His music has been featured in commercials, video games and television shows. He landed a guest spot on Kanye West's 808s & Heartbreak as well as a deal with West's record label, G.O.O.D Music — all this thanks to a series of tubes and wires.
However, Cudi's biggest achievement so far may be thanks to some good old-fashioned guerilla marketing. Cudi released a video last week that blended the audio from his song "Sky Might Fall" with the trailer from "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen." Cudi said the idea for the trailer — which has been featured on many blogs and had some wondering about its authenticity — came to him while he was checking out the movie's sneak peek online with his iTunes playing in the background.
"I'm looking at the trailer, and I was like, 'Wow, this is dope,' but then 'Sky Might Fall' — on random — starts playing while I'm watching the trailer. And you know how you just get that eureka of your life, where you are like, 'Aha'?"
Cudi said that when he was in L.A., he showed the mashup to West and director Hype Williams, who both encouraged him to put it out.
" 'Aww, man, that's perfect. You should put that out, like, now,' " Cudi said, mimicking West's voice. " 'Just put it out as a teaser.' "
West not only helped to circulate the trailer — he posted it on his popular blog — but he produced the song. While the two were at a listening session for fellow G.O.O.D Music artist Big Sean, Cudi said he told West about a melody and hook he had stuck in his head. West liked the idea, and the two went to the studio to start making the record.
Cudi said that once he heard the record, he knew it was destined for greatness. "Man, this sounds so epic. I want to use this for a movie one day. I heard they're working on 'Transformers.' It would be so ill if I could get this on 'Transformers,' " he thought.
Thanks to all of the hype surrounding the mashed-up trailer, Cudi and his agent are in talks to make it official. If it doesn't happen, he has no regrets, because the record dropped a few jaws.
"It allowed me to show people what I meant when I said, 'I'm not playing no more.' "