Kid Cudi has been awarded his first diamond plaque, and used the celebratory moment to candidly reflect back on a dark moment in his life.
Cudder’s juggernaut hit “Pursuit of Happiness” — off his 2009 debut Man on the Moon: The End of Day — was certified diamond by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on Thursday (December 15), commemorating at least 10 million sales in the U.S.
“Pursuit of Happiness is certified DIAMOND!!” the Cleveland native wrote on Twitter while celebrating the achievement. “THANK U to everyone who connected w this song and played it over and over all these years. I love you all!!”
A fan pointed out that the diamond plaque coincidentally arrived on the 16th anniversary of the similarly-titled Will Smith film The Pursuit of Happyness, to which Cudi replied by tagging Smith’s son, Jaden, his friend and collaborator.
Another fan tweeted that Kid Cudi’s sixth album Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin’ felt like it should have been Man on the Moon III, to which Cudi agreed and revealed it was initially meant to cap off his iconic trilogy.
“I feel u becuz ur right. PPDS was originally suppose to be MOTM3 but I named it something diff,” he wrote. “Im glad it wasnt tho becuz I needed to be in a better place whenever I did MOTM3. Im glad things worked out. I couldnt be prouder of MOTM3 and PPDS. Theyre both perfection to me.”
Mr. Rager added that the album was recorded during a particularly dark time in his life and while filming the music video for his single “Frequency,” he was in the midst of a lengthy cocaine-fueled bender.
“I was in rehab when the frequency video came out,” he wrote. “I shot it, then went on a 2 week cocaine run. Edited the video sneaking into the bathroom to do bumps. Then, I woke up one day and said, “Ima die if things dont change”. So, I made sure things changed.”
In a separate tweet, he added: “Sometimes, u gotta fight for ur life because its the greatest gift we all have.”
Kid Cudi checked himself into rehab in October 2016, shortly after lashing out at Drake and Kanye West on social media. He opened up about his suicidal urges and depression in a heartfelt Facebook post at the time, admitting he felt ashamed of himself.
“Yesterday I checked myself into rehab for depression and suicidal urges. I am not at peace. I haven’t been since you’ve known me,” he wrote. “If I didn’t come here, I would’ve done something to myself. I simply am a damaged human swimming in a pool of emotions everyday of my life. There’s a ragin’ violent storm inside of my heart at all times.”
Cudder previously spoke about his 2016 rehab stint in an interview with Esquire earlier this year, revealing he suffered a stroke after just two weeks at the facility.
“Everything was fucked,” he said, noting his speech and movement were slow. The Entergalactic star said he required physical therapy after the stroke, and at one point in his recovery tried reading with actor Michael Cera for a Broadway role in Lobby Hero. The gig went to someone else, but Cudi said it was a big moment for him.
“I proved to myself that I could do it,” he said. “I needed that at the time. I was happy. Like, damn, my brain is still strong. I didn’t lose something in that shit that happened.”
Kid Cudi isn’t the only rapper celebrating his first diamond plaque. Earlier this week, Lil Wayne’s 2008 Carter III hit “Lollipop” became his first song to go 10x platinum in his 20-plus-year career.
“My first joint to go diamond wowwww!!!” Weezy wrote on Instagram. “Thank you to all my fans and supporters I Ain’t Sh*t Without Y’all!!! #LongLiveStaticMajor.”
Revisit Kid Cudi’s newly diamond-minted “Pursuit of Happiness” below: