Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The WZRDs: Kid Cudi and Dot Da Genius Drop Rock Collabo

(Photo via soulculture.co.uk)
WZRD's album dropped last week and I'm trying to figure out what to make of it. This project or duo consists of the outspoken Kid Cudi and Dot da Genius. I saw Cudi last year at the Molson Amphitheater after he rescheduled due to an illness and I felt really old. It was nothing but kids in attendance, who were eating up every verse and chorus. What made me uncomfortable were his vocals, not the young concert goers. And that was my major concern coming into this WZRD album.

Off the jump, this self titled debut launched off on the wrong foot. Here are Kid Cudi's candid tweets explaining his disapproval:

Ok so just a heads up, my weak ass label only shipped 55k physicals cuz they treated this like some indie side project tax right off.

So i apologize on behalf of my weak ass major label. And I apologize for the lack of promo, again, my weak ass major label

They tried to rush me thru this so i can just give em another MOTM, but guess what? Fuck that, next album is WZRD. MOTM3 on hold til 2014

So its def gonna be tough to find one in the stores guys, I'm sorry about that.


I gotta go out and find one too, becuz my weak ass label never even gave us a copy of our own album. FAIL!!!

No label support can prove to be deadly, but Cudi's twitterati bought up digital copies in droves (45K sales) since CDs (21K sales) were hard to come by. I love outspoken artists that put their thoughts on blast for everyone to enjoy. In his defence, Kid Cudi is a successful artist and there is no reason why his "weak ass label" would leave him high and dry.

For those of you that don't know Dot da Genius, he's the guy behind "Day 'n' Nite", which is Cudi's most recognisable track. According to the Legend of Dot, Cudi picked up a guitar during the recording of Man Of The Moon II and was a natural. This inspired the creation of the rock driven WZRD. I enjoyed listening to the record on a purely musical tip. "The Arrival", the first cut on the album, is a nice opening piece which set up my expectations. It's a bit loose thanks to the guitar playing, but still enjoyable. I'm the type of music listener that focuses on the instrumental work before diving into the lyrics. Then "High Off Life" came up next, Cudi started singing, and they lost me. Hate to say it, but Cudi is not a good vocalist. He should stick to a rap/singing style which he does very well. What's that Cudi?:

The more people tell me to rap again, the more I dont want to. I dont work for u, and im not ur puppet. I do what moves my soul. Thx

I'll give props to the Kid for playing guitar on WZRD for the majority of the album. For being a newbie on the axe, he did a good job. BUT the killer for me was his butchering of "Where Did You Sleep Last Night?".  Lead Belly is famously renown for his version of this traditional folk song, later covered by Nirvana on "Unplugged in New York". Cudi attempts to show his "range" on his take of the song, but his often monotone voice doesn't transcend the emotional range needed to pull it off. I'm a firm believer that you should play to your strengths and encourage experimenting with your sound since it's a natural evolution for any artist. I don't see this happening on this release, besides the rock exploration.

Give WZRD a spin if you have the time. Your opinion could be much more different than mine.

-Paqman

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