Kid Cudi has spoken out about the Off-White dress he wore for his performance of “Sad People” when appearing as the musical guest on Saturday Night Live back in April, digging deeper into the Kurt Cobain influence, as well as the polarised reception from fans and the broader hip hop community.
“I’ve never been someone who’s like thinking about the backlash,” says the rapper, speaking on HBO’s The Shop: Uninterrupted. “I don’t give a fuck about what anyone thinks. You can’t when you’re doing this shit. I knew it would piss some people off, but I love that. Because hip hop is so weird about shit.”
He adds that he’s seen the YouTube videos that talk about him wearing the dress in negative terms. “Like grown men angry, grown Black men angry. ‘He’s doing something against men and masculinity, it’s a big thing going on…’ And I just be like, yo, this is so funny, this is crazy that I’ve stirred it up like this.”
“I want to be a disruptor, I want to fuck shit up. And it’s cool, because I’m also giving confidence to the kids, and telling them to be themselves and do what they want to do.”
Commenting on the floral, Virgil Abloh-designed dress after his SNL appearance, Cudi confirmed the obvious Cobain tribute — which also included a nod to his iconic green cardigan — via Twitter. “I told him I wanted to show love to Kurt w a floral print sundress and this man made a masterpiece,” he wrote. “Thank You @virgilabloh ur a fuckin genius!! Love you man we did it!!!.”
On Uninterrupted, he expands on the Nirvana frontman’s role in his outfit choice. “The image of seeing Kurt Cobain in a dress was very rock and roll to me,” he says. “That was cool. So I already made my mind up years ago that I wanted to do this.”
When asked what the response from other musicians and hip hop artists was like, he adds: “I don’t know, it’s not like Kanye’s gonna hit me up and be like, ‘yo that dress was fresh’. You know? But it’s ok.” He goes on to say that he knows West — who sampled Kurt Cobain on the pair’s 2018 Kids See Ghosts collaboration — sees it, and respects him for it.
Watch Cudi discuss his floral sundress moment below, and revisit Dazed’s rundown for more iconic moments that stars experimented with wearing a dress.