The story of a kid named Cudi is one of mythic proportions. A retail employee turned rapper. A multi-platinum selling artist shirking convention and making a musical "about-face" in his prime. A sense of style well ahead of its time, praised too late and forgotten too soon. A legacy of unkept promises, postponed records and critical disappointment. A new sort of honesty, never before soon in the hip-hop community. A tale of drug dependency, sobriety and contemplated suicide.

A complex figure in more ways than one, Kid Cudi is one of the most under-appreciated and misunderstood artists in the industry. Revered by die-hard fans and written off by just about everyone else, Kid Cudi’s recent resurgence is a decade in the making. But who exactly is he? A rapper? An early-2000s style icon? A stoner hero or a sober father? The answer is all of that and more. A triple threat whose career is as interesting as it is frustrating, Cudi is just as likely to appear on Conan O’Brien in six figure Nike Air Mags as he is to release a techno-rock remix or appear in an ill-received indie feature. Yet, with a forthcoming animated television show and newfound public persona, it is due time the artist was recognized—for his stylistic achievements and beyond.

Follow Asaf on Instagram here.