They Say It’s Your Birthday celebrates an artist’s special day with other people singing his or her songs. Let others do the work for a while. Happy birthday!
It was only five years ago that Kid Cudi first hit mainstream consciousness with “Welcome to Heartbreak,” a track he recorded with Kanye West. While his collabs with the infamous West were the wider public’s first taste of the talented rapper, Cudi had actually been a force to be reckoned with since one of his most successful songs to date, “Day ‘n’ Nite,” was leaked on the web way back in 2007.
Since then, he has risen through the ranks from humble mixtape rapper to bonafide alt-hip hop star — and his upward climb doesn’t seem to be slowing. His newest (double-disc) album, Indicud, is slated to come out this March, and since his sophomore solo album was released back in 2010, Cudi’s been keeping busy with even more collaborations with Kanye West, Jay-Z, Snoop Dogg, and record producer Dot da Genius (in a duo called WZRD).
Kid Cudi, with all you’ve done in the last several years, the least we can do is wish you a happy 29th birthday the best way we know how — with a handful of covers of some of your best tracks.
MP3: Peter Forte — Soundtrack 2 My Life (Kid Cudi cover)
Featured in Act I of Kid Cudi’s debut album, Man on the Moon: The End of Day, “Soundtrack 2 My Life” is the perfect introduction to who Cudi is as a rapper, as an artist, and as a person. Canadian native Peter Forte certainly does the song justice with this heartfelt acoustic cover; rather than rapping, Forte sings out Cudi’s weighty lyrics over the sound of his guitar.
MP3: Spard to Hell — Up Up & Away (Kid Cudi cover)
It’s obvious from this cover of “Up Up & Away” — a lesser known track off of Man on the Moon: The End of Day — that acoustic songs are Spard to Hell’s specialty. Hailing from Oakland, New Jersey, the young and talented duo somehow manage to capture the high spirits of the original with nothing more than a few well-executed harmonies and a plucked guitar.
MP3: BJ Tran, Arct Tabanas, Gerald Fermin, & Jayne Baltazar — Erase Me (Kid Cudi cover)
If you’re wondering why the quality of this download isn’t so good, it’s because this cover of “Erase Me” — the lead single off of Cudi’s sophomore album, Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager — was actually recorded in a car. Despite this, the guitar-playing, the beat-boxing, the rapping, and (especially) the singing by BJ Tran, Arct Tabanas, Gerald Fermin, and Jayne Baltazar were all pretty on-point.
MP3: Matt Sanchez — Mr. Rager (Kid Cudi cover)
Officially released in October 2010 as a promo for Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager, “Mr. Rager” is a prime example of Cudi’s unique, somewhat psychedelic style. While not much could be dug up about Matt Sanchez, the musician who performed and mixed this cover of “Mr. Rager,” it’s safe to say he did a good job, grounding the spacy track with some good ol’ acoustic instrumentation.
MP3: Brent Brown — All Along (Kid Cudi cover)
At this point, you may be a little tired of acoustic Kid Cudi tracks, but this last one is definitely worth a listen. While the slow-moving original version of “All Along” (another track off of Cudi’s sophomore album) is quite sobering, Brent Brown brings a little bit of light to it with bright, skilled vocals and his trusty guitar.
Check out what’s coming next for Kid Cudi on his website.