Gucci Mane released a song this year called “All My Children,” on which he plays the proud father to all these “trap boys” turned “rockstars” who’ve been running the game in his absence. But for many of today’s young artists who prefer to talk about their feelings rather than finessing the plug, Kid Cudi is their father figure.
Travis Scott, Kevin Abstract, and Raury have all spoken about how Cudi has impacted both their music and their lives. But OG Maco has taken things a step further by releasing a new EP, entitled For Scott, dedicated to Kid Cudi. “For the man on the moon who taught us all not to give a fuck,” he writes. “You are our big brother. Fight On. Dream On.”
Unsurprisingly, For Scott is heavily inspired by Kid Cudi’s music. Maco adopts many of Cudi’s characteristics, including his tortured crooning, tenacious flow and trademark humming. The production, meanwhile, channels the somber, spacey spirit of Man on the Moon and Satellite Flight. Fellow Atlanta rapper Key! did something similar three years ago when he dropped the aptly titled When I Tried to Write For CuDi EP. Both are admirable attempts, but neither manage to recreate the magic of Scott Mescudi, of course.
As the title suggests, however, For Scott is as much for Kid Cudi as it’s inspired by him. The project is peppered with lines that, on the surface, sound like Maco doing his best Cudi impression, but secretly are words of support intended for a friend in need. Like on the rock-tinged “Courage,” when a voice roars, “On a mission to give the world what it’s been missing / Don’t let all their lies affect your decisions / Just keeping on pushing / No more overlooking.”
It’s Kid Cudi’s healing power coming full circle; The Lord of the Sad and Lonely being helped by one of his disciples.
For Scott is more than just OG Maco imitating his “big brother,” though. In a recent interview with Vlad TV, the 24-year-old rapper talks about how Kid Cudi shaped the person he is today, and how he relates to his personal and professional struggles.
"That’s one of my favorite people in the whole world. He’s been in a place, I understand him completely. I can relate fully because, look at it like this: as a fan of Cudi, '808s & Heartbreak,' 'Man on the Moon'—those two things alone completely changed the landscape of music. Now, imagine you completely changed the landscape of music which you love more than anything else, and yet it’s still people who treat you like some after act.
"Cudi has influenced people like me and Travis [Scott] and all sorts of people to become the people that we are. Imagine having to live with that and then know that the entire general public look at you like some kind of fucking sidekick, when actually you’re a hero."
Maco also speaks candidly about his own struggle with depression and suicide after a private conversation with one of his ex-girlfriends was posted online, sparking rumors that he had HIV.
"That recording sounded like a guy in pain. I even had to listen to the recording myself to realize how close I was no not being here. How close I was to offing my damn self. I was extremely suicidal. I woke up one night with my fucking gun in my hand. I remember waking up and calling that same ex and I was crying."
Last month I wrote about how suicide is slowly being destigmatized in hip-hop. When it comes to mental health, the more we feel comfortable in talking about our problems, the better chance we have at treating them. And Kid Cudi has broken down more barriers than anyone else. Just as he poured his soul out for all to read when he checked into rehab earlier this year, OG Maco is not afraid to admit his own struggles. Now, the same kid who turned to Man on the Moon for guidance is returning the favor with For Scott.
Because Maco knows how a few songs can save a life: "As an artist and a creator who’s battling with they own demons, sometimes freeing people and getting that recognition is all you have."
By Andy James. Follow him on Twitter.