A beautiful thing, life is, but there are times when the uglier parts of it peek out behind a curtain, and at some point we’re forced to confront the bad that the good parts fail to keep hidden in the dark. This is what happened on the evening of Friday April 21 after Kid Cudi got online to openly address his depression and accompanying suicidal thoughts — something he has touched on in the past.
Cudi was once praised for being a sonically progressive artist, his sound being one music had not heard before. He earned the cosign from Kanye West, whose own catalog hears clear influence from the man also known as Scott Mescudi. But then he fell into a pit of obscurity. The light dimmed while he struggled with depression and a drug addiction. Persevering through the darkness, he delivered Speedin’ Bullet 2 Heaven, his fifth studio album, which failed to clamor fanfare like the ones that came before it. Though the numbers were disparaging, the project held incredible personal significance for him and his mental state. He would eventually see redemption with the release of Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo, and all he had to do was let out his discernibly ethereal moan — the classic Cudi hum that ascends from down in his diaphragm to take us all to church if only for 20 seconds – but not before dealing with the criticisms on his own project.
“Speedin’ Bullet was my last outing as the dark, depressing character that people place me as,” he told Billboard later addressing how he used substances like cocaine as a means to “fix” his depression. “I needed to get that out of me and that was the only way I could do it.” And on April 22, as most of our minds on the east coast were lingering far away from our desks with thoughts of the warm weather and weekend just minutes ahead of quitting time, the same day that Billboard interview was shared, Cudi got on Twitter to say how under-appreciated he’s felt and adding, “I think about blowin my brains out a handful [of] times a week, I fear no one. I gives no fucks. I’m a warrior in hell.”
Getting those dark, depressing parts of one’s self out is not something most people who struggle with depression feel brave enough to do. Instead, society has taught us to suppress those feelings — interestingly enough, one of the biggest takeaways in the headlines following what Cudi tweeted has to do with he said about an upcoming album, rather than his battle with mental illness — often out of fear of that admitting to the demons that call our innermost thoughts home would earn us a scarlet letter. Every once in awhile, though, that ugliness rears its head on a big stage that’s leveraged by a celebrity platform for all to see and confront, whether we want to or not, and such is the case with not just Cudi.