Kid Cudi used his SNL musical guest spot to pay homage to two of his late heroes; Kurt Cobain and comedian Chris Farley.
Stepping out in an Off-White™ spaghetti strap dress to perform “Sad People,” Cudi honored the later singer, who took his life 27 years ago last week. Designer Virgil Abloh revealed that the garment was “specially reserved for Mr. Rager only.”
Decades before Harry Styles and Jaden Smith were hailed as pioneers of gender-fluid fashion, Cobain was donning floral dresses on stages, red carpets, and magazines. In today’s cultural landscape, Cudi’s homage is less transgressive than it is heartfelt. The rapper has long revered Cobain, tweeting that he’s “Never not thinkin’ about Kurt Cobain,” and “Im obsessed with Kurt Cobain. I wish he was still here, so he could teach me guitar tricks.”
It’s funny seeing a lot of old heads getting upset about kid cudi… I wonder if they hated Nirvana too because Kurt cobain did this REGULARLY. pic.twitter.com/Pl89mnS0yD
— dipshit (@DanversWRLD) April 11, 2021
The 37-year-old rapper even got Cobain’s likeness from Nirvana’s MTV Unplugged performance tattooed on his forearm. Performing “Tequila Shots” Cudi channeled this same performance — wearing a green sweater, flannel shirt, and distressed graphic tee combo to evoke the late singer’s legendary look. The olive green Manhattan brand sweater that Cobain wore for the performance recently sold for $334,000.
— Jillian Sederholm (@JillianSed) April 11, 2021
Cudi’s t-shirt also featured an image of the late SNL cast member Chris Farley. Farley died of a drug overdose in 1997 after battling addiction and depression. Cudi himself has been open about the pressure of being admired and how being seen as a hero exacerbated his own depression.
Speaking on Red Table Talk, Cudi said, “I have to live up to be this person, and I don’t feel like that. It’s like doing a comedy but you’re miserable. It’s like my life was like this show and I was always supposed to be on, but when the show was over I was completely miserable.”
More recently, Cudi has spoken about how he has overcome some of his mental health challenges by focusing on music. He revealed, “It took me a while to get to this place of commitment, to say I’m gonna get through this. To know that we can take our pain and turn it into something.”
If you or someone you know needs help in combatting addiction or depression, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones.
If you’re in the U.S. you can call directly at 1-800-273-8255 Readers in the UK can call the Samaritans at +44 (0) 8457 90 90 90.