Kid Cudi and Dot da Genius come together to form WZRD, an experimental rap-rock duo featuring lots of guitars and Cudi’s halted delivery. This self-titled album is not what you would expect from this group.
Anyone familiar with Kid Cudi will expect much of the same from WZRD. The vocals and lyrics on the album are distinctly Cudi. He alternates between crooning and rapping about life lessons, feeling like he’s different from everyone else, and how his perspective on things has changed as he has grown older. Lyrically, WZRD tells the tale of an angsty teen who has become an adult and realizes how much more there is to life.
WZRD doesn’t go too deep on an intellectual level, but I relate to some of things they sing about. I like that I can empathize, even if there isn’t much complexity to it. It’s emo music for adults. That may sound like a insult, but it’s not. I really like to see artists’ content mature as they get older. The reason I’ve moved away from certain types of music, such as punk rock, is that it did not mature with me. It stayed the same as I grew up and moved on. On some level, leaving behind immaturity is the basis for WZRD. One could say that it’s also an attempt to leave behind the previous sound of Kid Cudi for something new as well. That’s meta.
The sound is not at all what I expected. I expected another Kid Cudi album, but got something closer to rap-rock. Thankfully, it’s not the rap-rock of the 90s and early 2000s. It’s experimental rap-rock that incorporating a minimal beat, lots of guitars, some electronic elements, and, for the most part, Kid Cudi’s vocals sounding exactly like what you’d expect.
For those of you who saw the movie Drive, you’ll notice that Desire “Under Your Spell” was sampled on “Teleport 2 Me, Jamie.” I think WZRD did a good job of adding their lyrics to the song, while keeping the same underlying feeling of the original.
I’m sure people will talk about WZRD’s cover of Nirvana’s take on “Where Did You Sleep Last Night?” All I can say is that I wasn’t expecting it. Nirvana’s version is somewhat dear to me, so another version is unlikely to replace it’s spot in my heart.
WZRD isn’t perfect, but it is enjoyable. The only major downside is that the non-singles are somewhat indistinguishable from each other. These audio wallflowers should be ignored for the few that deserve your attention.
I was at a wedding this weekend and didn’t get to have a listening party. Leave your comments below!
Stand out track: “High Off Life”
“High Off Life”