|Origin||Brooklyn, New York, New York City, United States|
WZRD (pronounced one letter at a time, W-Z-R-D) is an American alternative rock band, composed of longtime friends and frequent collaborators, Dot da Genius and Kid Cudi. Formed in New York City in 2010, Cudi originally named the band Wizard, inspired by the Black Sabbath song of the same name. However, Cudi renamed the band on two separate occasions, the first being in April 2011 to 2 Be Continuum, explaining: "I needed something more original, something different...". The second time occurred in November 2011, to the band's current namesake. Their eponymous debut album WZRD, was released in February 2012, peaking at number three on the US Billboard 200 chart. The album was supported by the lead singles, "Brake" and "Teleport 2 Me, Jamie".
Scott "Kid Cudi" Mescudi and Oladipo "Dot da Genius" Omishore met through a mutual friend, with whom Cudi once worked at Abercrombie & Fitch: "He was a good friend of Dot's friend named Riliwan. Riliwan's just such a real motherfucker, to this day, that we play him records and get his opinion--because he's not going to cut us any slack. But, being that our records have been so awesome he barely says anything. We would rap at work, and he would spit, and he was like, 'Yo, I know a producer. I want you to meet him.' I was like, 'OK,' and he had him come up. We met up, and Dot played me some beats. I remember being like, 'OK.' I wasn't like, blown away". Dot da Genius had just started producing but Cudi claims he saw "potential in the artistry".
After working together for about seven months, Cudi was being evicted from his apartment. With plans to move back to Cleveland, Ohio, Dot da Genius' parents allowed Cudi to stay with them and their family, so the two could continue working together and pursue their music careers: "I remember being like, 'Shit--what am I going to do? I'm going to have to go back to Cleveland, go back to my old job, stack some money and then come back.' I was talking to O-Dot about this, and they were saying that I had to be out by January 31st--the day after my fucking birthday. So I was like, 'I don't know what I'm going to do, but if I have to go back home, you can still send me beats, and we can still work." I brought it up, not for a guilt trip, but like, "Yo fam, how are we still going to work?' Because I knew if I wasn't proactive, I wasn't going to get anything accomplished. So I was like, 'If I go back to Cleveland, it's temporary, literally until I can get my paper back up.' I was like, 'Man, I'm just about to pass out here. Is it cool if I stay here?' and he was like, 'Yeah, yeah.' So I slept on the couch. I woke up in the morning, and Dot came downstairs, like, "Yo, my parents want to talk to you." I was like, "What the fuck? What happened? What'd I do?" I thought I was in trouble. So I went up to his parents room, and his dad was like, 'O-Dot told us about your situation, and we've seen that you come to the house, working with Dipo. You guys have been productive, staying out of trouble, and you guys are working towards something.' And he was like, 'I think about it like this, if it was my son, what would I want another family to do for my son?' Long story short, he said, 'You can stay here as long as you like, until you get on your feet. And you can still work with Dipo. You guys can still work on your music. So it's a win-win.' I remember being like, 'Holy shit. Like, really?' Because I was really about to go back home, and I ended up staying there, and the rest is history. It was really, really an amazing thing. It was a blessing just to have them in my life and for them to want to do that for me. Like I said, me and Dot only knew each other for seven months."
In addition to being very good friends, Dot da Genius has produced some of Kid Cudi's earliest work from his demos, to songs on his critically acclaimed mixtape A Kid Named Cudi (2008), which was Cudi's breakout project and the first to feature their hit single "Day 'n' Nite". Since then they have worked together on Cudi's debut album Man on the Moon: The End of Day (2009) as well as his second album, Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager (2010). It wasn't until they were recording "Trapped in My Mind" for Cudi's second album, that ideas of a rock album surfaced. In an interview with Complex magazine, Dot da Genius recounted the recording session: "It was pretty much the same time that we built a studio in Cudi's crib. We did "Trapped In My Mind" and we were dwelling on it like, "This is crazy, we need to put some guitar riffs on this." So I had my homie B-rent, come through Cudi's crib with his guitar, and Cudi did the guitar riff with his mouth cause Cudi couldn't play the guitar. So Brent replayed it. Then Cudi picked up [Brent's] guitar and started fiddling around with it, and I swear to you within like five minutes, he had a legitimate guitar riff. He never played a guitar a day in his life, but had an ill riff that we could make a song with."
Kid Cudi first unveiled the project in January 2011, after returning to Twitter and announcing a new album he was hoping to have out by the summer: "pushing for a summer release of the wizard album... wizard is a rock album, no raps, just singing. brand new thing... workin on some Jay and 'Ye shit... new mixtape A Man Named Scott thats this summah for all those who fucks with my raps, this is for u since ima be all rocked out with the wizard shit. also its free... oh and new york catch me if u can, i start filmin "how to make it" in march." In April 2011, Cudi renamed the band from Wizard to 2 Be Continuum, explain: "I needed something more original, something different, but it's still wizardry at its finest". The second time occurred in November 2011, to the band's current namesake. On May 31, 2011 Cudi released a promotional single titled "Perfect is the Word". It was the first song Cudi and Dot da Genius worked on for the album. During a Ustream broadcast, they unveiled a song titled "Rocket" and announced it as the second single.
Kid Cudi and Dot da Genius also recorded an original song for the 2011 film, Fright Night. The song, titled "No One Believes Me", was first announced June 7, 2011 through Cudi's official tumblr, when he announced he would be shooting the music video for it on June 11, with Fright Night director Craig Gillespie. The video was released on August 12, 2011 and the song itself was officially released August 23. Through his tumblr, Kid Cudi also unveiled the production credits for "No One Believes Me" and revealed that he was on guitar and accompanied Dot da Genius on drums, while Dot da Genius solely handled bass and piano.
On November 10, 2011, Kid Cudi revealed that the only guest appearance on the album would be Australian indie-rock band, Empire of the Sun. On November 18, 2011, Kid Cudi renamed the band once again to WZRD (pronounced one letter at a time W-Z-R-D), and announced that the album would be released on his 28th birthday, January 30, 2012. In December 2011, Cudi revealed "The Wizard", as performed by Black Sabbath, inspired his use of the term "Wizard". On November 20, Cudi announced via Twitter that the album would not contain any profanity, including the use of the word "nigga". On November 21, 2011, WZRD released a song titled "Brake", as the album's first single. The next month, on December 5, 2011, Cudi released a snippet of "Teleport 2 Me, Jamie", the album's second lead single.
On January 4, 2012, Cudi confirmed on Twitter that there would be a tour for the eponymously titled album, WZRD, beginning in Europe. On January 12, Dot da Genius took to Twitter to announce that he and Cudi decided to push WZRD back to a February 28, release date: "Hey guys, WZRD update. Me and Cudi have been working on our debut album and it's almost near completion. We are in the final stages of mastering but we really had to take time and pay attention to the sonics as this is new territory for us. With that being said, we have decided to change the release date. We are looking roughly at Feb 28th. Y'all know how Cudi is' and I'm the same way. Everything has to be in place and now it is. I know it's late notice, we were trying to keep the date but got wrapped up making this album perfect for y'all. However for making you guys wait a little longer we will release 'Brake' & 'Teleport 2 Me' on iTunes on the previously said date. AS WELL AS 'DOSE OF DOPENESS'. Hopefully that will hold you guys over until the album drops!"
On February 13, 2012, WZRD hosted a private listening session for the album at an intimate venue in Los Angeles for a select few. Christopher Mintz-Plasse and fellow How to Make It in America co-stars Bryan Greenberg and Eddie Kaye Thomas, were also at attendance to show support. Following the album's playback, which ran close to 50 minutes in length, Complex Magazine's Joe La Puma hosted a Q&A for media attending the event. According to Kid Cudi, bands that inspired the album include Electric Light Orchestra, Jimi Hendrix, Nirvana, Pixies and Pink Floyd. When asked about a follow up to WZRD, Cudi confirmed that they were already recording new music with the hopes of releasing it in the coming months. "I made a new record the other day that's really phenomenal" said Cudi, as Dot added "Expect greatness".
On February 23, 2012, the entirety of the album was leaked online. Following the WZRD's release on February 28, the album debuted at #3 on the US Billboard 200 chart, with first-week sales of 66,000 physical and digital copies in the United States. The album also debuted on both the Top Rock Albums and Top Alternative Albums at number one, and at #9 on the Canadian Albums Chart, respectively. WZRD made their U.S. national television debut performing their debut single "Teleport 2 Me, Jamie", on March 6, 2012, on the late-night talk show Conan.
In February, shortly before the album was released, Cudi announced they would follow up with an extended play (EP). Nearly a year after the single was released, on November 19, 2012 the music video for "Teleport 2 Me, Jamie" leaked online. However Cudi wasn't disgruntled, stating on Twitter: "thanx for all the love on the Teleport 2 Me video y'all. It leaked but I'm glad u guys got to see it."
On July 2, 2013 Cudi liberated a new song titled "Going to the Ceremony", via his SoundCloud account. The song was released with the tag, "produced by WZRD", which confirms the guitars and drums in this track are most likely played by Cudi and Dot. Cudi later revealed the track is for his EP Satellite Flight: The Journey to Mother Moon, which would feature more production from WZRD. On September 4, 2013, King Chip released his 44108 mixtape, which included the song "Vortex", featuring Kid Cudi and Pusha T; WZRD were credited as the song's producers.
|Title||Album details||Peak chart positions||Sales|
|"--" denotes items that did not chart or were not released.|
|"Teleport 2 Me, Jamie"
|"Teleport 2 Me, Jamie"||2012||Walter Robot|