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Kid Cudi creates psychedelic album, features numerous artists

Alex Burnham, Reporter

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Intermittent delays plagued Kid Cudi’s third studio album, “Indicud.” Scott Mescudi mentioned the title of his 70-minute, 44-second installment during last summer. However, he put off its release from October 2012 to early 2013 and then eventually until April 23. “Indicud” leaked on the Internet last week, forcing the artist to release it a week early.

The 18-song compilation delivers exactly what Mescudi, who goes by Kid Cudi, promised: his version of Dr. Dre’s “The Chronic 2001.” His experimental, avant-garde production, which features King Chip, Too $hort, Kendrick Lamar and A$AP Rocky, advances the limits of hip-hop and delves into an exotic end of the musical spectrum.

For starters, the singles on “Indicud” demonstrated his unique approach before the album was released. “Just What I Am” begins with robust bass kicks and fluttering cymbal crashes, which evolve into a sonically distorted Mescudi exhaling the lyrics “I need to smoke.” His words echo and coalesce.

“Girls,” another single, expands and contracts to the pulsing of synthesizers and warbling bass tones. Music practically breathes as Mescudi describes his associations with women. “I see pretty girls everywhere I go,” he repeats during the chorus. The layering of separate electronic sounds gives the song acoustic depth and an airy temperament.

This quality persists throughout the album as an underlying theme that relates lyrically different tracks. A sanguine disposition hops from song to song against a popping of vigorous bass.

And, in typical Cudder fashion, a few parts of the album contain references to marijuana and the alienation of Mescudi from society. The “Moon Man” — also known as “Mr. Solo Dolo,” — describes therapy, isolation and a general lack of hope. But he also details the fortitude to continue living after a bitter custody battle.

Yet, any more self-deprecation for Mescudi would be trite, prosaic to the point of regurgitation. “Indicud” alludes to low points but encapsulates the artist’s motivation to live under the influence of happiness.

“I just tell ‘em I’m an oxymoron when I open my mouth,” he raps on the psychedelic “Solo Dolo Part II.” Reminiscent of Scooby-Doo and carnival music, plus The Doors, the track features Kendrick Lamar. It also samples “Going the Distance” by the Menahan Street Band.

Musical invention defines the album in this way. The nine-minute penultimate track “Afterwards (Bring Yo Friends)” begins like “New York City Rage Fest.” Forceful bass smacks and pounds; it threatens to break the speakers. Then, above the beat, a phase-shifting organ pumps melody into the mixture. Various phrases emanate from the aural depths and repeat, given that the song lacks narrative lyrics.

“Afterwards” transitions into “The Flight of the Moon Man,” a short, spacious finale. Natural, atmospheric noises blend with xylophone sounds into a cacophony, which in turn becomes the industrial pattern of grinding, mechanical bass.

Ultimately, “Indicud,” the vaporous, effervescent collection of plangent tracks, sparks through musical synapse. Profundity integrates with simplicity, a sublime journey from song to song.

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