Kids See Ghosts. During the second verse, the Cleveland crooner proudly sings, “I had my issues, ain’t that much I could do / Peace is somethin’ that starts with me.” It is the highlight of the album and represents a place for West and Mescudi to open up to fans about their current personal struggles.
Later in the interview, Cudi also opens up about the October 2016 message he posted on Facebook and his reaction to the outpouring of support. In the post, the Passion, Pain, & Demon Slayin’ artist described how he hasn’t been “at peace,” since the beginning of his career, as a result of anxiety and depression ruling his life.
“[I] saw that the response was all love and support, and it really touched me,” he continued. “I was in a really bad place, and at the time, I felt like I was letting a lot of people down. It was really hard for me to even write that letter, but I needed to be honest with the kids. I needed to. I couldn’t live a lie. I couldn’t pretend to be happy.”
Read the entire cover story at Billboard.