The icon and rapper talks with John David Washington for our Winter 2020 issue.


“I want people to know that I’m here for good and that I’ve always wanted to help people. I have problems and I’m human, and people know I’ve been going through it. But we survive, and I want people to know that I’m a survivor.”

11 years ago, the world was formally introduced to Kid Cudi with his debut album, Man on the Moon: The End of Day. While there was already a buzz building around him — both for his first mixtape A Kid Named Cudi and his work on Kanye West’s 808s & Heartbreak — no one had foretold the disruptive impact the record would have. Living up to its grandiose title, Man on the Moon established Scott Mescudi’s own psychedelic space in the music industry and, retrospectively, reshaped the perimeters of rap.

After kickstarting the decade with follow-up album Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager, over the past 10 years we’ve got to know Mescudi as a multifaceted artist outside of his output as Kid Cudi. Musically, he’s evolved his sound across a number of records and joined forces with friends and collaborators, forming rock-leaning band WZRD with Dot da Genius in 2010, Kids See Ghosts with Kanye West in 2018 and “THE SCOTTS” with Travis Scott this year — whose eponymous debut track gave the artist his first No. 1 single.

After his first on-screen appearance in 2010’s How to Make It in America Mescudi has established himself as an actor too, most recently starring in Luca Guadagnino’s heady coming-of-age series We Are Who We Are. Reaping the rewards of the respect he’s earned in Hollywood, his current projects include executive producing Sam Levinson’s highly-anticipated film Malcolm & Marie (Zendaya, John David Washington), a role in Adam McKay’s Don’t Look Up (alongside Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Timothée Chalamet), and his newly-launched production company, MAD SOLAR.

But first, a full-circle moment to see out 2020: the long-awaited arrival of Man on the Moon III. Merging the signature Kid Cudi sound with new perspectives both musically and lyrically, it feels like a fitting bookend to the trilogy whilst looking firmly to a new dimension of the Scott Mescudi universe.

Speaking to his friend and early album confidant John David Washington, he speaks about his creative process for the trilogy and why 2020 finally felt like the right time to complete it, the value of feedback from the likes of Shia LaBeouf and Timothée Chalamet, and why it ultimately represents his survival.

Pre-order the Winter 2020 issue below…

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