Track Review: Kid Cudi, ‘Baptized in Fire’
Alternative, Left-field rapper Kid Cudi returns strong with single “Baptized in Fire.” Cudi is assisted by Travis Scott.
At one time, Kid Cudi was “kind of a big deal.” In 2009, he captivated the world with odd-ball album, Man on the Moon: The End of Day. The album was driven by surprise, left-field hit, “Day ‘N’ Nite.” After his initial success, Cudi cooled off a bit. His coolest came in 2015 (Speedin’ Bullet 2 Heaven). Despite the miscue, he returns capably with new single “Baptized in Fire,” off from his upcoming LP, Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin’.
“Baptized in Fire” features dark, enigmatic production work. The record is anchored by a hard-hitting beat. Kid Cudi delivers nimble rhymes – something of a return of his signature sound. On Speedin’ Bullet 2 Heaven, Cudi wasn’t at his best, hence the reason his performance is refreshing. He raps in an undertone here.
A number of memorable rhymes hail from Kid Cudi throughout. The first appears in the first verse:
“You b*tches in my ear, they sayin’ they love me / uh, you don’t love Scott, you loving Kid Cudi.”
Essentially, he seems to suggest they love his status as a celebrity – notoriety, money, shallowness. He delivers another gem from the first verse spitting:
“Transitioning to my inner I’m hearing their voice / tell me stay in focus, keep focusing boy.”
He goes on, flexing:
“A fresh n*gga at large, a fresh n*gga go hard / all my youngins say keep it goin’ / all my youngins they dumb and reppin’, they always knowin.”
Arguably, the best rhymes from Cudi hail from the second verse, where he references his nightmares, a prevalent part of Man on the Moon.
“Nightmares kept a n*gga from closin’ his lids / since a kid I’ve been haunted by visions of death / such a trip, not normal, I customed the grip.”
His pre-hook is catchy, if random and left-field:
“Got some pride in your town I’m spottin’ em lately / three-piece suit and I’m lookin so cute / sexy mama send her way, you doin’ a hunnid / the main bucks sidelinin’ Christian what you do? / not this my n*gga you been here / Not this, my n*gga, you ain’t here / big boss I made your heart heavy / can’t stop me, can’t carry me, baby.”
Travis Scott takes over duties on the hook:
“Life ain’t easy sober, we live so geeky / did just what you taught us / kept peace, no drama / phone home to the moon / did you change your number? / if and when, you get this message / need you back home…”
Ultimately, Cudi flexes hard on this joint. It’s heads and tails better than anything that graced the “flop of the year,” Speedin’ Bullet 2 Heaven. Has Cudi returned to the run he had with Man on the Moon or Man on the Moon II? Maybe, maybe not, but “Baptized in Fire” is a step in the right direction.