Kid Cudi's been open about his deep struggles with drugs and mental health issues for some time, but in a new interview with OTHERtone, Pharrell's video content network, Cudi makes an explicit tie between his addiction issues and both the pressure he felt to make more hit music after signing to G.O.O.D Music and the distance his newfound fame and success was creating from his longtime friends:
“I’ll tell you the truth, it’s what drove me to drugs. I didn’t like that I had money and success and I had made it and everybody that I had ever met in my life—good people—weren’t able to experience the same. And I wasn’t able to truly enjoy my success. Even though I worked hard for it, it bothered me that I had so much and my friends didn’t."
We've heard the "fame is a monster" refrain so many times it can sound like a cliche, but that doesn't make it any less true. Especially for someone who might already be predisposed to addiction and mental health problems, the pressure to deliver a product to both a record label and a legion of adoring fans has to feel crushing at times. Couple that with guilt for having what others you love don't - a theme we also saw in Kendrick's "U" - and the struggle to remain sane and sober would have to be enormous.
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So no matter what music he makes next, in whatever genre, here's to hoping Cudi finds a way to stay in the spotlight as a happy and healthy human being.
By Nathan S, the managing editor of DJBooth and a hip-hop writer. His beard is awesome. This is his Twitter.
Photo Credit: Greg Noire