True homage, or a marketing scheme?
On a recent episode of Saturday Night Live, Kid Cudi attended as the headlining artist, performing multiple songs from his recent album, ‘Man on The Moon III’. While the performance was a hit, as most expected from the groundbreaking rapper/singer, the music wasn’t what garnered attention.
During the performance of his first song, “Tequila Shots”, Cudi sported a green cardigan oddly reminiscent of his role model and icon, Kurt Cobain. While he caused the audience, and everyone on social media, to go crazy over the personal tribute, he didn’t stop there.
During the second performance, a rendition of his track “Sad People”, Cudi rocked an Off-White floral print sundress designed by the famed Virgil Abloh. Nearly immediately, the dress sparked fiery debates as to why, as well as significant criticism and praise for doing so.
The biggest question that was raised was whether or not this was still a tribute to Cobain, who was known for pushing the boundaries of gender-based clothing for his time.
After the performance, Cudi tweeted out that the dress was not only a tribute to Cobain, along with the cardigan but also the beginning of a collaboration with Abloh’s fashion label Off-White. This begs the question: Was the tribute to Cobain well-received? Or did it backfire and come across as a marketing scheme to those who saw through it?
Kurt Cobain was largely hailed as the mental health advocate of his generation in music, as he shed new light on various mental illnesses before taking his own life and moving on in 1994. It’s a safe assumption to make that Kid Cudi is the Cobain of today’s generation, at least in terms of being a mental health advocate.
For Cudi to make a large tribute to one of the world’s most famed rock stars of all time during a song that advocates for mental health awareness, then direct the blazing attention towards a new clothing line to make a profit, may be in bad taste.
While it may very well be an innocent mistake that was made with good intentions, it most certainly brought an unforeseen debate and discussion to the table. Shining a light on mental health and bringing awareness forth in the public eye has been more than encouraged by all, but it must be done in a morally positive manner.