This week in #CultureClassics we take a look back at one of the more unique MCs in all of hip-hop and his unique party anthem record as we breakdown “Pursuit of Happiness” by Kid Cudi.
“Pursuit of Happiness” was released on January 25, 2010, and was the third single from Cudi’s critically acclaimed major-label debut album, Man on the Moon: The End of Day (2009). The song was produced by American electronic rock duo Ratatat and features vocals from American neo-psychedelic act, MGMT.
Despite it’s upbeat title, the song is actually a self-aware party anthem addressing a still relevant generational problem. The struggle to cope with sadness and feelings of inadequacy through drugs and alcohol. The pursuit of happiness is a carrot dangling at the end of a stick. The song talks about constantly reaching for a seemingly unattainable goal, while putting everything else on hold until we are able to reach it. Cudi has never been shy in his music and in his real life as far as expressing his struggles with mental health issues including depression and this song was him introducing those themes musically to the world. A bold move by a uniquely bold creator for The Culture.
The video stars Kid Cudi at a party. While everyone is having a good time, the whole party goes into a slow-motion state as Cudi raps about decidedly non-party topics. It brings a strong juxtaposition between what you are seeing and what you are hearing. Bonus: A young-in-the game Drake makes a cameo in the video.
There were actually two different videos made for the song and the first music video released was directed by Brody Baker and produced by one-time teen heartthrob actor Josh Hartnett.
If you enjoyed that look at a throwback Hip-Hop classic, (Kid Cudi Pursuit of Happiness). Check out more of our #CultureClassics:
Written by @TalentedMrFord