Kid Cudi and Kanye West have had a rocky relationship over the course of their careers. The frequent collaborators have at times been friends, performing and dining together, and other times dissing each other on social media.
Cudi was signed to West’s G.O.O.D. Music label in 2008 after meeting West a few years earlier. West was then featured on “Make Her Say (I Poke Her Face),” Cudi’s single from his 2009 album Man on the Moon: The End of Day — the studio set that launched Cudi’s career under G.O.O.D.
Prior to his solo material, Cudi had also contributed to Jay-Z’s The Blueprint 3 and West’s 808s & Heartbreak. Other collabs between the two artists include “Erase Me” from 2010’s Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager; “Gorgeous” and “All of the Lights” from Ye’s 2010 album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy; and more recently, “Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1” from the 24-time Grammy winner’s 2016 release The Life of Pablo.
But based on their more recent social media interactions, it’s probably safe to say that we won’t be seeing these two on stage anytime soon.
Below is a timeline of highlights and lowlights in Cudi and Kanye’s relationship.
April 2, 2013: Kid Cudi Leaves Kanye’s G.O.O.D. Music
On April 2, 2013, Cudi announced on Power 106 in Los Angeles that he was no longer under the G.O.O.D. umbrella. “Man, everything is cool,” Cudi said at the time. “Everything is peace with everybody on the label. There’s never been any issues, but I am announcing that I’m no longer on G.O.O.D. Music. And this is something that no one knows, really. I’m no longer on G.O.O.D. Music.”
Cudi went on to clarify that it was a tough decision because he viewed West as a “big brother.” Cudi said that as he broke the news that he wanted to go in his own direction (with Wicked Awesome Records) to West over the phone. Ye got it because he, too, wanted to head in his own direction.
Feb. 27, 2014: Cudi Says He’s Unhappy With Feature on Yeezus
After departing from G.O.O.D. Music, Cudi was surprised to hear his voice on “Guilt Trip,” on West’s 2013 Yeezus album. In an interview with Complex‘s Joe La Puma, Cudi was asked about his subtle “Guilt Trip” outro feature.
“The vocal that I did on that song was a couple years old. I forgot which session it was, but it was just a reference,” Cudi told the publication. “I discovered that I was on the song via Twitter. I saw kids hitting me up, like, ‘Are you on ‘Guilt Trip!?’’ or saying ‘Great job!’ and I’m like, ‘What the f–k is everyone talking about?’ So I go on Twitter and then I hear the song and I’m like, ‘OK. I know the beat. I know the song.’ Then I’m like, ‘Oh man, OK.’ Part of me was flattered, like, it’s kind of cool that he thought of me.
“Then I started thinking about it more. It was like, ‘Why not call me and have me come in there and give it? Why underuse me? Why put four bars of vocals to coax my fans into thinking this is a legitimate Kid Cudi feature on this song and it isn’t?'”
Sept. 14, 2016: Cudi Slams West, Ye Responds
In a Twitter barrage, Kid Cudi chose to hold nothing back. In a string of messages, Cudi went off about discord in the hip-hop scene. Among those he name-dropped was West.
“I need y’all to know I got so many haters within the industry and these clowns know Im bout to crush their entire existence,” Cudi wrote. “Everyone thinks they’re soooo great. Talkin top 5 and be having 30 people write songs for them. Let me tell you something. The days of f–kery are over. The fake ones won’t be lasting too much longer.
“I’m the one they worry about cause they know I don’t give a f–k about the corny shit they do. All my youngins out here reppin, Asap Rocky and the whole ASAP family, Travis Scott, SuperDuper Kyle, Audio Push, Hit Boy, etc, I see y’all. And all u jealous chicken hearted s–ts I see you too. I am the culture.
“I kept silent because I don’t ever wanna come off like some angry hater, but today, not only do I feel fantastic, I’m feelin like taking over. I already have. My tweets apply to who they apply. Ye, Drake, whoever. These n––s don’t give a f–k about me. And they ain’t f–kin’ with me. N––s keep you close when they how powerful you are by yourself. When they see your greatness. Out of fear. I’ve been loyal to those who haven’t been to me and that ends now. Now I’m your threat. Anybody got a issue with my words I’m glad. If you feel me, don’t be scared to use your voice. I was for so long out of blind loyalty.”
While West was performing a show on his Saint Pablo Tour, the rapper addressed the tweets Cudi had let loose earlier that day.
“Do you know how many people wish they could be signed to G.O.O.D. Music?” West told the crowd, according to E! “Get their life changed, have an opportunity? Never forget that! I am so hurt. I feel so disrespected. Kid Cudi, we are two Black men in a racist world. … Don’t ever mention my name in a bad manner, none of y’all.”
Sept. 20, 2016: West Publicly Forgives Cudi
Again while in concert, this time in Houston, West addressed Cudi’s tweets. This time, while on the suspended stage associated with his Saint Pablo Tour, West expressed forgiveness.
“The most important artist of the past 10 years, the most influential, and I hope he’s doing well,” West told the crowd between singing. “I just want to take this time out to say Kid Cudi is my brother … The most influential artist of the past 10 years?“
— David Bullock (@AlaskasVeryOwn) September 21, 2016
November 2016: Cudi Joins Kanye on Stage
A few weeks later, Cudi joined West in Sacramento, Calif., to perform “Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1.” This came shortly after Cudi had gone to rehab for depression and suicidal urges, as he announced on Facebook on Oct. 4, 2016. Cudi’s first performance since leaving rehab came a couple weeks before he joined West at ComplexCon, on Nov. 6, 2016.
In Sacramento, on Nov. 20, “Father Stretch My Hands” was one of only three songs West played at the show before abruptly leaving. He then canceled the rest of his Saint Pablo Tour before being hospitalized for his own plights with mental health.
November 2017: Kanye Takes the Stage With Cudi in Chicago
A little over a year later, Ye performed for the first time since his show in Sacramento. Just as West gave Cudi a stage to return to after Cudi’s personal grief, Cudi helped Kanye reintroduce himself following a lengthy public absence. West joined Cudi in his native Chicago to again perform “Father Stretch My Hands,” only this time, as part of Cudi’s Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin’ tour.
April 18, 2018: West Announces Joint Album With Cudi
After announcing the upcoming release of his own seven-song album on Twitter, West sent the Twittersphere in a frenzy by also adding that Kids See Ghost, the title of his group and joint effort with Kid Cudi, would be arriving June 8.
me and Cudi album June 8th
— ye (@kanyewest) April 19, 2018
it's called Kids See Ghost. That's the name of our group
— ye (@kanyewest) April 19, 2018
January 2019: Kanye and Cudi Dine Together
Kim Kardashian set the internet ablaze on Jan. 31, 2019, when she posted a photo of Kanye West, Kid Cudi, Pete Davidson and Timothée Chalamet having dinner together at Nobu Malibu for Cudi’s 35th birthday.
— Kim Kardashian (@KimKardashian) January 31, 2019
The photo quickly went viral, and Davidson, who is now dating the reality star, later revealed on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon that he paid the bill for the expensive dinner.
February 2022: Ye Announces Kid Cudi Will Not Be on Donda 2
“Just so everyone knows Cudi will not be on Donda because he’s friends with you know who,” Ye wrote in a since-deleted note posted to Instagram in which he tagged both Cudi and ex-wife Kardashian, and alluding to Davidson, her new beau.
Cudi responded to Ye by writing in the comments: “Too bad I dont wanna be on ur album u f—in dinosaur hahaha. everyone knows ive been the best thing about ur albums since i met u. Ima pray for you brother.”
“The Scotts” rapper then took to Twitter, writing: “We talked weeks ago about this. You’re whack for flipping the script and posting this lie just for a look on the internet. You ain’t no friend. BYE.” In another tweet, he added: “God opens the door so the wrong people can exit ur life.”
We talked weeks ago about this. You’re whack for flipping the script and posting this lie just for a look on the internet. You ain’t no friend. BYE
— The Chosen One : I 💖 YOU FRESHIE 4EVER (@KidCudi) February 12, 2022
God opens the door so the wrong people can exit ur life
— The Chosen One : I 💖 YOU FRESHIE 4EVER (@KidCudi) February 12, 2022
The exchange didn’t end there. The next day, Ye took to Instagram again, expanding on his earlier statement. In the now-deleted post, he wrote, “THE REASON I ASKED CUDI TO AT THE LEAST SPEAK TO SKETE IS BECAUSE FOR YEARS CUDI ALWAYS MADE IT SEEM LIKE IT WAS ME AND HIM AGAINST EVERYONE NOW THAT IM FIGHTING FOR MY FAMILY HE NOT BY MY SIDE THIS IS BIGGER THAN MUSIC.”
The 44-year-old rapper was referencing Cudi’s friendship with his ex-wife’s boyfriend, SNL star Davidson. In a second post, he explained, “I WOULD HAVE NEVER ASKED FOR THE LOYALTY IF IT WAS NEVER OFFERED AND I FOUND A COOL PICTURE CAUSE I LOVE CUDI AND ALWAYS WILL BUT DONDA2 IS ABOUT RUNNING BACK IN THAT BURNING HOUSE I RESPECT NOT EVERYONE GONNA BE READY FOR THE SMOKE.”
April 19, 2022: Kid Cudi Insists Kanye Is ‘Not My Friend’
As news spread that Cudi would appear on Pusha T’s album It’s Almost Dry, he tweeted about the track — “Rock N Roll” — he’s featured on with West to clear up the status of his relationship with the “Hurricane” rapper. “Hey! So I know some of you heard about the song I got w Pusha,” Cudi wrote. “I did this song a year ago when I was still cool w Kanye. I am not cool w that man. He’s not my friend and I only cleared the song for Pusha cuz thats my guy. This is the last song u will hear me on w Kanye.”
Hey! So I know some of you heard about the song I got w Pusha. I did this song a year ago when I was still cool w Kanye. I am not cool w that man. He's not my friend and I only cleared the song for Pusha cuz thats my guy. This is the last song u will hear me on w Kanye -Scott
— The Chosen One : I 💖 YOU FRESHIE 4EVER (@KidCudi) April 19, 2022