Kid Cudi (right) and Plain Pat at the 2008 Holiday Bash concert at Nassau Coliseum in Long Island, New York (Johnny Nunez/WireImage)
MUSIC BUSINESS

Kid Cudi’s First Mixtape Set for Long-awaited Streaming Debut

After almost 14 years in the obscure corners of the internet, 2008’s A Kid Named Cudi will release on platforms including Spotify and Apple Music.

Over the holiday weekend, genre-defying artist Kid Cudi took to Twitter to deliver exciting news. As the world awaits Entergalactic — an upcoming album and Netflix series from the Cleveland crooner — the project that started it all for Scott Mescudi will soon be available to a far bigger audience than ever before.

Kid Cudi’s debut mixtape, A Kid Named Cudi, is set to release on streaming platforms for the very first time on July 15, 2022. Originally launched on July 17, 2008 in conjunction with streetwear label 10.Deep and A-Trak founded Fool’s Gold, the project paired Cudi with producer Emile Haynie and industry icon Plain Pat. While the mixtape leveraged the energy around smash single “Day ‘n’ Nite,” it broke barriers by introducing an emerging internet era of hip-hop fans to indie influences and a new wave of convergence culture.

Famously, Cudi raps, sings, and harmonizes on A Kid Named Cudi over instrumentals that run the gamut from A Band of Horses, Paul Simon, Outkast, Gnarls Barkley, and beyond; while the mid-aughts were defined by artists such as Lil Wayne destroying beats that previously topped charts, Cudi zagged by bringing new flavor to songs seldom mentioned in contemporary hip-hop conversations.

Kid Cudi at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards at Radio City Music Hall in New York City (Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)

As with Wayne, Drake, and A$AP Rocky in recent years, the particular vein of nostalgia platforms have tapped into by expanding mixtape accessibility through streaming is an exciting one from both a business and an artistic perspective. For this rebellious trendsetter, the timing couldn’t have been better — and A Kid Named Cudi is far from the only release fans can now look forward to.

This year alone, Cudi plans to put out a greatest hits compilation, release a new studio album, launch a new Netflix series, and go on tour. Additionally, he’s hosting a festival in his hometown of Cleveland, so not only does the streaming debut of his meteoric mixtape monetize an otherwise idling asset, but it keeps his name hot and provides even more opportunities to generate a buzz that can serve as a rising tide to lift every last one of his projects.

Currently, cuts like “Day ‘n’ Nite,” “T.G.I.F.,” “Is There Any Love,” and “Man on the Moon” exist on streaming platforms as bonus tracks for his first studio album, Man on the Moon. But the mixtape itself — which helped Cudi land label backing from Universal Motown and Kanye West‘s GOOD Music — is the origin story for an artist that has remained relevant in music, fashion, and film for nearly 15 years.

This summer, fans can stream that launching pad project for the first time on modern platforms.

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