Scott Ramon Seguro Mescudi (born January 30, 1984), better known by his stage name Kid Cudi (/ˈkɪd ˈkʌdi/ KID KUD-ee, often stylized KiD CuDi), is an American recording artist and actor from Cleveland, Ohio. After moving to Brooklyn, New York, with aspirations of becoming a rapper, Cudi initially gained recognition after the release of his first official full-length project, a mixtape titled A Kid Named Cudi, which he released in 2008. The mixtape caught the attention of American record executive and rapper-producer Kanye West, who subsequently signed Cudi to his GOOD Music record label, in late 2008. Cudi’s association with West and the GOOD Music label, as well as his breakout single “Day ‘n’ Nite”, led him to prominence. Cudi, who is also a singer-songwriter, guitarist and record producer, is currently signed under Republic Records, as well as his own label imprint, Wicked Awesome Records, which he founded in 2011.
In 2009, Cudi’s debut single “Day ‘n’ Nite”, reached the top five of the Billboard charts. “Day ‘n’ Nite” was included on the mixtape as well as his debut studio album Man on the Moon: The End of Day (2009), which was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The End of Day also features the singles “Make Her Say” and “Pursuit of Happiness”, both of which fared well on several music charts. In 2010, Cudi released his second studio album and the sequel to his first, Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager. The sequel was preceded by the release of two singles, “Erase Me” and “Mr. Rager”, both of which were released to moderate success, with “Erase Me” peaking at number 22 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album itself peaked at number three on the Billboard 200, surpassing its predecessor in both sales and peak position. Very much like his debut, The Legend of Mr. Rager also went on to be certified gold by the RIAA. In April 2013, Cudi released Indicud, his third studio album. The album was primarily produced by Cudi himself and peaked at number two on the Billboard 200 chart, becoming Cudi’s highest-charting album on several charts, as well as that one. The album spawned the singles “Just What I Am”, “Immortal” and “Girls”. In February 2014, Cudi unexpectedly released his fourth album Satellite Flight: The Journey to Mother Moon, exclusively to digital retailers, with little-to-no promotion.
In 2009, Cudi had teamed up with American record producers Plain Pat and Emile Haynie, to launch their record label imprint Dream On, in partnership with Universal Motown and Kanye West’s GOOD Music. In October 2010, Cudi announced that he was teaching himself how to play the guitar and that he would be forming a rock band, now known as WZRD, with his longtime friend and frequent collaborator Dot da Genius. In February 2011, Cudi announced the Dream On record label had been dissolved due to creative differences. Later in April 2011, while performing at New York City’s Roseland Ballroom, Cudi announced he was launching a label on his own, Wicked Awesome Records. WZRD ultimately released their eponymous debut album on February 28, 2012, under Wicked Awesome and Republic. The album debuted at number three on the Billboard 200 and at number one on both the Top Rock Albums and Top Alternative Albums charts. In 2013, Cudi announced his departure from GOOD Music, to focus on Wicked Awesome Records; he left on good terms and is still heavily associated with the label.
Kid Cudi has sold over 5.2 million digital singles and has worked with artists such as Kanye West, Jay-Z, Common, Mary J. Blige, David Guetta, Shakira, MGMT, Ratatat, Snoop Dogg and Michael Bolton. In 2010, Cudi starred in the HBO series How to Make It in America, as part of the main cast, until its cancellation in 2011. He has also starred in two short films Maniac (2011) and Cruel Summer (2012), directed by Shia LaBeouf and Kanye West, respectively. Cudi has appeared in films such as Goodbye World and Need for Speed, and has also made appearances on television shows such as One Tree Hill, The Cleveland Show and the Fox comedy series Brooklyn Nine-Nine.