Kid Cudi ft. Pharrell Williams ‘Surfin’ Song Review

This is by far the best track Cudi has done in years. Now I know this track came out a little while ago, but I’ve never gotten round to hearing it. Mostly due to me pushing it aside since I had lost my faith with Cudi. However, with a little Pharrell Williams magic sprinkled in, I thought ‘this track can’t be too bad right’, and you know what? I was right. This track has one of the most catchiest hooks I’ve heard from a rapper all year. No longer is Cudi crooning over these terribly slapped together instrumentals; now he’s just having some fun.

Production wise the track is solid all round. The brass instruments keeps their organic timbre, the bass is deep and fulfilling, the guitar has a sweet funk tone and Cudi’s vocals are very well mixed. Nothing sounds too robotic and instead this track hits me as a real throwback to the old clean rapping days. I think this production is miles better than his last effort ‘Frequency’ and better than his entire last album. I want to see more of this; bouncy instrumentals mixed with a funkier edge definitely suits the guy.

Musicality wise it is almost blissful to hear a more stripped back approach. No more silly time signatures or disjointed beats, just a fun, singalong approach. This style suits Cudi so much better since his lazy rap approach just isn’t cut out for the technical stuff; he shined in the early 2000’s keeping it simple and that’s what he’s done here. The bass line is catchy and quirky, the brass and the guitars progressions are left simple and easy to remember, and the beat just does the background work; sure I love me a more impacting beat, but I’ll take what I can get. The vocal performance by Cudi is great; for once it sounds like he’s having fun with music again and isn’t trying to impersonate someone else. The form of the song is a little weak with perhaps one too many hook recurrences, but it doesn’t detract from the song. Sure there is no bridge (it pains me it does) but then it’s just a fun, rap track; Sugarhill Gang’s track ‘Rappers Delight’ is 11 minutes long with no bridge yet I still find that bearable.

Lyrically the song is much better than his other stuff too. Sure it’s a little cheesy and cliche, but at least it isn’t pandering and depressing. He doesn’t suit the philosophical stuff because the lines he comes up with sound like pop rubbish; keep to this. Each lyric is delivered well too and I had a real great time listening to the rapper in his element.

Overall then I can safely say that Kid Cudi has raised his game massively in this track. Going into it, I was sure that I never wanted to hear another one of his songs again… Now? Well I can’t wait for the next one (but please try and get someone like Pharrell on it again). Is the track amazing? No not really, but it is memorable and I had a lot of fun.

7.5/10 – Damn that hook be catchy…

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