Rapper Kid Cudi has made a career creating music about his sadness and worries. As the cover star for the July 21 issue of Billboard magazine, the rapper speaks candidly about his battle with depression and “suicidal urges” and what led him to finally find joy.
In October 2016, Cudi shared a detailed open letter on Facebook with his fans declaring he would be checking into rehab because he was mentally “not at peace” and had not been for a long time.
He disclosed why he decided to share the letter with his fans to the publication. “I was in a really bad place, and at the time, I felt like I was letting a lot of people down,” he said. “It was really hard for me to even write that letter, but I needed to be honest with the kids. I needed to. I couldn’t live a lie. I couldn’t pretend to be happy.”
Now at the age of 34, aware of the severity of his dark moments, the Cleveland native says he’s happier than he ever has been. “I’m the best I’ve ever been in my life,” Cudi said. “I realized I was genuinely happy, and there’s nothing really going on in particular. Just being 34, to be still doing what I love. Taking care of my responsibilities, and my daughter’s good and my family’s good. Creating is making me happy again.”
Cudi reconnected with his friend and frequent collaborator Kanye West, who has also been candid about his mental health revealing he has bipolar disorder. The two worked on the Kids See Ghosts together, which was released in June as a part of the five album G.O.O.D. Music series produced exclusively by West.
“There are some songs that we didn’t use that I’m hopeful we can put out later,” the rapper said. “But the plan is to do more Kids See Ghosts albums.”
Cudi said that what he was hoping the balance and wisdom he hoped for at 30 finally set in. “I’ve arrived at this point of feeling 34. When I was 30, I didn’t feel 30. I still felt younger than my age. I felt like I was going to get some type of wisdom, something was going to hit me when I turned 30. It didn’t happen. It came a little later for me, but it’s here, and it feels great.”
Outside of music, Cudi is working on a clothing capsule with the French brand, APC, and a TV series with Jordan Peele’s Monkeypaw Productions.
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Christina Santi is a news and culture writer for EBONY.com. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, she considers herself a well-read, not so traditional feminist with a heavy interest in music, fashion and pop culture. Christina currently lives in New York City, where she refers to her Cuban & Jamaican descent often while writing about her experiences as a first-generation Afro-Latinx in America. She also devotes time writing personalized reading material for her tutees and turning ideas into words for streetwear brand, PUER By Noel Bronson.