And that’s clear on tracks like “Solo Dolo Pt. II” with Kendrick Lamar and “Brothers” with A$AP Rocky (and King Chip), where Cudi falls back on his verses to let the two young MCs shine.
“Aside from the fact that they’re dope, I was really inspired to work with [Kendrick and A$AP] because I love their sound, and when you hear something new, you [think], ’I wonder what my sound would be like with that,’ Cudi explained to MTV News recently. “That’s how I think about features. Fusing two artists’ sound in a way where it makes sense and brings out this ’super song'; that’s what I was trying to accomplish.”
Cudi also recalled that when Kendrick showed up at the studio — “he came in there f—ing ready to go” — the Cleveland rapper still hadn’t come up with a hook. He did have one verse written, though, and from there everything came together organically. “I was so humbled by the fact that [Kendrick] was such a big fan of mine because sometimes I just feel out of touch with the new generation,” the 29-year old admitted. “I’m not even that old, but I was away for a while and it’s just really exciting for me to see the love from somebody like Kendrick who’s in a space where he’s just beasting and killing it.
“The focus was on producing the record for Kendrick,” Cudi added. “I wanted to shine as a producer first. I wanted to show that side off more than anything else and that’s why I had my one verse then let Kendrick go ape-sh– crazy all over the rest of it.”
As for the A$AP Rocky feature on “Brothers,” Cudi explained that he made the decision to go with a minimal hook and let the Harlem rapper dominate the track.
“I felt like that was a perfect beat for A$AP to get on there and speak some truths and talk to the younger generation, because he’s in a place where a lot of kids are up to him and Kendrick,” the Indicud MC said. “I just wanted to hear him say something a little bit more thoughtful, and he did that — he showed up. I was blown away by his craftsmanship, his professionalism and his overall mojo.”
One of the more eccentric features on Indicud is the nine-minute track “Afterwards,” which features Michael Bolton, the 80’s light-rock powerhouse that Cudi now describes as the “uncle I never had.”