Over the last few years, Kid Cudi has become the face of vulnerability and recovery in an otherwise closed-off music industry. Now, the rapper is opening up about how far he’s come since checking into rehab in 2016, as well was what he hopes the future of mental health will look like for the next generation.
During the NewYork-Presbyterian Youth Anxiety Center Dinner, an intimate number of famous friends, esteemed guests, and industry legends gathered to discuss America’s latest epidemic: the youth mental health crisis. Vogue Editor in Chief and Global Content Officer Anna Wintour, who is a founding committee member, hosted the initiative’s festivities alongside Brent Saunders and Tory Burch at Saint Theo’s in New York City.
This year’s NewYork-Presbyterian Youth Anxiety Center Dinner marks the 11th anniversary of the program, aiming to de-stigmatize conversations around mental illness and help vulnerable youth seek treatment. Over the pandemic, depression rates have skyrocketed, leading teenagers to report record rates of feeling unwell. With five clinics so far, the NewYork-Presbyterian Youth Anxiety Center sees nearly 50,000 visits each year, as well as spearhead a digital application to deliver cognitive behavioral therapy to patients who don’t live in New York.
Guests included Theophilio founder Edvin Thompson, model and Teen Vogue cover star Yumi Nu, activist Huma Abedin, and Vogue China Editor in Chief Margaret Zhang.
In conversation with Vogue.com‘s editor Chioma Nnadi, Kid Cudi—born Scott Mescudi—candidly revealed to guests that he first began acknowledging his anxiety and depression when he was 15 and 16, after his father passed away a few years earlier. The rapper went on to reveal that he felt that he had no proper resources to help him, instead during to drugs and alcohol to mask his pain, until he checked into a Malibu rehabilitation center years later.
“it was one of those things where it was just like, how do you come up to mom who’s dealing with four kids, and your dad died, and she’s taking care of everybody on her own, that you’re dealing with something,” he said about his upbringing.
Since 2016, Cudi has used his massive scale for good, often touching upon mental wellness both within his artistic endeavors and his personal social media. Naturally, his rehab stint, he admits, was a necessary pause—forcing Cudi to step back and pace himself when it comes to his work. He’s taken up to checking in on his 12-year-old daughter, Vada, who’s coming up on a pivotal age with social media use, and encouraging conversations promoting internal reflection.
Just like the NewYork-Presbyterian Youth Anxiety Center, Kid Cudi has his hopes places in young people. While the night served as a reminder for all the work that needs to be done, it was also a hopeful nudge in the right direction that, in the end, the kids will be alright.
“Everything that I’m about, she’s about,” he explained. “This is a taste of the next generation. She accepts me for as wild and rock-n-roll as I am.