Last night at an intimate venue in Los Angeles, Kid Cudi & Dot Da Genius hosted a private listening session for their forthcoming rock album “WZRD”. Christipher Mintz Plasse and fellow “How To Make it In America” co-stars Bryan Greenberg and Eddie Kaye Thomas attended the listening session to show support for Kid Cudi. Following the albums playback, which ran close to 50 minutes in length, Complex Magazine’s Joe La Puma hosted a Q&A for media attending the event. Keep reading for my thoughts on the album and some new information from the Q&A.

“WZRD is the alternative to everything because no one is doing what we’re doing”.

This is the alternative rock album that you would expect from Kid Cudi and Dot Da Genius as they have delivered something that no artists with Hip-Hop roots have done before. Kid Cudi’s music has always consisted of a wide range of style and taste as he has continued to craft unique music while staying true to the “Kid Cudi sound”.

WZRD (pronounced “double u – zee – are – dee” and not Wizard) is a departure from Cudi’s previous work and Dot’s production so there will be an adjustment for some of you. Your overall taste in music will greatly effect how you feel about this album upon first listen. The cinematic feel, knack for a great chorus and some fantastic vocals definitely make for something you would expect from a Kid Cudi album.

The Arrival

Kicking the album off is the appropriately titled instrumental “The Arrival” that warms you up to the rock sound of WZRD while immediately showing off Kid Cudi and Dot Da Genius’ new skills on guitar and bass. Dot’s production on “WZRD” is deserving of a lot of praise as this is the same person who went from producing the Hip-Hop friendly tracks “Day n Nite” and “Dat New New” to now having a complete rock album under his belt.

“High Off Life”, one of my personal favorites, wastes no time as it showcases some powerful vocals from Kid Cudi and production from Dot Da Genius. The next 3 songs (Dream Time Machine, Love Hard, Live and Learn) have their moments, with “Love Hard” being another top track from the album. “Dream Time Machine” features supporting vocals from Empire of The Sun as Cudi previously announced they were to be featured on the album. “Brake” and “Teleport 2 Me, Jamie” are the next two tracks, which we’re all familiar with, brining us to the half way point of the album.

Upper Room

At this point in the session, Dot Da Genius cuts the music and hands Cudi a microphone to inform the crowd “These next few songs are deep, I want your undivided attention. I still here people talking….Okay, hit it”. Rightfully so, as the album takes off from here.

“Where Did You Sleep Last?” is a cover of the same titled song by Nirvana who in turn covered the original by blues guitar legend Lead Belly. Efflictim and Dr. Pill (a late addition to the album) continue the strongest part of the album as the final six songs come together to deliver a well rounded album. Completing WZRD is “Upper Room”, the most uplifting track on this album and my favorite after one listen.

With a new outlook on life, its only fitting that after Man on the Moon II ended with the lyrics ““I’m trapped in my mind baby, I don’t think I’ll ever get out” that WZRD concludes with “I’m a happy new me” asking himself  “do you believe in destiny?”

Thoughts from the Q&A hosted by Joe La Puma:

  • According to Kid Cudi, bands that inspired this album include Electric Light Orchestra, Jimmy Hendrix , Nirvana and Pink Floyd.
  • “Rocket is one of the first songs we created, it didn’t make the album, but we’re working on making it perfect so we can release it” Cudi said.
  • Asked about a follow up to WZRD, Cudi confirmed that they are already recording new music with the hopes of releasing it in the coming months. “I made a new record the other day that’s really phenomenal” said Cudi as Dot added “Expect greatness”.
  • “I didn’t write this album with the goal of not cursing. It just happened. When you have important things to say you don’t need to swear” Cudi informed the crowd. All though the album will not receive an explicit warning, Best Buy posed a challenge as they did try to claim it contained cursing because of the word “Pussies” in the song Upper Room. “Pussies is a word used when talking about multiple cats,” Cudi told the crowd “My daughter watches Puss N Boots, it’s not a swear word”.
  • Kid Cudi said he had writers block for almost 5 months because of his new sobriety. Something that never has happened to him for such an extended period of time.
  • Dot Da Genius acknowledge that he originally wanted to record the album in the best possible studio they could be in but Cudi interjected saying he believed the album needed a raw and gritty feel which led to recording on the tour bus and at his home. “I could have spent tons of money hiring the best people to do everything, but thats not what I’m about”.

“This album is something the world needs to hear. I’m really proud of myself. I haven’t been proud of myself for a while.”

WZRD will be available online and in store on February 28.
Pre-order your copy today.