“Wake up in the morning, feeling iffy, what is going on with me? And I look in the mirror, I don’t know who this dude is, staring right back at me.” These lyrics, near the tail-end of WZRD’s self-titled album, can lead you to believe that Kid Cudi may be suffering through some sort of identity crisis. It’s much easier than that, though; Cudi and producer Dot da Genius took a stab at a rappers’ rock album and it was poorly executed. Let’s keep it simple.
For an artist who incorporates plenty of singing into his hip-hop, most of what you hear from Cudi on this record sounds like a complete shot in the dark. There is no risk to his tone, which leads the vocals to rarely meet the production halfway. If WZRD is meant to be an ambitious scenic route for Cudi, his lack of intensity makes this duo’s purpose hard to believe.
If any rise is obtained from intro track “The Arrival”, “High Off Life” may very well force you to regret putting just that one small foot forward into this puzzling world. When it’s trying to be dreamy, it’s too clean. When it’s trying to be rugged, it merely tickles. The entire project feels like a show-and-tell presentation that not only drags on to justify its existence; it doesn’t even take shape in the end.
The silver lining, in the grand scheme of things, directly influences Kid Cudi’s older work; It’s all starting to sound much better.