Kid Cudi Goes After Universal Again, Wonders Why His Millions Of Video Views Aren't Translating Into Radio Airplay

from the umg-is-still-there-to-take-a-cut-of-whatever's-earned-WITHOUT-its-help dept

Hip hop artist Kid Cudi is at it again, tearing into Universal Music for its lack of support. Last February, Cudi decided to branch out stylistically with his album "WZRD," citing Pink Floyd, Nirvana and the Pixies as inspiration. The label's response was to ship only 55,000 physical copies and continue pushing Cudi towards completion of another album in the vein of his first two.

Cudi took to Twitter to express his displeasure and became his own promotional team. The result? "WZRD" debuted at #3 on the Billboard 200 chart -- all without label support. Now, something else has caught Cudi's attention and (re)raised his ire at his label. Apparently, he's racking up millions of views at Vevo -- but his latest singles (which are the "return to form" Universal seemed to be seeking) are getting no radio push from Universal, unlike other artists with similar view totals.
"King Wizard 3.4 million views on Vevo, Just What I Am has 4.3 million and my shit is not on regular rotation on radio. Hmmm," Cudi Tweeted from his account, @ducidni.

"Trinidad James got 4.1 million views on his hit (rightfully so), and I hear that jam EVERYWHERE. Wheres my fuckin spins???" the rapper born Scott Mescudi added.
It must be noted that Cudi has racked up three million views in a little less than a month. His previous track, "Just What I Am," has 4.5 million views in two months, all without label support or radio airplay. Here's Cudi's Twitter rant in full:


Interestingly, Kid Cudi's official site (which is owned by Universal Music) includes his Twitter feed and it appears that UMG has decided to edit out any disparaging tweets. His "Im talking numbers..." tweet now floats freely in a context-free void, following his last, pre-rant tweet of "Dentist :("


UMG's not actually putting words in Cudi's mouth, but it's certainly taking quite a few out of it. Fortunately for Cudi, UMG doesn't control his actual Twitter account, but after the events of the last several months, I'm willing to bet it wishes it did.

If Cudi can push this volume with little to no support, it's probably a good indication that he could strike out on his own and move on from UMG. Of course, nothing in the major label world is quite that easy, what with contractual obligations and the fact that the third party that controls his creations would be more than willing to hang onto his catalog in perpetuity, even if it feels it's not worth supporting.
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: kid cudi, music industry
Companies: universal music


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2013 @ 8:02am

    So they don't push his recordings, and get their cut from any public performances as the copyright holders.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Essential Reading
Techdirt Insider Chat
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.