Kid Cudi excited and relieved his fans with a memorable, energetic performance on Saturday night – and the Cleveland-bred rapper/singer had a special message for any listeners struggling through their own problems.
Cudder rocked the inaugural ComplexCon at Long Beach Convention Center on Saturday night, performing songs such as “Pursuit of Happiness,” “Frequency” and “Erase Me” during his return to the stage. Travis Scott, Pharrell and King Chip joined him on the stage as special guests, rocking through collaborations like “Surfin’,” “Through The Late Night,” “Way Back” and “Just What I Am.”
Saturday was Cudi’s first performance since a heartfelt Facebook letter from early October, where he revealed that he was checking into a rehab facility to receive professional help for depression and suicidal thoughts. He said this his sixth album Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin’ was still on schedule for release, and that he planned to make it out in time for ComplexCon.
“I feel ashamed. Ashamed to be a leader and hero to so many while admitting I’ve been living a lie. It took me a while to get to this place of commitment, but it is something I have to do for myself, my family, my best friend/daughter and all of you, my fans,” he wrote. “…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.”
Since the announcement, the music videos for the Pharrell-assisted “Surfin'” and “Frequency” have been released, and he tweeted a barb at Drake after being dissed on the latter’s new song “Two Birds One Stone.” But there was still uncertainty on whether he would be able to finish his treatment in time for ComplexCon, the new festival put on by Complex.
Fortunately, he was able to follow through with those plans. And he had a message of hope for any other fans who were struggling.
“We can make it through. I am living proof,” Cudi said on stage. “I am living proof.”
Watch footage of the performance below.
is a journalist who covers music, pop culture, film/TV, race, culture and social justice. He is an editor at Okayplayer, and his work has appeared in Complex, Billboard, Guardian, NPR, MTV, Ebony, HipHopDX, The Flint Journal-MLive, and other publications.