Speedin’ Bullet 2 Heaven (album review): 2015 wrap-up series (part 3)

If you know me well, you know that one of my favorite artists, creators, and just humans in general is Scott “Kid Cudi” Mescudi. He has had such an immense impact on my life since I’ve been in high school when he put out his first album, MOTM1. I have been a loyal fan since and show no signs of falling off anytime soon.
Those who heard his latest album, Speedin’ Bullet 2 Heaven, or those of you who let music critics mold your opinions, may think that after hearing this album I may have been skeptical of his new direction.

This is definitely not the case but it may have even strengthen my love and appreciation for Cudi and everything he does. This album actually may have saved my life, in a strange way.

Speedin’ Bullet 2 Heaven is not a rap album for one, and though perceived consensus may suggest that Kid Cudi is a rapper, I for one never considered him to be a rapper. Kid Cudi is genre-less, and explores all the musical influences and corners of himself to obtain a sound that is unique to only him. I would say that “Kid Cudi” is a genre in itself.

No rap here. Rather experimental, progressive, ambient, grunge, psychedelic, punk rock. This would be the best way to describe this body of work. That of course is if you attempted to place it in a box. You would really have to listen to it yourself.

For me, it’s almost as if Cudi always wanted to make this album. If you were REALLY paying attention to his artistry and progression throughout his career, you would easily have seen this coming. Especially after he released WZRD with producer Dot The Genius, we all should have known Cudi had some Rock & Roll in his blood.

So, why did this album have so much influence on me? Well, Cudi, being my favorite artist ever, dropped this album right when I needed it the most. December 4th, a week after the episode I had, was when the record arrived, right in the middle of my death-obsessive recovery period. Which brings me to the overall theme of this album.

If you listen to Kid Cudi, you know that the majority of the themes he tackles in his music is sadness, loneliness, depression, drug abuse, and just real emotional experiences. Even while some of his music is intended to uplift and motivate, Cudi is always transparent about what he’s expressing in his music at any given time in his life. In this latest album though, I feel like his vulnerability has reached its peak, similar to what Kanye West did with 808’s & Heartbreaks.

I interpreted this album as Cudi’s courageousness to dig deep into himself and get to the root of his depression and loneliness. He expresses angst, sadness, madness, distrust, self-hatred, confusion, and hopelessness all throughout this 26-track effort.

Every song on this album has a different feel to it as well, if you really pay attention to the melodic arrangements, it’s really quite impressive. Plus Cudi shows his self-taught guitar chords and riffs on every single song which is self-produced, which makes me appreciate this album even more.

What made me so immersed into this album is the fact that everything that he touched on subject and concept-wise I was either feeling at the very moment I heard it for the first time, or I either felt at some point leading up to it. The mutual understanding is what makes listening to Cudi’s music more of a spiritual experience for me. It’s apparent that the emotions he expresses through his music are valid and that he and the listener are not alone, though it may feel that way at times.

After listening to this album a good 15 times front to back, I just realized that every time I listen to these dark, intense, depressing songs, the more I fall in love with them. I immediately bought the hard copy once they were in stores and the album packaging he did himself as well.

This album obviously isn’t for everyone, but for those that it is for, we support Cudi not just for his musical efforts, but for his intent within it. His connection to his (real) fans is what keeps him going, and in turn, keeps us going as well. Cudfam for life.
-DW

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