Singer and rapper Kid Cudi has made headlines this weekend for wearing a floral dress while performing on Saturday Night Live. The dress, which was designed by Off-White, started trending on Twitter in no time as fans and viewers all wondered what Cudi’s message was behind wearing it.
If you’ve always had a thing for Cudi’s emo musical universe like I have, then you probably remember how split opinions were when he wore a red crop top during his performance at Coachella 2014. At the time, many criticised the move, while others started hashtags such as #Boysincroptops2014 and #croptopmovement. It was iconic if you ask me.
But back to Cudi’s SNL performance. Shortly after the show was aired, the artist confirmed on Twitter that the dress had been designed by Virgil Abloh specifically for this performance. As Cudi further explained, “I told him I wanted to show love to Kurt [Cobain] with a floral print sundress and this man made a masterpiece.”
Kid Cudi’s performance on Saturday fell on the same week as the anniversary of Cobain’s death at age 27. Nirvana’s singer and songwriter committed suicide on 5 April, 1994.
For a performance of his track ‘Tequila Shots’, Cudi first sported a green cardigan that many fans pointed out looked comparable to the one that Cobain wore during Nirvana’s MTV Unplugged concert back in 1993.
Then, for his second number, Cudi performed his song ‘Sad People’ in the spaghetti-strapped floral dress, which resembled one Cobain wore during a 1989 live performance. The rapper also wore a shirt honouring late SNL cast member Chris Farley, who died in 1997.
Kid Cudi, who told Billboard in 2018 that he went to rehab for “depression and suicidal urges,” has always been very open about his mental health journey, both in interviews and through his music. Cudi checked himself into rehab in 2016, opening up about his struggles with mental illness in a Facebook letter.
“I am not at peace,” he wrote at the time. “My anxiety and depression have ruled my life for as long as I can remember and I never leave the house because of it… It’s time I fix me. I’m nervous but I’mma get through this.”
After rehab, Cudi spoke to Billboard about finding peace, “I have so much joy that I don’t feel like I’m fighting anymore,” the artist said. “It was this year, around my birthday [in late January]. I’m the best I’ve ever been in my life. I realised I was genuinely happy, and there’s nothing really going on in particular.”
“Creating is making me happy again,” he added.
Shortly after his recent SNL appearance, people took to Twitter to praise the rapper’s initiative and message. And while I would never doubt Cudi’s involvement in the fight for suicide prevention, the rapper took the opportunity to ride the wave of that PR stunt by announcing a new collection by Off-White where he will be involved in the design process and his already iconic dress will be available for purchase.
While more details surrounding the collection remain unclear, it marks the latest update in Abloh’s ongoing flirtation with the music world—just last month, 21 Savage was revealed as the face of Louis Vuitton’s Spring capsule.
You’ve probably heard or read the term soft boy somewhere online. Also spelled softboy or softboi, the term is used to describe a specific type of man. Here’s exactly what it means and a few examples of typical soft boys.
Urban Dictionary has more than one definition for the word soft boy but all of them seem to agree on a few points. Although the term is used to describe boys, soft boys have features and behaviours that most would qualify as almost feminine. They also have a sensitive side that differentiates them from the previously used term fuckboy.
“Similar to a fuckboy but without the cocky attitude. The softboy will butter a girl up by appealing to her emotions and showing a ‘sensitive’ side long enough for her to sleep with him, whether or not he actually cares about her or not. Then, like the fuckboy, he can’t and won’t commit. Differs from the fuckboy because he goes for the heart and emotions rather than just the body,” says one of Urban Dictionary’s definitions.
@beam_me_up_softboi is the Instagram account that shares with its followers screenshots of conversations with typical soft boys trying to impress girls with their indie music knowledge and their fake philosophy of life.
As much as this can be true for some, not all soft boys are manipulative liars. Soft boys can also be recognised by their soft and gentle attitude.
Many believe that soft boys come as a package, meaning that yes, they are nice and easily likeable, but they also have a very precise aesthetic that makes them recognisable from afar. From wearing pastel tracksuits and having soft, natural hair, soft boys are, well, soft inside and out.
Many agree that soft boys are a watered-down version of K-pop and its boyfriend aesthetic which then influenced western culture. In K-pop, the boyfriend look describes an outfit made of pastel tones, muted colours and having a classic hairstyle.
This style is named the boyfriend aesthetic as it is an outfit that a man could wear to meet his partner’s parents in.
As mentioned in The Guardian’s What is a softboi? You might be dating one – and you don’t even know it, Timothée Chalamet is probably the perfect and most used celebrity example of a soft boy. His explicit embrace of femininity and rejection of traditional masculinity has struck a nerve with audiences of all ages who have marvelled at him (for good reasons).
Very similar to Chalamet is Harry Styles, who recently also showed a different approach to masculinity by wearing nail varnish, pearl necklaces and more feminine apparel.
Less famous but also coming under the soft boy umbrella are actors Cole Sprouse from the series Riverdale and Noah Centineo who starred in rom-coms such as The Perfect Date and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.
Whether you decide to use the term or not, soft boys have inundated social media platforms such as Instagram and TikTok and are here to stay. And, to be honest, with toxic masculinity finally being challenged, it’s the perfect time for us to accept soft boys as a gentler, kinder sort of man.