Indie Spotlight: Kid Cudi

Logically speaking, a Kanye West cosign is pretty hard to come by for new artists, or just about any subpar human trying to flex their freshness. But newcomer and genre-crosser Kid Cudi has done just that. The Cleveland-raised Cudi, now a New Yorker, is the newest and arguably the most innovative hip-hop artist to pop up as of late, but he’s working his ass off to make sure he’s not just another hopeful.

Cudi, who was originally signed to DJ A-Trak’s Fool’s Gold Records, began to make some waves on blogs last year when DJ duo Crookers remixed a track of his titled “Day N’ Nite.” The track is something of an electronic enigma – the theme of the song is being lonely and high to the roof, but the Italian DJs made it just as upbeat and danceable as any pop smash.

To follow up on the quick success, Cudi began to release tracks on the Internet before dropping his debut mixtape, A Kid Named Cudi. The result? A 17-track collection of introspective lyricism, soulful singing, catchy melodies, compelling production and a sound bloggers just can’t figure out how to classify.

The versatile Cudi hops on unusual beats and, depending on how the mood strikes, sings or raps or just chats with his listeners, who have no choice but to keep their ears wide open.

With such an oversaturation of mixtapes and new artists flooding the scene, so few can show enough promise and the ability to stay relevant. But with his clever wordplay and a healthy friendship with Kanye West, Cudi is out to conquer his demons and just be a kid named Cudi.

Look for Cudi features on Kanye’s upcoming album, 808′ and Heartbreak, and his own debut, Man on the Moon, which Cudi describes as “the most magnificent and innovative album to come from an artist in ’09.”

Essential Kid Cudi: “Heaven At Nite,” “Cudi Get,” “Embrace the Martian” and “The Prayer.”