What does Kid Cudi mean by 'The Pursuit of Happiness'?

What does Kid Cudi mean by ‘The Pursuit of Happiness’?

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Chris Barilla - author

Every artist has one song that defines their career. In the case of Kid Cudi, many would agree that it came about in the form of his infectious 2009 hit “Pursuit of Happiness” featuring MGMT. Nearly a decade and a half after its release, The Pursuit of Happiness still celebrates new listeners every day. Most recently, some of that new attention came with the trailer for his new Apple TV Plus series Shrinking, which spotlighted “The Pursuit of Happiness.”

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So what exactly does the song mean? Unravel the lyrics and find out what Kid Cudi and his MGMT were trying to convey with their hits.

Kid Cudi

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What is Kid Cudi’s The Pursuit of Happiness?

The song is titled “Pursuit of Happiness,” but the implied meaning behind it isn’t all that bleak. At face value, the song chronicles a night of intense partying, rash decisions, and embracing the meaning of both. But digging a little deeper, Cudi seems to be using the “pursuit of happiness” as an escape from negative emotions.

Soon, Cudi carelessly indulges, “Crush it a little, roll it up a little, hit it / Feelin’ lit, feelin’ right, 2am, summer night / I don’t care, hand on the wheel. / DUI, I’m doing my own thing.”

He seems very aware that this could be a crash course toward disaster, saying, “People told me to slow down my roll.

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Besides, Cudi doesn’t seem afraid of death or other bad consequences of his actions. he sings: , I know I’m alive and missed a few bullets. ”

Attempts to justify drug use, which Cudi considers to be his “pursuit of happiness”, continue later in the second verse, questioning the listener as to how much emotional distress they have experienced.

Kid Cudi

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“Dreamin, tell me what you know about Dreamin/You really know nothing, you know nothing/Tell me what you know about night terrors/5 a.m., Waking up in a cold sweat, empty.” After restating herself, Cudi added, “You don’t really care about tomorrow’s trials/Rather, you wake up in bed full of sorrow.”

All in all, “Pursuit of Happiness” (and an energetic remix by Steve Aoki) has become the defining party song of a generation. Through captivating melodies, fantastical lyrics co-written by MGMT’s Andrew VanWyngarden, and a message that resonates with more people than it otherwise does, “The Pursuit of Happiness” still makes sense, many years after its release. A fan favorite, obviously.

“Shiawase no Chikara” is the theme song for the official teaser for “Shrinking”.

Shrinking, the latest show on Apple TV, used “Pursuit of Happiness” as the official teaser for the show. Shrinking focuses on a grieving therapist (Jason Segel). He decided to always tell his clients exactly what he thought, hoping that this new method would help them untangle their traumas as much as he did. “Pursuit of Happiness” is so intensely focused on the pursuit of happiness that it makes sense why a show focused on a similar concept would embrace it.


Bakhtawar S Usmani

I am an all-rounder in a world full of barbies! Keeper of multiple birds and cats. I may make punctuation mistakes, but they come up for turning into a crore or two extra. Thus, a well-placed crore seems a better choice for me.

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