Kanye West joined Kid Cudi on stage in a surprise performance at Chicago’s Aragon Ballroom. It was the first time West performed in a year, since his mmuch-publicized breakdown during the Sacramento leg of his “St. Pablo Tour.”
In a clip of the show, West is seen dressed down in grey sweatpants, a jean jacket and a hoodie. He and Cudi performed the song “Father Stretch My Hands, Pt. 1,” off the rapper’s “Life of Pablo” album,” and he let the crowd sing the entire first verse, while he watched.
Cudi helped out with some of the words too, and West’s presence seemed to add an extra level of energy to his already lively step. Undoubtedly, Cudi’s relationship with the Chicago rapper has come full circle since they worked closely together, had a very public falling out and then reconciled.
Although West blasted Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Drake and others at that Sacramento show, he didn’t go at Cudi. In fact, he praised him after the Ohio native issued some harsh words just two months prior.
“I need ya’ll to know, I got so many haters within the industry, and these clowns know I’m ‘bout to crush their entire existence,” tweeted Cudi in September of 2016. “Everyone thinks they’re so great. Talking top five and be having 30 people write songs for them … My tweets apply to who they apply [to]. Ye, Drake, whoever. These n—as don’t give a f–k about me. And they ain’t f–kin with me.”
West responded on a Tampa, Fla. stage soon after.
“Kid Cudi, don’t ever mention Ye name,” he barked back. “I birthed you … Don’t say who I can do songs with. You mad ‘cause I’m doing songs with Drake. Can’t nobody tell Ye who to do songs with … I’m so hurt. I feel so disrespected. Kid Cudi, we’re two black men in a racist world.”
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The duo’s relationship goes back to a recording studio in Honolulu, Hi, in 2008. It was there that Cudi first worked with the rapper on his sing-songy, Autotune heavy “808 & Heartbreak.” album. West also signed Cudi to his GOOD Music record label around that time, but he left in 2013.
Besides gaining a cult following with his “Man on the Moon” albums and by releasing others like “Indicud,” and “Speedin’ Bullet 2 Heaven,” Cudi also made a name for himself by being a stellar hook writer.
That was certainly proven on “808 & Heartbreak” since he was responsible for many of the big, sweeping choruses the album contains, which he talked about.
“It was dope, helping him brainstorm and all that stuff,” said Cudi in a 2008 interview. “It’s like being in the studio with myself 10 years from now. The energy is intense, and it feels dope that someone like him gets my vision.”
Eight years later, however, things would vastly change for both artists, and they would undergo treatment for breakdowns just one month apart. Cudi checked into rehab in September of 2016, and West in November of that same year.
“Yesterday I checked myself into rehab for depression and suicidal urges,” wrote Cudi on Facebook. “I am not at peace. I haven’t been since you’ve known me. If I didn’t come here, I would’ve done something to myself. I simply am a damaged human, swimming in a pool of emotions everyday of my life. There’s a raging violent storm inside of my heart at all times … My anxiety and depression have ruled my life for as long as I can remember, and I never leave the house because of it … I deserve to have peace. I deserve to be happy and smiling.”
After he checked into rehab, Cudi said that West was one of the people who reached out to him with a kind word, and the two have been pretty much out of the limelight since then.
One can only assume that they’re friends again, based on the recent Chicago show, or at least on good terms. But that, of course, remains to be determined.We’ll also have to see if the show will spark West’s interest in performing again because in the video it looks like Cudi was trying to give him encouragement.
If you notice, at the end of the song, Cudi acknowledged the crowd’s cheers and turned to West, as to say ‘Look at how much the people have missed you.’