Kid Cudi’s humming belongs in the god tier of rap music. Without words, it often feels like the 36-year-old rapper is telling a story with his heavenly mumbles. The soothing and healing power his humming possesses has made those sounds highly favored and renowned. In fact, every few months, viral clips of Cudder’s soul-opening vibratos are passed from timeline to timeline on social media.
The first hum can be traced back to his debut mixtape, A Kid Named Cudi. Served up as a prelude to the breakout classic “Day ‘N’ Nite” is a song called “The Prayer.” In the first 25 seconds of the track, the distinct murmurs are heard as the self-described "Man on the Moon" tries to find his flow.
From there, Kid Cudi's melodic technique was embraced as a lead instrument on each project he dropped moving forward. Take for example his track “My World” featuring Billy Craven from Man on the Moon, “Ghost!” on Man on the Moon II, “Immortal” on Indicud or the title track on Satellite Flight.
However, it was Cudi’s Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin’ album that marked the full arrival and hum eruption. On tracks like “Surfin’,” Cudi even bragged about how addicting they were to the human ear. “Make ’em go dumb with them hums,” he raps.
Fully leaning into the narrative of his notorious vibrations, the next few years would birth some of his best yet alongside his mentor Kanye West (“Waves” and “Reborn”) and mentee and group mate Travis Scott (“Through The Late Night” and “Stop Trying to Be God"). Of course, he kept that same energy on his latest album, Man on the Moon III, too. The routine tactic on songs like “Lovin’ Me” help create a dreamy ascension.
Throughout the past 12 years, Kid Cudi’s hums have increasingly been out of this world. So today, XXL went through and spotlighted 15 of those instances. You can see them below and expect more on his possible next drop with La Flame.