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Kid Cudi Made Up an Alter Ego for Himself While Working at Applebee’s | The Tonight Show

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-Welcome back. It is great to see you again. -Good to see you too, Jimmy. -We've known each other for a long time. -Yeah, man. You've been a supporter since day one. -I love you, bud. -Yeah. -I want to talk about this documentary. -Yeah. -Yeah, "A Man Named Scott." Can I call you Scott? -Yeah, I would prefer that. -Okay. You would? -Yeah, that's what I introduce myself as to -- to my friends when I meet people. -You do? -Yeah. -Where did "Kid Cudi" come from? -Well, um, it's interesting. My -- My first rap name when I first started when I was like 15 was "Lil Scott" 'cause I just didn't have, like -- I don't know. I just was a big fan of Lil Wayne at the time. -Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah. [ Laughter ] Yep, there's Lil Wayne. He's like -- -And we were, like, close in age, so I was -- "Oh, this is a young dude doing his thing, you know? That's -- That's pretty cool." So it started off as Lil Scott. But then, from there, I wanted something a little bit more personal, so I thought, like, you know, using my -- my last name in some way would be cool. So it ended up being, like, "Kid Mesc," the first half of my last name, right? -Yeah. -But, like, people kept confusing it and thinking I was saying, like, "Kid Mess." -Like, "Kid Mess." -So, like, that would really -- that would really, like, make me upset. -You're like, "No, I'm not saying I'm a mess." Yeah. -Yeah. Yeah, it's like, "No, no. It's -- It's Kid Mesc -- It's -- Never mind." -Never mind. Yeah, exactly. You can't keep explaining your name. -Yeah, yeah, yeah. So, like, as I was doing songs and for -- for a mixtape I was working on, like, before the record, you know how you get amped up and you say your name, you know? You say your rap name just to announce, like, this is your record, right? -Of course. -So it would always go like, "Kid Mesc," you know? And then it went from "Kid Mesc" to "Kid Mescudi." And then, like, it went from "Kid Mescudi" to "Kid Cudi"! And I was like, "Oh, this works!" It's like -- [ Laughter ] -Yeah, like, "Stop there." -I found it, yeah. Yeah. -But is it "Mescudi"? -All right, yeah. So I'm a -- so this is -- This is -- We gonna do this right now. -Thank you. -I really -- I really want everybody to -- to learn how to pronounce my last name. This has been bothering me for 13 years. -This is fantastic. All right. -So this is what it is. I know I kind of confuse everybody with my rap name. But it's "Mes-cuh-dee." "Mes-cuh-dee." -Wow. -Yeah. I mean, I'm just calling you Scott. So, this is perfect. Yeah, yeah. We're good. All right. So it's good to know that now. -Yeah, yeah, yeah. -But if you -- We got to watch the documentary. I mean, this is -- It's -- It's phenomenal. It's fantastic to see where you came from and where you ended up. It's just a -- It's a great American story. You grew up in Ohio, right? -Yeah, yeah. Cleveland. -Yeah, Cleveland, Ohio. And then you came to New York. Is it here where you worked at Applebee's? -No, that was in Cleveland. -That's in Cleveland. -Yeah. Yeah. -I love that someone got their start at Applebee's. -Yeah, man. [ Laughter ] Applebee's, like -- -I love that. -I like to have fun with it because, you know, serving tables, if anybody in here serves tables, you know it can get crazy on a Friday night at 7:00. You know. So, like, you know, I would play games. Like, I would make up names for myself. And sometimes, I would be, like, Trevor. [ Laughter ] -"Trevor" was your character? -Yeah. I was just thinking of the cheesiest name I could come up with. [ Laughter ] No offense -- No offense to anybody named Trevor, man. [ Laughter ] No offense, bro. No offense. -But you would go in full character, like, "Hi. My name's Trevor"? -Yeah, "Hi. My name's Trevor. Can I start you off with a coffee, water, Pepsi product? Anything?" you know? [ Laughter ] -Oh, my gosh. -So, like -- You know, it was, like, this thing. And so, it became such a big thing that people would come on my off days requesting me. -You or Trevor? -Trevor. [ Laughter ] And, like -- -That's what I'm talking about. -And people would be at work, like, people would be like, "There's no Trevor that works here," and it's like, "Skinny Black kid, you know?" Like, he -- -"He was just here. We were here last Friday." -"Oh, you mean Scott. Oh, yeah. He's not here." -But Applebee's, did you have a name tag? -I made a name tag that said Trevor. -No! -Yeah! You went and took it to the next level. I hid -- I stole -- I stole one of the name makers. The name-tag makers... -Oh, my gosh! -...and I went in the bathroom, and I made a -- a name tag that said Trevor. -This is unbelievable. [ Laughter ] I love that. And you go and you go, "Great. I'm making this money. I'm saving up so I can get studio time." -Yeah. -So I can eventually become Kid Cudi. -Grammy winner. -Yeah, yeah. -Millions of albums, giant movies. [ Cheers and applause ] You got two Critics Choice nominations. -Yes. Two for "Don't Look Up." -Two for "Don't Look Up." -Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. -Best ensemble cast. -Yeah. -And -- And then for the song. -Yeah. -That you do with Ariana. -Yeah, yeah, yeah. -And then, you receive a different Critics Choice nomination. -Yeah, for "Guns Go Bang." -For "Guns Go Bang," from "The Harder They Fall." -Yeah, with Jay Z. -That was a great movie. Dude, that was fantastic. -Yeah. Shout-out -- Shout-out to Jeymes Samuel, the god, you know? He's one of the guys who's been supporting me. And -- And he's been my hero. Just recently, just coming back into my life after knowing each other years ago indirectly, working with each other. -Yeah. -So I just want to shout him out, man. -That's awesome. -He's -- He's awesome. -But this has got to feel great. I mean, dude, you got three different nomin-- Critics Choice nominations. I mean, the -- the buzz is -- I mean, they're great songs. The -- The rumor is that it could end up with you being nominated for two Academy Awards for two different songs. -That -- yeah. -For Best Original Song. -Yeah, isn't that -- that's -- That's kind of cool. [ Laughter ] [ Cheers and applause ] -That's not bad. That's kind of cool is right. -[ Laughs ] Well, the idea of "Don't Look Up" is, basically, that the world's gonna end. These -- These two astronomers are saying, "Hey, the comet is coming to destroy the Earth." -Yeah. -And just -- everyone is going, "I understand, but there's gossip." And that's the real news. -Yeah. -And everything else is the real news and you -- you and Ariana have a relationship. She's a pop star. -Yeah, yeah, yeah. Our relationship is kind of, like, eclipsing the news of this meteor coming to Earth. Everybody really cares about our relationship more than that, you know? [ Laughter ] Because that's kind of like -- -Yeah, can you imagine? Yeah, and I want to show everyone a clip from the movie. Here's Kid Cudi in "Don't Look Up." Take a look at this. -Hey, baby doll. Hey! -Oh, hi! -Oh, he's in tears. -Hi, baby! -The kid messed up bad. -I -- I know. -Lady wasn't wearing any panties in the club that night. -It's fine. -I just got all crazy. I wasn't thinking straight. I made a mistake. But, look, it's always been you. It's always been you. -Oh, I get it. It's okay. I hooked up with her, too, last year at the Music Globes right before I ran off with that power forward from the Nuggets, and none of that matters. -What about, "Forget breakup sex, try breakup relationship"? -That's good. -Oh, come on. "10 famous second chances for two-timers," guys. -Oh, there we go. -It's on a plate. -I was scared, but, honestly, I'm not scared of you. -Okay. -My little bumblebee, will you marry me? -[ Gasps ] -Oh, wow. -Oh, my God, of course! -Yes! -Chell, Of course! -Yes! -[ Laughing ] [ Cheers and applause ] -It's so well done. -Thank you, man. -Kid Cudi, everybody! "Don't Look Up" is in select theaters now and on Netflix December 24th.

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