Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

Kid Cudi ft. MGMT & Ratatat – Pursuit of Happiness

Sad panda is sad…


Dave Moore: Man, I can’t wait to watch a kid in 2012 react to the artist list on this track like Lisa Simpson on Yahoo Serious (“I know those words, but that sign makes no sense…”).

Martin Skidmore: A very sleepy rap from Cudi, plus psychedelia from MGMT, and a subdued production from electronica duo Ratatat. It’s willfully ungrabbing, something that could work in the thoughtful part of an album, but as a single it’s far too easy to let it drift past, but maybe it will find an audience among people not that keen on most rap.

Rodney J. Greene: Where “Day ‘n’ Nite” had the perfect tempo and motion for head-nodding stupor, this just lurches along in awkward fashion, which is especially unfortunate given that Cudi’s strength remains more in conjuring sounds than images.

Al Shipley: I get the feeling that the rock bands on this song like hip hop more than the supposed rapper, who’s mumbling a half-assed tune instead of writing rhymes. I’d suggest a genre exchange program, but I’m pretty sure Cudi would suck at anything he’d try.

Anthony Easton: Almost Jungian in its use of the light/shadow, beautiful production and the slightly clipped tones on his phrase “night terrors” suggests something fully formed, a synthesised being aware of one’s interiority but absent of a raw egomania.

Spencer Ackerman: “Tell me what you know about the night terrors every night…” Is Kid Cudi actually drawing influences from Suicide? The moaning synths over the staccato piano notes and the SUDDEN BURSTS OF AGGRESSIVE VOCALS with the pop choruses and beautifully mournful guitar solo — I don’t know, I thought of “Dream Baby Dream.” This is a wonderful collaboration, with all three artists/groups of artists playing to their strengths and coming out with something original, distinctive and greater than the sum of its parts.

Alex Ostroff: So long as this remains background music, I love it. The loping synth burbles, the chiming pianos, the lazy chorus hook. But Kid Cudi is so intensely self-involved and boring that any of “Pursuit of Happiness”’ merits are negated. “I don’t care, hand on the wheel / driving drunk / doing my thing”, is his least charming moment, but it’s a close contest. Complaining about vague night terrors and rhyming “tomorrow” with “sorrow,” Cudi takes a beat that practically guarantees him a [7] or [8] and sinks it.

Alfred Soto: Accelerate the track by half a beat and I would have happily missed the line about the bed of sorrow, but this track is all about beds anyway: this star-to-be rests easily knowing that the billowing production — stadium synths and rock guitar — cushions rhymes he hasn’t thought through. If you’re pursuing happiness, you should generally sound like you want it.

John Seroff: Similar to being trapped at a party by a liquored up frat boy who JUST FIGURED IT ALL OUT and bro, bro, bro, GET THIS: we’re all just tryin’ to get by, right? Cudi is patently awful; moaning off-key, kvelling dumbly at his own remedial rhymes, proudly wearing stupidity like a cape. I’m a serious sucker for Ratatat beats, but a generic (by their standards) melody ain’t gonna hardly be enough to perfume an I-am-emo-hear-me-whine turd of this magnitude.

Jordan Sargent: So here he is again, stoned and driving alone, as trite and shallow as before, moaning about his feelings the way a 15-year-old might. He seems unwilling or incapable of articulating himself in a way that is even vaguely interesting; instead, he tries to let his collaborators do the heavy lifting for him. And so the track is insipid and unlistenable, the laughable result of an egotistical dimwit who has misread interest in his rap career to mean that he has interesting ideas.

4 Responses to “Kid Cudi ft. MGMT & Ratatat – Pursuit of Happiness”

  1. There should totally be a genre exchange program. Candidates?

  2. If only Cudi rapped faster and the beat was more quirky. That would have made this awesome.

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