It has been almost a month since rapper Kid Cudi released his 19-track album Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin’, and no one has really noticed.
Cudi seems to struggle with the ability to fill the tracks with content, which has constantly hindered him for the last two albums he dropped. Each song seems to be centered on a few good lines and chorus.
Cudi, who once received high praise in the hip-hop community has slowly begun to fade away. The further Cudi gets in his career, the simpler the song structure seems to be. He talks about vague struggles with even vaguer solutions.
In the second song of the album, “Swim In The Light,” he often repeats, “You can try to numb the pain but it will never go away.” Those few words are essentially the entire song. I thought he would get into the issue he dances around, but he never does. The few words he says serve as a bridge to connect each chorus. The song would be forgettable if you could get the simple line out of your head after listening.
Cudi’s career began by being open with his weaknesses and it was well received. His fans once loved him for being an artist who was unashamedly himself. This could only take fans so far, and Cudi begun to revert to a more angry path since then.
A praise for this album, and the one thing that cohesively held it together was the producing. Plain Pat, the producer who helped Cudi get his career started, produced the whole album. Pat has worked with Kanye, Lupe Fiasco, Alicia Keys and many more. He is an experienced producer and adds improvements to the album as a whole to try and take it to a higher level.
A highlight of the album is “All In.” The song opens up with the sound of rushing water rushing and an ascending and descending techno intro. Then the beat kicks in, speeding up the tempo of the song.
Cudi speaks about struggles in a relationship, although rather vaguely. A catchy chorus dominates the song with the words, “What ever happens, happens. We’re all in.”
The last song of the album, “Surfin’,” features Pharrell Williams and leaves the listener on a good note. “I ain’t ridin’ no waves. Too busy making my own ways.”The verse holds a beat kept in time with the sound of clapping, a background chorus and a trumpet coming together to create a unique sound. The song gives off the impression that Cudi enjoyed making this song and does not give you the typically negative Kid Cudi, similar to Kanye, that listeners have almost been accustomed to.