The Cud Life Tour: A Space Odyssey of Mediocrity
Logic, Big Sean, and Kid Cudi space invade Miami’s American Airlines Arena
By Guy Michan (@guymichan) on October 9, 2013
“What are you trying to kill us!?” I half-sarcastically yell to a policewoman serving as a crossing guard who guides us into oncoming traffic as we approach the arena.
My expectations going into the show weren’t out of this world. I’ve had the privilege of seeing Big Sean twice prior and I know he’s good for a quality 45 minute rap set. I was vaguely familiar with Logic and I appreciate his upside. For scouting purposes, it was an opportunity to see first-hand whether he’s a budding star or a space-filler on the XXL Freshman cover. Oddly enough, for as polarizing and mysterious as he is, I was indifferent about Kid Cudi, but that would change after tonight.
Naturally, the cop lady quickly covers up her nearly fatal fuck-up with some small talk. “So, who are you here to see? Everyone is here for Kid Cudi.” She proves this by asking a pack of scantily clad Project X extra’s who they came for, and it was unanimous. Clearly, this was Scott Mescudi’s voyage and I was just a mere sober earthling ill-prepared for the trek.
Opener: The night kicks off with Logic aka Young Sinatra and DJ Rhetorik performing for a half-empty arena. House lights still bright, Rhetorik sets up and starts spinning a fifteen minute set that got the crowd surprisingly amped for an opening act. The tall-ish, bro-ish DJ was brazenly charismatic and set the table as well as he could have. Logic rushes the stage and already understands his role on this tour. This was his first performance in Miami and a prime opportunity to influence new fans in a large market.
The majority of the audience were unfamiliar with his material, but the 23-year-old Maryland native was seasoned, unfazed, energetic, and personable. He seamlessly blended his full songs into acapella verses then into inspirational, story-filled banter. My bar is usually set at ground level for opening acts. I literally just set the bar on the floor, head to the concession stand and grab a pretzel. But Logic and DJ Rhetorik retained the audience’s attention throughout. As a XXL Freshman Alumni with the likes of Black Hippy’s Schoolboy Q and Ab-Soul, Joey Bada$$, and Action Bronson, time will tell whether Logic is a major player or a towel boy. One thing is for sure, Logic took advantage of this quality playing time.
Middle: Fresh off his engagement to Glee-star/speculated breadwinner Naya Rivera, Big Sean is ready to take on a significantly more populated American Airlines Arena. I was well-aware of Cudi’s cult following, yet still slightly surprised Sean Don wasn’t headlining. What is essentially his ‘Hall of Fame’ tour, Sean tests out some of the new cuts (see: 10 2 10) to a less receptive crowd. He quickly grabs them back with his slew of crowd-friendly G.O.O.D music collaboration verses and some ‘Finally Famous’ hits sprinkled throughout. Big Sean utilizes every inch of the stage with the work ethic of a true Detroit player.
Headliner: A white sheet descends, blanketing the front of the stage preventing anyone but those sitting on the side to see the construction of Cudi’s space set, equipped with rocket ship and leftover pieces from the Global Guts’ Aggro Crag. Creating an alternate planet takes time, so I grab myself an $8 club soda and people watch.
I wasn’t young enough, I wasn’t drunk enough.
It felt like every girl in attendance lied to their parents about being there. I don’t know how they changed into their pajamas and snuck back into their house without Uncle Phil noticing.
After a never-ending (probably four-minute) techno beat intro, Buzz Lightweight appears from the space ship, in a space suit. Apollo 13-year-old is ready for lift off. Kid Cudi’s fans were more intriguing than his performance was. For most of them, this was probably their first live concert. Understandably, we’re not holding this performance to equal standards. This is their chance to see the outcast that they relate to so well. The introvert that got them through high school’s tough times. The soundtrack to their smoking sessions. I clearly had two-feet planted just inside the generation gap.
However, there was a specific moment of candor that struck a chord with me. Cudi’s humbling mini-rant realizing his own replaceability. “You could choose anyone, you chose me.”
Kid Cudi was not gaining any new fans this night. He was concerned with regaining back the trust of his existing ones. The same fans that will inevitably mature and move on. Kid Cudi is a quintessential nostalgic time period artist. Much like fellow Ohio natives Bone Thugs N Harmony was for the generation prior. An identifiable and melodic outlet to escape the pressures of adolescence.
Average age: 17 1/3