Buzzworthy Video: Kid Cudi, ‘Day N’ Nite’

Funny that we were just talking about The-Dream’s A-Ha fetish yesterday, right? It’s as if the universe was tipping us off on the new Kid Cudi (rhymes with “buddy”), warning us that we’d soon be the lucky recipients of a vital next-wave hip-hop video that would twist heads, like “Take On Me” did, with its dizzying combination of animation and reality.

Kid Cudi’s razor-sharp rhymefest, “Day N’ Nite,” is that headtwister. In the video, Halloween-style graphics pop up left and right to spook out Cudi’s dull daily life, turning pizzas into turntables, shopkeepers into owls, and city streets into Oz. It’s dark, surreal, and incredibly dope. A perfect match for the moody, atmospheric cut.

That shoegazer vibe is a natural fit for Cudi, whose most mainstream act thus far was on Kanye West‘s glumly introspective “Welcome To Heartbreak.” Both “Day N’ Nite” and “Heartbreak” are built on downer beats, understated samples, and moody atmospherics, another apt parallel to an artist who refuses to come with any hype. As he told MTV News, “I didn’t beat it into the heads of people, like, ‘Yo, you’re going to listen to my music, and you’re going to do this and you’re going to do that.’ I just kind of put them out and let them breathe.”

And breathe they have. “Day N’ Nite” hasn’t been out too long, but already it’s achieved “it” jam status around the world in the hands of international DJs. This can only be foreshadowing for the Kanye protégé out of Shaker Heights, Ohio. Armed with an unstoppable single, a contract with Kanye’s G.O.O.D. records, and the freshest video in ages, Kid Cudi’s walkin’ that yellow brick road to the big time. Watch the So Me-directed “Day N’ Nite” video. You’ll see.