Before Kid Cudi was musically reborn as half of Kids See Ghosts with Kanye West, he was struggling to regain his momentum as a solo artist. In a new GQ interview, the Cleveland rapper joked that Pharrell might not want to work with him again after the singles he produced for Passion, Pain, and Demon Slayin’ didn’t meet his commercial expectations.
“I don’t know if Pharrell will work with me again, because those songs didn’t do what they were supposed to do,” Cudi said. “The label didn’t do the right thing.”
Pharrell produced “By Design,” which featured OutKast’s André 3000, “Flight at First Sight / Advanced,” and “Surfin’” off Cudi’s sixth studio album. Despite (mostly) being a return to form for Cudi, none of the tracks gained much traction, failing to chart on the Billboard Hot 100 or be certified gold or platinum by the RIAA. Passion, Pain, and Demon Slayin’ arrived during a tumultuous time for Mescudi. In October of 2016, he checked himself into rehab for “depression and suicidal urges” as he was prepping to promote his latest album.
“I was thinking of ways to do it. It scared me straight,” Cudi continued. “What scared me was that my mind was willing to go there. After all these years.”
Thankfully, he seems to be much better now, saying he’s “living in the light now.”