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Apr 05 2024 | Hip-Hop

Kid Cudi – Insano

Kid Cudi – Insano
Release date
December 31 1969
Kid Cudi – Insano
December 31 1969 |

Insano is the ninth studio album by American musician Kid Cudi. It was released through Wicked Awesome Records and Republic Records on January 12, 2024. The album contains guest appearances from DJ Drama, Travis Scott, ASAP Rocky, Lil Yachty, Pharrell Williams, the late XXXTentacion, Lil Wayne, and Young Thug. Production was handled by a variety of record producers, such as Cudi, Lil Yachty, and Williams themselves, alongside Plain Pat, Dot da Genius, Bnyx, Keyon Christ, and Mike Zombie, among others. DJ Drama narrates the album in a similar way to his famed Gangsta Grillz mixtape series. Insano serves as the follow-up to Cudi’s previous album, Entergalactic (2022). It is a hip hop and trap album. Cudi had announced that it would be his last contractual album with Republic Records, the major record label he had been signed to since 2009.

Insano was preceded by two singles, “Porsche Topless” and “At the Party”, as well as two promotional singles, “Most Ain’t Dennis” and “Ill What I Bleed”, although the latter does not appear on the album.

On November 6, 2022, Kid Cudi took to Twitter to announce that he only has one more album left on his recording contract with Republic Records, revealing that he does not know what he will continue to do following the release. On March 8, 2023, he took to Instagram Live to describe the album: “I’ve never made a project this powerful before in my life. And you know, sitting and listening to these mixes, I just know that this shit is going to move you. Y’all are going to fuck with this shit in such a major way, and I’m so fucking excited. I just want to get on here and let y’all know that I’m not gonna let y’all down. This is gonna be the album of the year right now. I’m not playing, this is not a fucking joke. Tell everybody you fucking know.” On May 7, 2023, during an Instagram Live stream, Cudi revealed despite previous statements, he would not be retiring from music yet, and confirmed this would not be his last album. In the same stream, Cudi noted this album is “probably the first album I’ve ever made where I’ve been truly 100% happy”.

On May 15, 2023, Cudi confirmed that fellow American rappers Travis Scott and Young Thug would appear on the album. In May 2023, American record producers Bnyx and Keyon Christ took to social media to reveal that they had worked on the album with Cudi. In a tweet on August 15, Cudi revealed that more artists would appear on the upcoming deluxe version of the album. On June 10, Cudi announced the title of the album and original release date of September 15. On August 14, he posted a video on Instagram to give an update on the album, where he said: “I feel very very fucking confident that y’all gonna love this shit. I need y’all to understand that for years I’ve been kind of making my music and staying to myself and just being my creative weird self. Now I’m competing. Now I’m entering the race. 15 years, I’ve been doing this shit a long time”.

Release and promotion
On February 27, 2023, Cudi announced through a tweet that his last contractual album with Republic Records would be released in fall that year, adding that its rollout would begin in the summer through him releasing some singles from it. A fan replied to his tweet and asked whether a concert tour is in his plans, to which Cudi confirmed he would be embarking on a world tour in 2024. He would later say he planned on touring for at least five months. On March 8, Cudi took to Instagram Live to reveal that the album’s lead single would be released on June 1. He later revealed through a tweet that he would be directing the official music video for the album’s lead single. On April 26, Cudi announced that he would reveal the title of the album and release the lead single on June 2. After unveiling behind-the-scenes photos of the music video for the lead single, on May 9, Cudi made the single available for pre-save on all streaming platforms. On May 19, through a post on TikTok, Cudi revealed that the lead single would be titled “Flex”, while previewing the song. However, Cudi later said that he would release a different single titled “Porsche Topless” on June 2 instead after his fans gave the snippet of the original single generally negative reviews. The cover art for the song was designed by Cudi and American visual artist Glassface, who also helped produce the music video for “Flex”, which was ultimately shelved. On June 2, after premiering the lead single and hosting a listening session with fans in Los Angeles, Cudi revealed the album would be titled Insano. Later that month, Cudi announced he would be holding the second annual Moon Man’s Landing festival in his hometown of Cleveland at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse on August 19.

In July 2023, Cudi announced he would be embarking on a worldwide tour from April 2024 to November 2025. He also revealed the album would have multiple deluxe editions. During his headlining set for the HARD Summer music festival, after previewing five new songs from the album, Cudi revealed the album would be issued on September 15, the same date his 2009 debut album was released. On August 17, 2023, Cudi made the album available for pre-order and pre-save on streaming platforms; additionally he released merchandise in support of the album, consisting of short- and long-sleeve T-shirts and pullover hoodies—all of which feature graphics that reference the album. Cudi also unveiled four cover art variations that feature artwork by American designers Kaws and Glassface, respectively. The main cover is an original piece of artwork created by Kaws for his 2019 “Blackout” collection titled “It Takes What It Needs”.

On August 18, Cudi and the Cleveland Guardians announced their partnership for Kid Cudi Day on September 22. The event would be held at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio as the Guardians play host to the Baltimore Orioles. The event will be to celebrate the release of the album and honor the work Cudi has done for the Cleveland community. On September 4, Cudi announced he was pushing back the album’s release date to January 2024. He claimed the delay was due to being a perfectionist and wanting to give the best version of the album. Due to the delay, Cudi decided to release two promotional singles in support of the album, “Most Ain’t Dennis” and “Ill What I Bleed” that day. On November 3, 2023, he released the second and final single of the album, “At the Party”, which features fellow American musician Pharrell Williams and American rapper and singer Travis Scott. The album’s tracklist was released on January 8, 2024.

Recording and production
On May 20, 2021, Cudi previewed a song from an album he was working on via his Instagram story, unveiling a snippet of a song tentatively titled “Wow”. During his 2021 headlining performance at the Rolling Loud music festival, Cudi revealed intentions on releasing two full-length projects in 2022, with plans of releasing an album prior to his previous album, Entergalactic (2022): “I have Entergalactic coming in the summer and I wanna drop another album before that. I got some tasty surprises and I’m really excited about all this new shit, this new music, to give to you guys”. He revealed that the song is called “Freshie” and named after his late dog, saying that “that’s why I’m teasing this shit now because it’s coming out soon”. He also performed the song “Wow”‘.

In November 2022, during one of his stops in Europe for the To the Moon World Tour, Cudi debuted the unreleased song “Solo Dolo Pt. IV”, a collaboration American rapper Playboi Carti, which is a continuation in the series of his 2009 track, “Solo Dolo (Nightmare)”. Cudi said that he currently has “one more” album in the works, but that the unreleased song would be released as a single before the album comes out. However, on May 15, 2023, Cudi revealed the song would not appear on the album due to Playboi Carti not giving him permission to use his vocals on it. On December 2, 2022, Cudi tweeted that he had recorded more than enough material to release another project. He said: “11 songs in days. My goal was to do a whole new album worth of songs this week. 12 was my goal. Might get 14″. In June 2023, Cudi previewed a song tentatively titled “Superboy”. The listening party Cudi held in June, previewed several songs and revealed that American rapper Wiz Khalifa was set to appear on the album, which however did not happen. On June 19, Cudi revealed he recorded songs with his longtime friend and collaborator, fellow American rapper King Chip; together they are collectively known as the Almighty GloryUs. On July 29, 2023, Cudi made an appearance during American electro house DJ Steve Aoki’s set at Tomorrowland, to preview a new collaboration of theirs, “ElectroWaveBaby 2.0″.

Critical reception
Insano was met with generally favorable reviews. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from professional publications, the album received an average score of 64, based on 7 reviews, indicating “generally favorable reviews”. HipHopDX’s Sam Moore wrote that Kid Cudi “floats into a new space in what feels like an attempt to tap into the enormous market of close collaborator Travis Scott” and that the album “grasps the scattershot creative mind of Cudi as accurately as any of his other projects”. Reviewing the album for PopMatters, Igor Bannikov stated that Cudi “does his usual cosmic, moonish, entergalactic stuff in a relaxed, low-key manner, not aiming to make something iconic”. Robin Murray of Clash called the album a “lavish return” but felt that it “isn’t perfect” and is “at times disjointed” with “a few tracks here that could have been excised without disrupting Kid Cudi’s central narrative. ‘Electrowavebaby’ is fun but doesn’t seem to add to his sound, while ‘Mr Coola’ feels a little dated”. Pitchfork’s Dylan Green opined, “To its credit, Insano is trying to do something different—that different thing, however, is just having DJ Drama provide thin narrative window dressing to a spate of uninspired Kid Cudi songs”.

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