Here's what Mr. Solo Dolo had to say about it back in September 2008 when the video was shot:
"Kid Cudi: It's a party scene that shows even when a lot of people are around, there still can be a sense of loneliness. Sometimes we find peace in going out and getting drunk and trying to be around people to try to take our minds off of things, but it's kind of hard to. But the “Heaven At Night” is in the sense of nightlife being heaven'going out and drowning your sorrows and trying to lighten up your spirits. But at the same time, you can see it in somebody's face that their mind is on something completely different.
Complex: Do you identify with that?
Kid Cudi: Yeah, all my music. That's my life in a nutshell."
Kid got issues.
Watch the video and read the rest of the interview after the jump.
[youtube Rjgsm66iClo nolink]
The setting for Kid Cudi’s first music video was like a homecoming. Since the 23-year-old Cleveland native took up residence in Brooklyn three years ago, he’s been treated like one of the Big Apple’s own, mainly by the pack of self-made cool kids who appear in his new video “Heaven At Night”. To help bring the song to life, he teamed up with multi-tasking party promoter/director Vashtie, who’s known for her unique take on the Pharrell, Lupe, Kanye banger “Us Placers”.
While Cudi’s runaway hit “Day And Night” pushed his name past the indie world, he was still lacking a formal introduction to the world. That is, until this summer when he dropped his Man On The Moon mixtape, which garnered even more attention from influential folks like Kanye, who recently called Cudi the “best new artist.” Can’t beat that. In this exclusive Complex interview, the kid talks about making powerful music, being a dork, and the vision for his forthcoming album…
Interview by Richard “DJ Treats” Dryden
Complex: What exactly is the treatment for this video?
Kid Cudi: It's a party scene that shows even when a lot of people are around, there still can be a sense of loneliness. Sometimes we find peace in going out and getting drunk and trying to be around people to try to take our minds off of things, but it's kind of hard to. But the “Heaven At Night” is in the sense of nightlife being heaven'going out and drowning your sorrows and trying to lighten up your spirits. But at the same time, you can see it in somebody's face that their mind is on something completely different.
Complex: Do you identify with that?
Kid Cudi: Yeah, all my music. That's my life in a nutshell.
Complex: It’s interesting that you got someone like Vashtie, who’s known for throwing parties, to direct it. Did you look at it like that?
Kid Cudi: I've been to several of her parties, having mad shit on my mind. She's seen me at her parties, I'm sure, a couple of times and seen me looking like my mind is on something else. And sometimes she'll be like, “Are you okay?” And I’ll be like, “Yeah, you know…” Because that's fam right there, she knows me and where I'm trying to go with my music. It's very personal and it made sense to do the video with her. It was actually her idea. I wasn't even thinking of doing anything off the mixtape other than “Is There Any Love.”
Complex: Did you always have it in mind to do “Heaven At Night” as the next single?
Kid Cudi: “Is There Any Love” was before the mixtape dropped. We were supposed to do a video for that. It was a promo, but it just didn't get handled right away. Then the mixtape dropped.
Complex: Are you going to release a video for “Day And Night”?
Kid Cudi: I have a vision, and I wish I was a video director so I could do it myself.
Complex: That song kind of grew on its own. Are you surprised at the success? Is that why you're taking your time with the video?
Kid Cudi: Yes. The song has turned into pretty much a cult-favorite. “Day And Night” is my Sir Mix-A-Lot “I Like Big Butts.” I'm going to be performing that song for the rest of my career. My man Emile told me that shit [laughs]. I'm not gonna be a one-hit wonder, you can quote that. Muthafuckas just need to get ready and understand that. The mixtape was designed to establish that and let people know it's not a game, I'm not playing no more. This is the alley-oop, and the album is going to be most magnificent piece of music we've heard in some time.
Complex: Before the making of the video, you had a making of the treatment clip. What was the idea behind that?
Kid Cudi: That was just for fun. We weren’t even going to put that out, it was just a joke. We were just fucking around, and we just got this crazy idea playing around with iVideo on the Macbook. Next thing you know, ideas sparked and we pretended I was a stalker but I was mad corny and shit. It was basically to play off of people sweating Vashtie. I’m making fun of the guys that sweat Vashtie hard-body. It was a subliminal chin-check'let her be. She’s an amazing person, but…stop being weird. And it was also funny because I was playing me, Kid Cudi.
Complex: Well up until now, no one has really seen any videos with you. To put yourself out there for the first time, you’re [portrayed] as a complete dork.
Kid Cudi: Wow, that is the first video of me even talking. I never thought about that. It’s whatever, it was a joke. I think it’s dope that I didn’t follow the traditional route and be like, “Let’s do a video and it’s all serious.” It also helps to show my character and me as a person that I’m silly. That’s a side that people don’t know that much about me. Like hearing my music it might seem as if I’m a really deep person, and I am, but I have a very very silly side. It’s good that people see that in that video.
Complex: Are you looking to take more of an acting role in your future videos?
Kid Cudi: Oh, all my videos are going to all be cinematic-based, not just me rapping in the camera. My actual album will be cinematic from beginning to end.
Complex: So, a storyline?
Kid Cudi: Not a storyline so to speak, but I’m leaving it open for kids to interpret it. I don’t want to really sit there and be be like scene after scene after scene; I want kids to follow the story and come up with their own shit about it. But there was a lot of subliminals on the album. I hope people really like it and not shun me. I’m really pushing the envelope, as always with everything I do. It’s some next-level shit, I’m putting myself out there a lot and it’s really just powerful music. At the end of the day, I want to help change people’s lives with my music, not just let people dance and smoke a blunt to it. I want to change people’s lives, I think that’s the true meaning of music'to change people’s minds. To help them see that the world isn’t all that bad if you just understand that through every tough situation there’s always a brighter day after it. When it rains there’s always a the sun right after. My faults, my demons, I’m putting everything out there, things that I deal with. It’s therapy for me. When I’m going through some shit, I’ma write about it. I hope this song helps as much people as much as it helps me.
Complex: The song is very close to you.
Kid Cudi: That’s what happened with “Day And Night”. I try to tell peopole, the Kid Cudi movement is bigger than hip-hop, because I’m not just hip-hop'I’m everything. I don’t get into labels, whatever you want to call it. If I wake up tomorrow and say I want to make a country album, believe it I’ll do it, and execute it, and it’ll be great. That’s what I’m about, just doing something and going with the raw emotion and being elegant about it.
Complex: You had some special guests, 88-Keys, Alchemist at the shoot. Are you working with any of those guys?
Kid Cudi: I did something for Alchemist’s album, and we’ll be working together for my album. I’m working with 88-Keys, that’s family right there.
Complex: On the intro for the mixtape, you and a bunch of people are in a movie theater. What’s the significance of that?
Kid Cudi: Just to put the stamp on the movie thing, just a little hint hint, and also it was a joke. It was supposed to just be the DreamWorks theme. But why don’t we flip that and make it seem as if we’re in a movie theater and muthafuckas are just clowning and then the movie comes on.
Complex: What are some of your favorite DreamWorks movies?
Kid Cudi: I can’t think right now, but Transformers was amazing. I’m a huge Shia LeBouf fan. The Dreamworks thing had a significance because my whole shit is about my dream world, dream on. I’m a big supporter of anyone that has a dream.