By James Montgomery
Kid Cudi’s new WZRD album with Dot Da Genius was born out of the duo’s spontaneous desire to craft a passion project, and even though the Cleveland-born, rapper-turned-rocker recently spit some pretty harsh words at his label for not supporting the album, he’s still more than confident in the project. The project’s impressive first-week sales didn’t hurt too much either. “I think it definitely proves a point, that there was a method to my madness,” Cudi tells MTV News.
To call Kid Cudi’s WZRD’s a passion project would be an understatement of downright sorcerous proportions. From the moment he and producer/bandmate Dot da Genius conceived the idea of making a rock record — which recently inspired a spate of irate tweets accusing his label of failing to support said record — Cudi hasn’t exactly been shy about expressing his feelings about the band, its self-titled album or the success they’ve had in spite of pretty much everything.
“We were recording the last Man on the Moon album at Cudi’s house, and we just finished ‘Trapped in my Mind,’ which is the last song on the album,” Dot explained to MTV News last week. “Cudi wanted to implement guitar. So we got a guitar in the building, he picked it up, started playing and fell in love immediately. And, like a week later, I went back to his house and he was like, ‘Yo, we got to do this.’ ”
“I was like, ‘Let’s start a band,’ ” Cudi laughed. ” ‘It’s going to be called WZRD and it’s going to be awesome and it’s going to sell 70,000-plus records its first week, with no promo.’ ”
And, yes, that last jab is pretty telling. Because though Cudi backtracked a bit on his previous assessments of Universal Republic’s promotional efforts for WZRD, he’s still clearly enjoying proving everyone wrong. And those first-week sales figures (and #3 debut, the highest of any new album last week) are only adding to that enjoyment.
“I think it definitely proves a point, that there was a method to my madness, that the kids are out there and they want the music. It’s just like a that’s-what-I-f—ing thought-type of thing,” he said. “Not just to the label or whatever — I’m not going to say the label had no faith in the project — just kind of to the naysayers and people that didn’t really believe in it.
“It’s not Man on the Moon numbers, but, sh– man, it’s more than we thought,” he continued. “To debut at #3 on the charts, that’s dope, that’s some Man on the Moon sh–. I debuted #3 last album and #4 on the first album, so, you know, it’s dope.”