In a wide-ranging Esquire cover story, Kid Cudi spoke about the dissolution of his relationship with Kanye West, the negative response from West’s fans, and what he sees as a pattern of behavior from the controversial superstar. Though Cudi and Kanye have always reconciled after their past falling-outs, , this time Cudi says their friendship is over for good. “With all due respect, I’m not Drake, who’s about to take a picture with him next week and be friends again, and their beef is squashed. That’s not me. What I say, I mean. I will be done with you,” Cudi said. “It’s gonna take a motherfucking miracle for me and that man to be friends again. I don’t see it happening.” (Cudi has since clarified on Twitter that he meant no shade to Drake.)
Cudi says that the tipping point came after Kanye publicly vented about his his friendship with Pete Davidson, who dated West’s ex-wife Kim Kardashian for about nine months earlier this year. “I just wanted my friend to have my back, the knife just goes in deeper,” Kanye wrote on social media back in February, declaring that Cudi would not be on Donda 2. (“Too bad I don’t wanna be on [your] album [you] fucking dinosaur,” Cudi retorted in the comments.)
Cudi, 38, has been open about his mental health struggles, but told Esquire that he is in a positive place and that he “won’t allow anything to fuck up my mojo right now.” At one point in the article, Cudi seems to talk directly to West, saying that his friendship with Davidson shouldn’t affect their relationship to this degree, and that he needs to handle his divorce with more maturity. “I’m not one of your kids. I’m not Kim. It don’t matter if I’m friends with Pete or not friends with Pete. None of this shit had anything to do with me,” Cudi says. “If you can’t be a grown man and deal with the fact that you lost your woman? That’s not my fucking problem.”
Cudi continued: “I’ve watched so many people throughout the years that are close to him be burned by him doing some fucked-up shit. And then they turn around and forgive him. And there’s no repercussions. You’re back cool with this man. He does it over and over.”
Cudi, who began working heavily with Kanye on 2008’s 808s & Heartbreak, also vented about how their collaborative process was not always reciprocal, and that he thinks that people give West disproportionate credit for his early success. “I’ve been on every one of that man’s albums [since they met]. He’s only been on two of mine. That should tell you something,” Cudi explained. “And don’t think I didn’t ask.” (This isn’t exactly true, as the Cleveland musician does not appear on Kanye’s 2019 album, Jesus is King, but the spirit of the point stands.)
In April, Cudi announced that his feature alongside Kanye on Pusha T’s “Rock N Roll” would be his final collaboration with West. He explained in a tweet that the song was made back when their relationship was better, and that he gave permission for it to be released due to his fondness for Pusha.
“The twisted thing is that I love him, but I love you so much that I can kick you the fuck out of my life and be done with your ass. ’Cause you are not good for me,” Cudi told Esquire.
It’s been an up-and-down year for Cudi, who received praise for his co-starring role in the horror movie X, but in July left the stage midway through his Rolling Loud set after being harassed and pelted with objects by people in the crowd. Poetically, Cudi had been selected as Kanye’s replacement at the Miami festival following his last-minute cancellation. Cudi’s Esquire cover promotes Entergalactic, his new album and Netflix animated series of the same name, which also features voice work from Jessica Williams, Timothée Chalamet, and Christopher Abbott.