Kid Cudi fans, get excited. Hip-hop artist Kid Cudi and producer Dot Da Genius have teamed up to form a new band, WZRD. WZRD has just released their first self-titled album, whose style of music is somewhat exploratory, psychedelic rock. However, the artists’ hip-hop background influences the music.

 

Kid Cudi and Dot Da Genius have worked together successfully before. Dot Da Genius produced several of Kid Cudi’s songs (“Marijuana,” “Day ‘N’ Night”). Kid Cudi’s willingness to drop his title for this record in the same year he is releasing an album (“Man on the Moon III”) says a lot.

 

This album is extremely experimental. The pair is trying to perfect a new style of music, a style that Lil Wayne experimented with on “Rebirth.”

 

Kid Cudi picks up an electric guitar and gets out a drum set, while Dot Da Genius gets his bass guitar and keyboard, drum sticks in pocket, soundboard on deck. Kid Cudi takes his role as a vocalist very seriously for this album, really testing his range and experimenting with different pitches.

 

For a first attempt, this album is impressive. The chemistry is apparent. However, a very refined ear is needed for this album, as the production of psychedelic rock under the influence of hip-hop can be misleading.

 

“The Arrival” is a 3-minute intro. No vocals, but they play about ten different instruments. The next song on the album is “High Off Life,” a song that is impossible to stop listening to. It features a hard guitar rift, with drums in the background, yet Kid Cudi’s voice and Dot Da Genius’s production still give it value in the eyes of hip-hop fans.

 

Although the majority of the album is made up of hard rock and psychedelic beats, Kid Cudi strums an acoustic rift and Dot Da Genius plays the piano for “Efflictim.” This is a poignant song, as Kid Cudi sings about life and death. The first half of the song is just Kid Cudi and his guitar until the piano kicks in and really expresses the emotional goal.

 

Remember Curt Cobain and Nirvana? When WZRD does their rendition of “Where Did You Sleep Last Night?,” imagine Nirvana’s version with a darker tone. This song really speaks volumes about where WZRD is as far as musical value. It is a great redemption of a classic song. Although WZRD’s rock is extremely experimental, this song shows that rock is their ultimate genre.

 

WZRD closes out its first album with “Upper Room.” With strings, symbols, and snares, this album finishes the way it started, throwing all sorts of different sounds into the production. It seems these two are having some fun.

 

The album earns four stars because the production is as respectable as it is enjoyable.

 

Because of the rock aspect, some hip-hop fans might not enjoy this album. Because of the hip-hop influence, some rock fans might be turned off as well. Also because of the novelty of the style, some eardrums might be uninterested.

 

For those that do enjoy it, WZRD may become one of your favorite bands. Kid Cudi and Dot Da Genius are having some fun right now; just listen to the song “High Off Life.”

 

Grade: B

Owen Shroyer