has been active in the entertainment industry as a jack of all trades for over a decade now, serving as a rapper, singer, songwriter, producer, actor, and an unmatched king of humming on his tracks. He's a special kind of artist in the sense that for the entirety of his career as a musician, he's made sure to not release anything that he didn't feel was ready to be given to the world. The quality of the five albums Cudi released from 2009 to 2015 hold up this statement, but his 2016 album Passion, Pain, & Demon Slayin'
proves it even more so. The album was originally set to be released in the fall of 2016; but, just after the announcement of the release date, Kid Cudi checked himself into rehab due to his struggle with depression and suicidal tendencies, causing the release to be pushed back.
Cudi's battles with mental illness have never been something he kept away from his audience, and he's impacted more people than he may realize by being so upfront and honest about his struggle. After all, we're all human at the end of the day. The album finally arrived in December of 2016, and proved to certainly be worth the wait. Now, here we are–quite a few months later–celebrating the announcement of a 27 date US tour for Passion, Pain, & Demon Slayin'
with a list of 10 Kid Cudi tracks that would be life changing to experience live. The tour begins in late September and runs throughout November.
Kid Cudi released "Frequency" as one of the first tracks off of Passion, Pain, & Demon Slayin'
alongside "Surfin'" with Pharrell Williams. As the opening track of the album, "Frequency" plays the part of introducing us to the project and, in a way, impacts the way we receive the rest of the album. The same way works for tours as well, if you start the night off with a track as pumped up as "Frequency," you're setting up the energy for everyone there to have a great experience.
2. "By Design" featuring André Benjamin
Transitions are key, and "By Design" would be a perfect follow up to "Frequency." The track opens with Kid Cudi humming as always, with a brief refrain of him singing "Tap into the frequency, love." More importantly, though, André 3000's hook on this track is absolutely insane which would make for a quality secret artist appearance during one of the shows on tour. Also, who wouldn't want to hear an entire arena of people yelling "Don't fuck up the feng shui," honestly?
3. "Cosmic Warrior"
You know what sounds like a great concept? The stage lights during "Cosmic Warrior." The track itself is fairly scaled back, with a mainly instrumental flow and the same hook being repeated throughout separated by only one verse. So, performance wise, there wouldn't be much to experience with this; however, the aesthetics of it would be incredible. The word cosmic automatically turns your mind towards blue and purple lighting, and if used as a transition the lights would be dimmed slightly and I can already see the high quality Instagram pictures.
4. "Day 'N' Night"
Without a doubt, most artists have that one song that absolutely blew up early on in their career that they just can't get away from. Certainly they get tired of playing it, but will the fans ever get tired of hearing it? Of course not. "Day 'N' Night" is that song for Kid Cudi. This track is an absolute classic, and can still get everyone super hyped up even after hearing it nearly regularly for the last 8 years. Not knowing this song is like breaking some kind of secret generational code that no one ever speaks about, but we're all pretty sure it exists.
5. "Baptized in Fire" featuring Travis Scott
"Baptized in Fire" is one of those upbeat tracks that you get way too into, then all of a sudden you're angry and you aren't sure why. Between the beat and the confidence ridden lyrics like "Three piece suit and I'm looking so cute" and "Them hating fucks sidelining and question what you do," you can't help but start feeling yourself a little too much. This can also come through as a deeper, more emotional track for some as a fair amount of the song is spent touching on Cudi's night terrors, near death experiences, and other personal trials. Regardless of how you look at it, if you're in the crowd you'll definitely be jamming out to this.
Of course you can't have solely upbeat tracks on the setlist, that's what leads to people dancing and sweating too much, and then people pass out, and it's just a mess. Cudi gets more instrumental on "Kitchen," with the use of soothing strings and drums throughout the track, which would probably be ridiculously therapeutic live. Earlier this year, Kid Cudi took the stage on The Tonight Show to perform "Kitchen,"
with a string orchestra right behind him. Not sure if it's worth bringing a whole team of string players on tour for, but a completely stripped down version of the track wouldn't be bad at all.
7. "Erase Me" featuring Kanye West
"Erase Me" is Kid Cudi in his purest rockstar state, creating a sound resembling those early 2000s rock tracks that get you overwhelmed with nostalgia and hating your hometown in seconds. This collab with Kanye is one of Cudi's most popular tracks to date, so there's no question of whether the crowd would be totally ready to hear this live. A year ago it was seeming pretty iffy as to if we'd ever be able to get Kanye and Cudi together for anything again, let alone a tour performance, because of their apparent "feuding.
" A few 'I can say what I want's and 'Keep my name out of your mouth's later, the two artists seem to have put all of that behind them, luckily.
8. "All In"
"I'm exposed and I am pure / No one makes me feel secure / Except you and now we're all in" Cudi says in the hook of "All In" before the beat drops and you're left to take in the track for all of its ethereal beauty. Listening to this track, I'm given the impression that it would evoke the kind of response that would make the arena shake. It's simply a perfect performance track–I mean, honestly, the setlist could just be "All In" played however many times in a row and I'd be totally down to stay for the entire show.
9. "Solo Dolo Part II" featuring Kendrick Lamar
Two of the most iconic names in music on one track? I'll take 20, thanks. This track appeared on Cudi's 2013 album Indicud
as a follow up to "Solo Dolo," a song from his debut album Man on the Moon: The End of the Day.
This would be another incredible surprise appearance performance, but in light of the track having been released so long ago, and the two artists' lack of interaction over the last few years, it isn't likely that we'll see them on stage together in the near future.
10. "Pursuit of Happiness" featuring MGMT
It's no secret that Kid Cudi can get pretty deep, and heavily melancholic in his music. Earlier, I mentioned how he's appreciated so much because of his confidence to use his platform to speak about his struggles and let his audience know that they aren't the only ones who fight those battles. Sometimes, though, it helps to hear that everything will be alright, too. That's what "Pursuit of Happiness" is for, and that's why it would serve at the perfect closing track for the night. You never know what kind of life someone is living, but we're all constantly chasing happiness, so hearing "I'm on the pursuit of happiness, and I know / Everything that shine ain't always gonna be gold / I'll be fine once I get it / I'll be good" can't possibly negatively impact anyone in attendance.