Kanye West Reappears Onstage Beside Kid Cudi

On Saturday, Nov. 4, Kid Cudi performed at the Chicago Aragon Ballroom for his Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin’ tour. Cudi had his audience in awe when he brought out Chicago-Native Kanye West as a surprise guest. This was a shock to everyone, especially after the duo’s dispute on Twitter. Together they performed “Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1” off of West’s The Life of Pablo album together, making it clear that they are on good terms once again.

When looking at the timeline of Cudi and Kanye’s relationship, it is easy to see the ups and downs over time. In 2008, after a few years of knowing each other, Kid Cudi was signed to West’s G.O.O.D. Music label. Later, West featured on Cudi’s single from his 2009 album Man on the Moon: The End of Day, “Make Her Say.” This single skyrocketed his career within the label. Other collaborations between the two artists include “Erase Me,” “Gorgeous,” and “All of the Lights.”

In April 2013, Kid Cudi announced his disaffiliation from G.O.O.D. Music, but made it clear that no wrongdoing from either parties led to his decision. He even mentioned it was difficult to do because Cudi views Kanye West as his “big brother”. There was a small dispute in 2013 when Cudi was never given notice about his vocals featured on West’s “Guilt Trip” track off of Yeezus. Cudi continues and says, “Why not call me and have me come in there and give it? Why underuse me? Why put four bars of vocals to coax my fans into thinking this is a legitimate Kid Cudi feature on this song and it isn’t?”

In September of 2016, Kid Cudi released all his frustrations against Kanye on Twitter. He states that he feels like he is finally on top, and continues by saying none of the great rappers “Ye, Drake, whoever” don’t care about him. One of his biggest points was “The fake ones won’t be lasting too much longer.”

At his Saint Pablo Tour on September 2016, West addressed Cudi’s tweets by saying “Do you know how many people wish they could be signed to G.O.O.D. Music? Get their life changed, have an opportunity? Never forget that! I am so hurt. I feel so disrespected. Kid Cudi, we are two black men in a racist world… Don’t ever mention my name in a bad manner, none of y’all.” A few days later in Houston for the same tour, he addressed the situation again, apologized and said Cudi is “The most important artist of the past 10 years, the most influential, and I hope he’s doing well.”

Kid Cudi's Facebook Page

On October 4, 2016, Kid Cudi announced on Facebook with a lengthy post that he had checked himself into rehab for depression and suicidal urges. Meanwhile, Kanye abruptly left his tour show in Sacramento, CA while performing “Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1” and canceled the rest of his Saint Pablo tour. Shortly after, he was hospitalized for “temporary psychosis due to sleep deprivation and dehydration”. In 2017, both artists have been under the radar up until their surprise performance.

There is a stigma in seeking treatment for anxiety and depression within Black communities. Statistics show that Black Americans are 20 percent more likely to have serious mental health issues but are half as likely to use “mental health services” in comparison to other American communities. Looking at hip-hop culture, there is a recurring anti-therapy mindset that many rappers bring up. Many rappers say music and hip-hop is their therapy, expressing their struggle and emotions is how they choose to get through their problems.

Video via @bugattibiebz on Instagram

Despite that, there is a shift in hip-hop today where many artists are proudly stating they are getting the proper help they need, and this trend was created by Kid Cudi himself. Kanye West has also contributed to this by constantly being himself and not hiding his emotions, even though it led to him crashing and getting checked into the psych ward. Artists like Kanye and Kid Cudi have influenced other artists to continue this upcoming trend and it has had a greater influence on hip-hop fans all over the world.

Recently, Kanye has gone public a few times. He featured on CyHi the Prynce’s new song “Dat Side” and have a sneak peek at a new zine. He is also fighting legal disputes in regard to his canceled tour. On a brighter note, an anonymous source disclosed that Cudi and West are going to “drop some crazy collaboration out of the blue” and they are currently in the process of recording it. Just last week, the duo was seen in Japan at Takashi Murakami’s studio. Murakami is an artist that has worked artistically and closely with many artists, including Kanye West for his Graduation album artwork and has collaborated on unique art exhibits with Pharrell Williams. The source also mentioned that this Cudi/West project is exclusive and the only music professionals exposed to it are Cudi and Kanye themselves and an engineer. Rumors say the world will have to wait until Dec. 31 for this long awaited project.