Source: Kid Cudi's "Beautiful Trip (Official Visualizer)," YouTube
Mar 17, 2021
Get to know Kid Cudi’s producer, Brooklyn’s Dot da Genius
Kid Cudi's righthand man may not take center stage with the rapper on SNL next month, but his music will. Our cheat sheet to Dot's career
When Saturday Night Live tweeted yesterday that Kid Cudi will be the show’s April 10 musical guest, the 37-year-old rapper and alternative music star called the invitation a “dream come true.” But the announcement is also a watershed moment for his less-famous longtime friend and producer, Dot Da Genius.
Cudi will most likely be performing music from his December 2020 album “Man on the Moon III: The Chosen,” the final act of a decade-long trilogy that was executively produced by “Dot,” as Cudi refers to him as. An SNL gig serves a fitting celebration of an unlikely success story that started in Dot’s Brooklyn basement.
Oladipo Omishore, better known as Dot Da Genius, first came onto the scene with the completion of Kid Cudi’s debut studio album, “Man On The Moon: The End of Day” in 2009. But before the record was even released, Cudi was staring at the very real prospect of homelessness. After being evicted from his New York apartment, though, Dot to stepped in—and maybe even saved Cudi’s career.
Dot decided to take in the emerging rapper into his family’s Brooklyn home. While living together the duo dedicated their lives to their music, eventually releasing Cudi’s debut mixtape “A Kid Named Cudi” in 2008, effectively launching their path to stardom from a makeshift studio that Dot’s father made for them in his basement.
“We was all we had at the time,” Dot told Complex in 2019. “It wasn’t like anyone cared what we were doing. We both would be pushing each other to create something great.”
The rest, as they say, is history. More than a decade later, Cudi and Dot completed the highly lauded “Man on the Moon” trilogy at the end of 2020. While Dot does not get the same recognition as the vocalists he produces for, he’s always in the background creating the magic. In the spirit of recognizing Dot’s contributions to music, here’s a tracklist of some of his better work:
“Day N’ Nite,” Kid Cudi
Dot produced Cudi’s commercial debut single Day N’ Nite in 2008. The track would go on to become one of Cudi’s biggest hits and the lead single on “Man on the Moon: The End of Day.” The cult classic recently resurfaced when Cudi criticized a Tik-Tok trend that edited the lyrics out of the song.
Cudi and Dot formed an alternative rock group under the name WZRD after the first Man on the Moon, eventually releasing an album in 2012. One of the most popular songs in the album is “Brake,” a Pink Floyd-esque psychedelic rock track that showcases Dot’s genre-bending creativity.
“Reborn,” Kids See Ghost
Dot was all over Cudi and hip hop legend Kanye West’s 2018 collab album “Kids See Ghost.” The rap duo, known for speaking openly about mental health struggles, capitalized on Dot’s harmonic beats to produce a track that touches the soul. “KSG is a blessing to be a part of” Dot told Fact Magazine shortly after its release, “And I know the music will help people.”
“Lil Nas X,” Panini
Dot collaborated with Take a Daytrip to produce the biggest hit of Lil Nas X’s debut EP, “7.” That Lil Nas X’s summoned Dot after taking over the music industry with “Old Town Road” signified his status as perhaps the hottest producer in the game.
“Show Out,” Kid Cudi, Skepta, and Pop Smoke
According to Cudi’s interview with Apple Music’s Zane Lowe, Dot had originally produced the beat to “Show Out” for fellow Brooklyn artist Pop Smoke before his passing. When Dot played the beat for Cudi, he jumped on it and included Pop Smoke on the track, creating a song celebrating classic Brooklyn drill in the process. The song, which appears on “Man on the Moon III,” shows Dot’s ability to create more traditional hard rap beats.
Dot is expected to be a significant contributor to Cudi’s upcoming visual album/animated series “Entergalactic,” which is set to come out on Netflix later this year.
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