Why did Kid Cudi wear a dress on ‘SNL’?

By Alma Fabiani

Published Apr 12, 2021 at 11:25 AM

Reading time: 2 minutes

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.

https://youtu.be/PsagiYnmN_4

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.

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