Bravery in vulnerability. Honesty in the face of pain. Effortless trend-setting. Undying authenticity. Inimitable talent. Astonishing hooks, soaring highs, and heartfelt lows. Creative ambition. The list goes on.

These attributes and so many more are what makes Kid Cudi a living legend. From his stature as one of the most sonically and aesthetically influential artists alive to an entire catalog of classic albums, mixtapes, features, and chart-topping singles, there’s no denying the sheer impact and importance of the Cleveland-bred artist. His contributions not only to music, but to mental health awareness, fashion, and even acting range over a broad palette of interests and ventures, all of which bring fans back to the one and only Scott Mescudi — a multi-talented star in every right and the kind of artist and human that only comes around once in a lifetime.

For our team at Lyrical Lemonade and for countless others, Kid Cudi has soundtracked some of our best moments in life just as much as he’s saved and helped us in our worst. With this in mind, to say that Kid Cudi is an artist for all occasions is an understatement, and furthermore, to say that he’s touched countless lives is only an abbreviated version of his profound impact on pop culture and an entire world of fans and peers. Cudi’s importance goes far beyond words, and for that, all we can say is thank you.

Thank you to a living legend for changing the course of modern music, acting as a voice for the voiceless, and for being a timeless artist who will continue to get passed down for generations to come. Truly, thank you.

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Being the music fanatics that we are here at LL, it goes without saying that our entire staff felt as though we needed to follow up our list of favorite Wiz Khalifa songs with a Kid Cudi edition. Of course, considering the sheer volume of incredible songs that Cudi has, compiling a list of our favorites was quite the daunting task, but we were able to come up with a top 50 that hopefully celebrates his true character and talent.

Enjoy, and let us know of any songs we may have missed in the comments!

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50 • Unfuckwittable

Starting off our list is a record off of Kid Cudi’s 2013 album Indicud titled “Unfuckwittable”, a track that basically kicks of that entire project (although it was the second on the tracklist and not the intro, it’s what comes right after the instrumental cut that opens everything up.) Any true Kid Cudi fan remembers that day six-plus years ago when they first played this album from front to back and heard this jam start blasting through their speakers or headphones; it gave off that infectious energy and set the tone for what was to come.

Don’t you feel it?

Produced by Kid Cudi

49 • CONFUSED!

I’ll be honest: the first time I heard “Confused!”, it caught me off-guard, and while Cudi has always incorporated alternative elements throughout his discography, “Confused” marks the first full example of Cudi completely moving away from hip-hop. Speedin’ Bullet 2 Heaven as an album definitely marks a point of contention among Cudi fans. “Confused!” and its accompanying album have undoubtedly grown on me since that first listen though, and now whenever I hear Cudi’s unmistakable “hmmmmwowwww” at the beginning, I can’t help but sing along. Cudi embodies the squealing electric guitars and crashing percussion that make up this track, introducing us to the most experimental turn of his career thus far.

Produced by Kid Cudi

48 • Swim In The Light

One of my favorite cuts off of Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin‘, “Swim In The Light” is an atmospheric cut all about Cudi’s unsuccessful attempts to numb his pain. Purely from an artistic standpoint, there exists an inherent sense of bravery in such an honest account of emotional reflection, and furthermore, Cudi’s songwriting ability proves to be second to none with this one. Juggling themes such as hope, vices, pain, coping, and so much more, he puts it all on the front line with “Swim In The Light,” seemingly blending into the synth-led production as he reaches a sense of rock bottom. If not anything else, songs like this one offer worlds of help to listeners going through the same thing, and without a doubt, they provide comfort and hope to those who need it most.

Produced by Mike Dean and Kid Cudi

47 • Simple As

After the theme song that is “Soundtrack 2 My Life”, “Simple As…” acts as a palette cleanser in the tracklisting of Man On The Moon. The sample loop immediately puts listeners into a dreamlike state, setting the tone before Cudi offers up his mission statement in the form of two breezy verses. Short and simple as its title would suggest, “Simple As…” exists as a stray ray of sunlight before delving into some of the darker sides of Cudi’s debut album, and its a song that gets across his rap praxis with minimal lyricism “for your simple ass”.

Produced by Plain Pat

46 • Creepers

Although Kid Cudi only appears a couple of times on G.O.O.D. Music’s 2012 compilation album Cruel Summer, he makes sure his enigmatic presence still resonates with the only solo cut on the entire project. Ethereal synth textures and thunderous claps set the scene for Cudi as he crafts an effortless melody and musical ode to attaining inner peace on “Creepers”. It’s a stark contrast to the rest of Cruel Summer, which contains radio smash hits like “Mercy” and “Clique” on its tracklist, and I remember being taken aback when I first heard “Creepers” for this reason. But revisiting it now and understanding it in the context of Cudi’s whole discography, I have to admit the track hits a whole lot harder in the sort of dreamy, otherworldly manner that many of the other songs on this list do.

Produced by Dan Black

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45 • Balmain Jeans

Unsurprisingly not the only song on this list with a reference to designer denim in its title, Cudi turns his favorite pair of jeans into an intense, alien-like song about infatuation. With “Balmain Jeans,” Cudi goes into full outer space mode with atmospheric vocals laid over ambient synths and soulful harmonies from Raphael Saadiq. Satellite Flight as an album sits up there with Speedin’ Bullet To Heaven in the most experimental era of Cudi’s career, and it also marks his full foray into producing. With complete control of his music, Cudi ditches all form and delivers some of his most polarizing work which results in the creation of gems like “Balmain Jeans” that still feel fresh years later.

Produced by Kid Cudi

44 • Brothers

When I was starting to compile this list together, I asked all of my Lyrical Lemonade homies here about what their favorite Kid Cudi songs were and why, and I got some super helpful insight from my guys. I have to give a shout out to my homie Buru (@dufflebagburu) for stressing how important this song was to him, and although I was already planning on including the song, he reminded me at just how overlooked this jam is. “Brothers,” featuring King Chip and A$AP Rocky, is a staple track on Indicud, and it surely deserved a spot on this list.

Produced by Kid Cudi

43 • Trapped In My Mind

Any time I hear even one chime of the bells that mark the opening of “Trapped In My Mind,” I’ll always recognize the song and, more likely than not, end up breaking into song for the occasion. Acting as the last track on Man on the Moon II, this spacey cut concludes the album’s story with an attempt to come to terms with the pain of the past. The ethereal instrumental acts as the perfect environment for Cudi to delve deep into the trappings of his mind, and as the song arrives toward its end, the Man on the Moon, himself, seemingly comes out on the other side with a profound knowledge discovered throughout his journey. Accepting the past means welcoming the future, and for Cudi, “Trapped In My Mind” is a noble attempt at such.

Produced by Dot Da Genius & Kid Cudi

42 • Down & Out

Using the classic Outkast instrumental for “Chonkyfire,” “Down & Out” is the kind of song that you have no choice but to listen to on repeat. Beyond the fact that it features one of Cudi’s best lyrical performances, the yearning for vices and ingrained struggle of this song makes it a thoughtful moment for Cudi to reflect on his success and the impact that its had on his mental state. If we’re being honest, I can’t name too many more songs that are so candid and honest with listeners, making “Down & Out” a clear highlight out of Cudi’s endlessly impressive catalog.

Produced by Outkast

41 • Reborn

Coming off of Cudi’s renowned collaborative project with Kanye West, Kids See Ghosts, “Reborn” feels like a full-circle moment, tying up the mental health struggles that both artists have experienced in recent years with a definitive anthem for the art of moving forward. Per usual, Kanye and Cudi’s verses are deeply personal in regards to mindset and personal struggles, only to be tied together with a chorus from Cudi that I’m sure we’ve all sung along to at the top of our longs at one point or another. By all counts, “Reborn” was a must on our list of favorite Cudi songs.

Produced by Kid Cudi, Dot Da Genius, Plain Pat, Mast, Blanco

40 • These Worries

“These Worries” is one of the most artistic cuts of Cudi’s classic album, Man on the Moon II. Navigating throughout a series of ups and downs, the song soundtracks the idea of reliance on drugs, specifically cocaine, as a means of functioning in everyday life and all of its pain. Cudi’s ability to paint such brutally honest portraits of a life dominated by struggle is tragically beautiful, and furthermore, the use of the snorting sound as a transition between feverish instrumentation and moments of relaxation is simply genius. “These Worries” is a song for the ages, and as sad as it may be, it’s comforting for so many others out there dealing with a similar balance between pain and vices.

Produced by Emile Haynie

39 • Sky Might Fall

When I had the idea to make this article on Kid Cudi, I knew it was going to be tough to try to narrow his catalog into just fifty of our favorites, but I wasn’t expecting it to be this challenging.

Once it got down to the nitty gritty, I felt like I was watching some of my favorite Kid Cudi songs battle it out to remain on the list, but I felt CRAZY when I noticed that “Sky Might Fall” was on the fence! Obviously, it’s not due to the song lacking, but his catalog is just that fantastic and deep so it made it tough.

“Sky Might Fall” is a beautiful yet honest record included on Cudder’s debut album that finds him speaking on the grey clouds that surrounded him at that moment as well as the pain he was feeling. However, he managed to take those feelings and create a staple in his catalog with them.

Produced by Kanye West & Kid Cudi

38 • Wild’n Cuz I’m Young

For any fans who remember Cudi’s tweet about Jay-Z’s unreleased verse on “Wild’n Cuz I’m Young,” I’m sure this song almost feels like a teaser whenever you listen. However, even without the coveted Jay verse, this track is a definite standout in Cudi’s catalog, as its rebellious energy and instant replay value make it a must-listen from the first second to the last.

Lyrically, “Wild’n Cuz I’m Young” fits into Cudi’s long line of classic party songs, but sonically, it takes a step away, using a more experimental direction for the production. Needless to say, there’s something for everyone in this song, giving it a guaranteed spot on our list of favorite Cudi moments.

Produced by Plain Pat & Emile Haynie

37 • Memories

Created in collaboration with David Guetta, “Memories” is probably one of the most iconic party songs of our generation. I’m sure we’ve all found ourselves screaming the lyrics to this one at some point or another, and rightfully so. Cudi’s energetic deliveries bounce seamlessly alongside Guetta’s pop and electronic-induced prowess, making for a spectacle of excitement and bliss that listeners all over the world are sure to have some memories of their own attached to.

Produced by David Guetta

36 • Cudi Montage

Sampling Kurt Cobain’s “Burn The Rain,” the very premise of “Cudi Montage” is insane in and of itself. Needless to say, however, the song is sure to deliver on such a hefty promise, featuring a thought-provoking and reflective take on gang violence. The raw energy of the instrumentation, when mixed with such insightful subject matter, makes for a standout cut on Kids See Ghosts, and all things considered, this track was an undeniable addition to our list of favorite Cudi songs.

Produced by Kid Cudi, Mike Dean, & Dot Da Genius

35 • Solo Dolo

It’s hard to believe “Solo Dolo” (and the rest of Man On The Moon I) dropped a decade ago — especially when put into context of the subject matter in a lot of today’s most popular hip-hop songs. One of the “nightmare” chapters on his debut album, Cudi lets listeners into the darkest corners of his psyche on “Solo Dolo”. His lyrics are steeped in emotions of loneliness, depression, and struggles with addiction, and for many listeners, it marks the first time they heard a rapper touch on these subjects with such vulnerability. Cudi took a courageous leap by rapping about topics pretty much no one else was rapping about at the time, and it ended up blazing the trail for a whole branch of alternative hip-hop that’s thriving and growing today. “Solo Dolo” stands out as a landmark in Cudi’s discography and a quintessential piece of his influence over hip-hop and pop culture.

Produced by Haynie

34 • Marijuana

Kid Cudi has become somewhat of an icon in the stoner community. He has a plethora of songs and lyrics dedicated to weed, but perhaps his best is the Man on the Moon II cut, “Marijuana.” Filling listeners in on weed’s ability to calm Cudi down and help him escape outside of his crowded head, this mesmeric offering is a soothing ode to one of the vices that helps the Man on the Moon get through the day. Sonically, it’s a fantastic song, all the way from the gentle touch of the piano keys to the soaring charm of Cudi’s vocals, while lyrically, it’s a personal cut that definitely holds some relatability to listeners all over the world.

Produced by Dot Da Genius & Kid Cudi

33 • Cleveland Is The Reason

Nodding to his Cleveland roots, “Cleveland Is The Reason” is the perfect introduction to the naturally-alluring style of Kid Cudi. Sure, he’s effortlessly cool and one of the biggest trendsetters alive, but this track reminds us that his style had to have come from somewhere — and that somewhere is Cleveland. Cudi switches up his deliveries several times throughout the track without even breaking a sweat, and the spacy, hypnotic instrumental makes this one a testament to Cudi’s status as one of the coldest artists alive, from fashion to music to personality.

Produced by Dot Da Genius

32 • I Be High

Ahhhhh, I love this one. “I Be High” was a loosie that Kid Cudi dropped damn near a decade ago now and it has grown into one of my favorite Cudi songs, as well as many of others around the globe. It’s a super introspective cut where Kid Cudi speaks on plenty of things that make him feel good, and not so hot all at the same time, and I believe he put it together beautifully. I remember the first time I heard this track it was introduced to me by a close homie at the time and we bonded over the words that he was speaking; it was like he was speaking directly to us as listeners, but even more so, to the feelings that everyone can feel at times, both good and bad.

One other random thought I had about this song — just by taking a look at the comments under the video. you can tell that this joint has impacted tons of Kid Cudi fans, and one of my favorite things is seeing just how much nostalgia this cut gives listeners. Oh, and it samples a Bob Dylan classic in “Lay Lady Lay” which only makes this one even more lovable.

Produced by Bob Dylan

31 • Immortal

If you were feeling a little on edge before listening to this one, there’s no possible way you were after it was done. “Immortal” lives on Cudi’s 2013 album titled Indicud and was an outlet for him to express the brightest sides of his personality. Cudi claimed the song “will make you feel amazing in the heart and soul.” Furthermore, the genius in him was brought to life when he sampled MGMT’s “Congratulations” after reversing the song, speeding it up, and producing over it. Likewise, Cudi included Adam Sandler quote “I am the smartest man alive!” as a way to express his feelings after completing this record. Cudi’s incredible voice is the core to this one, but just as 2010 release titled “Mojo So Dope” did, his lyrics create a sense of confidence that allows fans to feel good about themselves no matter the season they are at in life. My heart will always have a special place for Indicud and I strongly believe “Immortal” is to thank for that.

Produced by Kid Cudi

30 • Hyyerr

It’s kind of crazy when you sit back and take a close look at just how good and deep Kid Cudi’s catalog is, isn’t it? While working on this list, “Hyyerr” is one song that I got reminded of just how good it was, which is why it is landing here at number thirty-one. It’s one of the most dreamy Kid Cudi songs of all time, and it’s the perfect record to throw on after a long day and burn one to. The chemistry that Kid Cudi and King Chip (formerly Chip Tha Ripper) displayed on this song was remarkable. This is one of those songs that you just can’t deny, and for me personally, it brings me a peaceful feeling.

Produced by Crada

29 • All Along

“All Along” feels and sounds like food for the soul. Cudi’s music speaks to listeners in a way that so few other artists are able to do, and “All Along,” in particular, emphasizes its cathartic abilities. Lonely as this song may be, it makes listeners feel as though there’s someone else in the world going through the same problems, and that, for what it’s worth, is a powerful and meaningful lesson. Alone as we may feel in our struggles and our problems, Cudi’s music should act as a reminder that someone out there feels the same way. Even if you don’t know that person, it’s comforting to remember that we aren’t all by ourselves in this world, despite the way it may feel at times.

Produced by Emile Haynie

28 • Baptized In Fire

Being that “through the late night” marked their first collaboration, it’s safe to say that Kid Cudi and Travis Scott bring out the best in one another. With their second collaboration, “Baptized In Fire,” this is sure to hold up, featuring a hard-nosed, atmospheric instrumental that leaves just enough room for the two talents to unleash their absolute best. For both Cudi and Scott, it’s the immediately-recognizable presence of their voices that makes them so iconic, and this song brings all of this together into one timeless piece of music that I’m sure we’ve all thrown on repeat at one point or another.

Produced by Kid Cudi, Plain Pat, & Mike Dean

27 • Cudi Zone

It was only a matter of time before “Cudi Zone” showed up on this list, one of Cudi’s all-time classic songs. The verses that Kid Cudi spit on this track along with the unbelievably catchy hook could not have been more perfect. It’s rare that a song from any artist of any genre doesn’t lose any steam from start to finish, and from the second Cudi says, “soarin,’ is this allowed / sure bet my daddy proud,” until the song’s final moments, he doesn’t take his foot off the gas even once.

These are the things that make me smile, knowing this blunt might burn awhile!

Produced by Haynie

26 • King Wizard

Derived from his 2013 album titled Indicud, this offering truly showed how exceptionally great Cudi is from top to bottom. “King Wizard” was the second official single, released almost 4 months before the album was released to the public. Most may not even know, but Cudi is responsible for the production, writing, and even though it may seem odd, he is solely responsible for the cover art as well. He explained after the release that he had taken a self-portrait on his phone and used it for the art. As fitting as it is, Cudi said that doing that “made him appreciate the funny lil things in life.” Understandably so, “King Wizard” served as a 2013 summer anthem for many as it’s perfectly fitting for a cruise with the windows down.

Produced by Kid Cudi

25 • 50 Ways To Make A Record

I swear that whenever I have a not so good day I can play this record and it helps; it’s one of those rare songs that you can play and it literally gives you some happiness. A remake of the classic Paul Simon offering “50 Ways To Leave Your Lover”, but Cudder gave it his own flip and twist, making for one of the most timeless songs in his tremendous catalog. Everything about this one is so pure, so beautiful, and every word holds weight. The way that Kid Cudi painted a picture, created a sensational melody, and was still able to give useful advice at the same time makes this one of my all-time favorite songs from any artist.

Produced by Plain Pat & Emile Haynie

24 • Dat New “New”

An undisputed mixtape classic in the Cudiverse, “Dat New ‘New’” embodies Cudi at his most braggadocios and boastful in a way that stays true to his trademarked laidback swagger. Over a head-bopping guitar riff, Cudi crafts some of his most breezy verses, distinguishing himself from the mobs of clones by establishing himself as a force so ”Super-Cudder-Realistic-Leaner-Alidocius” that his imagination couldn’t possibly be beaten. He goes for the knockout with a killer hook that’s been ingrained in the minds of Cudi fans ever since the track first started circulating around the internet in 2008. With “Dat New New”, Cudi makes hit-making seem easy, saving one of his most addictive tracks for a mixtape deep-cut.

Produced by Dot Da Genius

23 • Make Her Say

You knew that this offering was going to pop up on this list somewhere, right? This song is without a doubt one of my favorites from Cudder to date. There was something special about the way he flipped this Lady Gaga sample, and in addition, he truly floated over the beat and dropped one of my all-time favorite verses from him. It’s kind of wild to think about it this way because Kid Cudi has had so many uplifting anthems in his career, but this is one of the more feel-good offerings from him in my opinion — there’s no way you can hear it and not vibe to it!

Oh, and did I mention that it also features two incredible guest verses from two of Chicago’s finest emcees, Common and Kanye West!

Produced by Kanye West

22 • Love

Kid Cudi’s music bleeds emotion. Even at his lowest moments, his music is always undeniably true-to-self and notably open with his personal flaws, with “Love” acting as a perfect example. Atop a supply of thoughtful, introspective lyrics, Cudi’s powerful vocals make this the kind of song that you can’t help but scream along to, all the way from the reserved passion of the verses to the belted-out glory of the chorus. Needless to say, yelling along to this song has been a cure to even the worst moments for countless listeners out there, making this truly a one-of-a-kind song that definitely holds a special place in the music world’s heart.

Produced by Kid Cudi & Dot Da Genius

21 • Satellite Flight

Another highlight from Cudi’s most experimental era, “Satellite Flight” shows Cudi channeling his intergalactic energy into a new form that feels like a mix of his older work and the score to a sci-fi movie. While space travel remains a constant motif throughout his discography, “Satellite Flight” and its subsequent album take things even more literally. He pushes his production chops to a new level on this song, building synth textures on top of each other and integrating his “hmmmms” into the instrumental to curate a fully cohesive and immersive vibe. With “Satellite Flight”, Cudder strikes a careful balance that’s hard to come by, tempering his experimental tendencies with his knack for addicting melodies to craft something that no one else could really touch.

Produced by WZRD

20 • Too Bad I Have To Destroy You Now

One of our favorite records off of Satellite Flight: The Journey To Mother Moon is the amazing track “Too Bad I Have To Destroy You Now”. The out-of-this-world melody spread across this one, mixed with the way Cudi picks apart the instrumental, makes this song feel like a walk through space, and for listeners far and wide, this track has rightfully become known as one his best, spaciest cuts to date. Quite frankly, I don’t think I can name any other songs by any artists that sound quite like this one, and at the very least, you have to appreciate how unique and one-of-a-kind this fantastic track really is.

Produced by Kid Cudi and Dot Da Genius

19 • Ashin’ Kusher

This one was just an easy choice for the list, it’s TOO good. Almost every time I speak with another Kid Cudi fan about his music or ask my homies about their favorite songs from the Cleveland native, this record always seems to come up! There’s just something addicting about how Kid Cudi jumped on this groovy Chuck Inglish production with a full head of steam, seemingly hitting all ends of the spectrum while providing a few clever verses as well as some beautiful singing.

Produced by Chuck Inglish

18 • Maui Wowie

“Maui Wowie” gives fans a hint of the more energetic, party-minded Cudi that I’m sure we all know and love. From the airy production to the way that the vocals slide all over this one, Cudi lets loose a cut with endless replay value, perfectly capturing the relaxing vibe of Hawaii in the process. A Kid Named Cudi is filled with hits, but this song, especially, demonstrates Cudi’s pop appeal. Not only does he make deeply emotional records, but he also knows how to craft a hit at the blink of an eye — a trait that “Maui Wowie” perfectly shows.

Produced by Plain Pat & Emile Haynie

17 • Frequency

Officially released on September 30, 2016, “Frequency” was Cudi’s first promotional single from his sixth studio album titled Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin’. In March of that year, this song was released on his Soundcloud, building hype and anticipation for what was to come next. In addition to being the album’s first single, it was also Track 1 which called for exactly what Cudi provided: a feeling and atmosphere that fans could gravitate to when pressing play. Although this project may not have been a favorite out of Cudi’s discography for many, “Frequency” surely deserves a spot as one of his best songs. With the help of Mike Dean and Plain Pat, this record will undoubtedly live on forever.

Produced by Kid Cudi, Plain Pat, & Mike Dean

16 • Mojo So Dope

I think it goes without saying, but Man On The Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager holds some of Cudi’s most impressive and most important records thus far. Another favorite, “Mojo So Dope”, showcases Cudi’s undeniable ability to fabricate an infectious melody with lyrics that leave fans feeling inspired. As a kid in middle school when I first heard this song, it gave me a sense of confidence and self-belief that I had not previously known to exist. In fact, I specifically remember hearing this song around the locker rooms and hallways at school as it quickly and respectfully became an anthem for kids across the world.

Produced by Emile Haynie

15 • Teleport 2 Me, Jamie

Showing off Cudi’s multi-genre approach to music, “Teleport 2 Me, Jamie” is the kind of song that refuses to box itself into any one genre or style. Rather, it exists in a lane of its own, with the airy, mesmeric instrumental as a leading factor in such an indefinable song. Cudi is at his most creative here, with the heartfelt lyrics and touching vocals dedicated to his girlfriend at the time, Jamie Baratta. Being that it’s such a thoughtful release, we had to throw this on our list at number 15, also giving credit the legendary WZRD in the process.

Produced by Dot Da Genius, Kid Cudi, & WZRD

14 • Mr. Rager

Delivered with the arrival of his second studio album titled Man On The Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager, Cudi’s “Mr. Rager” gives deep insight to a very real season of his life. As he described in an old interview with Complex, “Mr. Rager is about being fed up with reality and looking for thrills and excitement by any means.” Accompanied by Emile’s incredible production, Cudi delivered this record with an unforgettable tone, which created an atmosphere for fans to experience the song in a world of their own. A few short weeks after the commercial release of “Mr. Rager”, Cudi dropped the song’s official music video which, to this day, has been a subject of much debate in regards to its meaning.

Produced by Emile Haynie

13 • By Design

My friend told me he once experienced synesthesia while listening to “By Design”—and I believe him. If there’s any Cudi song that could evoke such a euphoric reaction from a listener, its definitely this one. From its mesmerizing rhythm to Cudi’s iconic “hmmmm” scattered all throughout, “By Design” serves as a testament to Cudi’s skill for crafting ridiculously addictive tracks and is one of the most memorable points on Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin’. To top it off, Andre 3000 lends his vocals on the song’s bridge, seamlessly accompanying Cudi and adding to his energy. Cudi has never been one to do the same thing twice as an artist, and “By Design” exemplifies him delving into new styles while maintaining the same hypnotic energy he’s known for bringing.

Produced by Pharrell Williams & Plain Pat

12 • Ghost!

One of my favorite Kid Cudi joints from over the years is for sure the heart touching record titled “Ghost!” The way the Kid Cudi approached this beat was something like he was speaking to a therapist; he was brutally honest and vulnerable on this one and I believe that this is what resonated with his fans. He spoke on all of his troubles and it led to one of his most relatable tracks ever in my opinion.

This one was one of my favorite Kid Cudi joints because of the way that he managed to literally put every ounce of emotion into his lyrics — you can hear it in his tone, his voice, and even the hums. There was something special about the soothing production that would make me just drift away in my thoughts, pondering all of the issues he spoke on in this song, but ironically enough, it made me feel at ease with my worries. For me and for thousands of other Kid Cudi fans, this will forever be a classic — just press play and take a trip down memory lane.

I hope they understand that I really understand that, they don’t understand.

Produced by Emile Haynie

11 • REVOFEV

One of my favorite parts about being a Kid Cudi fan for the past decade-plus is that he has always embraced the “I am your big brother” mentality with his entire fanbase, and one of the best examples of that is the chanting anthem, “REVOFEV”. Literally, though, Kid Cudi reminds his fans, “I am your big brother,” just as the track starts, giving us countless gems of advice across this joint.

Random side note, but I saw Kid Cudi perform this song to start his set at Lollapalooza in Chicago a few years ago, and it was truly one of the most blissful feelings I have ever experienced. On stage, he went into depth about how he attempts to push the “big brother” mentality as much as possible, but especially with this song.

Produced by Plain Pat

10 • Cudderisback

An absolute CLASSIC record from Kid Cudi is “Cudderisback”, and I don’t think any true Cudi fan would disagree with this one landing at ten. From the iconic music video to the pure happiness felt throughout the song, this offering is a perfect representation of the undeniable charisma that Kid Cudi brings to the table. Scott Mescudi is one of the coolest humans alive, and whether acting as a stoner anthem or a behind-the-scenes look at his easily-lovable character, “Cudderisback” is an undeniable classic in every sense of the word. As the man himself proclaims in the song’s opening moments, “I’m back, baby.

Produced by Rostam Batmanglij

9 • Erase Me

Without question, Cudi’s 2010 release of “Erase Me” was a major milestone for the young superstar. As it was the lead single from his second studio album titled Man On The Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager, “Erase Me” also features one of the greatest to ever do it, Kanye West. Deservedly so, “Erase Me” debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at spot 22, and has since sold over 2 Million units. Over crisp, dreamy production, Cudi and Kanye flawlessly flow with their captivating melodies and touching lyrics. To date, this could be argued as one of the best collaborations music has ever seen, especially with its refreshing rockstar mixture of hip-hop and rock — not to mention one of my favorite music videos ever.

Produced by Jim Jonsin

8 • Surfin’

Ushering in the release of Passion, Pain, & Demon Slayin’, Cudi takes a moment to acknowledge his own monumental influence with “Surfin’”. He takes aim at the countless biters of his sound and takes credit for the artists he’s paved the way for in true Cudi fashion, backing his boasts with an anthemic groove produced by himself and Pharrell. “Surfin’” feels like Cudi at his most free, untethered by expectations imposed onto him by external forces or his own internal struggles with vices like drug addiction. It’s only right that the video for “Surfin’” showcases Cudi surrounded by some of his most notable protégés and friends, with cameos from the likes of A$AP Rocky and Jaden Smith. The original Man on the Moon takes a well-deserved victory lap with this track, celebrating a decade-long career of riding nobody’s wave but his own.

Produced by Pharrell Williams

7 • Just What I Am

If I was making this list based on just my own personal favorite songs, I could have put this track in the top five without hesitation, but landing at number seven is “Just What I Am”. This offering itself was a fan favorite on Kid Cudi’s Indicud album that was released in April of 2013, and for good reason. For me, this was a very relatable joint for the time I was at in my life, and I know that thousands of Kid Cudi fans across the globe felt that, too. This record has that special quality where it feels like you’re listening to it for the first time every single time you play it, which is extremely rare.

Produced by Kid Cudi

6 • Up Up & Away

Do I even need to explain this pick? I am sure from the moment you saw this list, you automatically assumed that this joint was top ten, and you were right! Ending his debut album titled Man On The Moon: The End Of Day, “Up Up & Away” finished what Cudi said to be his “life story” up until that point in 2009. Accompanied by Common’s intimate commentary, the purpose of this record was to provide an understanding that there are always going to be challenges and obstacles ahead, but you should always live in the moment despite this inevitability.

In an interview with HipHopDX, the Cleveland artist mentioned that this song was a segue into the next album, leaving room to grow and develop as both an artist and an individual. For me specifically, this record played a huge role in the process of understanding Cudi and the positive impact that he was having on the world of music.

Produced by Free School

5 • Soundtrack To My Life

Titling a song “Soundtrack 2 My Life” would seem over-ambitious for most artists, and its no easy feat to sum up an entire autobiography in a single song’s runtime. But Cudi accomplishes this feat with finesse on “Soundtrack 2 My Life,” one of the most memorable tracks from Man On The Moon. He touches on everything from his family, his rap career, and his own mental health and addiction struggles over the track’s three verses. Before getting into the rest of the album, he uses this track to provide a listener with the context to understand the rest of what he has to say. While doing so, he comes through with a genuine and vulnerable exposé of his psyche told in iconic Cudi style. If you were to introduce someone to Cudi’s music, this would be the perfect song to start with.

Produced by Emile Haynie

4 • Man On The Moon

The simple words “You gon’ love me, mane” professed at the beginning of “Man On The Moon” might just be amongst Cudi’s most iconic. Over the years, this song has aged as an undeniable classic in every right, with the theme of being an outsider in a world full of insiders as its main purpose.

For an infinite number of listeners out there, “Man On The Moon” was more than just an introduction to Cudi’s one-of-a-kind character, but it was also a sign that they weren’t alone in being misunderstood. In this sense, not only is “Man On The Moon” a timeless offering from a technical point of view, but it’s also an anthem to those who feel different all over the world — one of many reasons why I’m sure we’ve all belted this one out straight from the soul at one point or another. To this day, it’s a song that still hits home for countless listeners, and coming in at number 4 on our list, I’m not sure there are many songs that better exemplify Cudi’s heartfelt importance as an artist.

Produced by Nosaj Thing

3 • The Prayer

There are very few songs that I have listened to in my twenty-three years on this planet that can give me the same feeling as “The Prayer” by Kid Cudi does. It’s one of the deepest, most reflective songs that I’ve ever heard, and it’s one of those rare tracks that gives me the chills every time I click play.

Honestly, there aren’t words to capture the full impact of this song and the wide range of emotions that it induces, but I think that any Cudi fan can agree that “The Prayer” had to land right near the top spot on our list. Few songs can boast the fact that they helped an entire generation of listeners through the best and worst of times, and furthermore, even fewer tracks are as timeless as this standout from A Kid Named Cudi.

The only way to really describe “The Prayer” is to call it therapeutic, giving listeners a track that transcends genre and reminds us just how relatable Scott Mescudi is as a person.

Produced by Dot Da Genius

2 • Day ‘N’ Nite

I remember where I was the first time I heard “Day ‘N’ Nite”, and I am sure that I’m not the only person that has that memory. Even the first time I watched the music video, I was AMAZED. It has such beautiful animation and effects that helped take it to that extra level, making for a timeless music video to match a timeless record.

It’s safe to say that 100 years from now when we are all dead and gone, this smash hit that Kid Cudi released in 2008 will be living on still and will continue to thrive forever after that.

Produced by Dot Da Genius & Kid Cudi

1 • Pursuit Of Happiness ft. MGMT

When Kid Cudi and MGMT collided, understand that these were, and are, two of the most gigantic artists in the entire world regardless of genre. Plus, with electronic rock duo Ratatat on the production, this track became the perfect recipe for success.

There are countless movies, places, moments, people, etc. that this song can be associated with, but the fact of the matter is that “Pursuit Of Happiness” is one of the most prolific songs of all time. It’s the soundtrack to a generation of parties and good times, but also a soundtrack to countless midnight drives, ups, and even downs.

Kid Cudi might have an entire catalog of timeless tracks, but few, if any, compare to the timelessness and importance of “Pursuit Of Happiness,” all the way from the mesmerizing production to the sing-a-long nature of the lyrics and even the legendary music video.

Truthfully I can see an argument for any of the songs included in this top 10 being someone’s favorite Kid Cudi song, but there is just something about “Pursuit Of Happiness” that holds a slight edge in our opinions.

Produced by Ratatat

Regardless of what your personal favorite Kid Cudi songs may be, the important part about this article was to celebrate his greatness, get the conversation going about just how iconic he is, and to give him his flowers while we still can! Thank you so much Kid Cudi for everything you have done for hip-hop. Thank you for helping guide and heal millions across the globe with your music, and thank you for inspiring plenty of people just like us here at Lyrical Lemonade.

Additional words from Seamus Fay, Mike Del Ro, Nick Mueller