On October 5, 2016, Kid Cudi announced that he had checked himself into rehab for “depression and suicidal urges.” It was a highly-publicized event widely regarded as a watershed moment for the discussion of mental health in hip-hop, but in a new Esquire profile, Cudi revealed a new, terrifying wrinkle to the story: two weeks into his stay, Cudi was hospitalized after suffering a stroke.
Cudi says the stroke impacted his speech and movement and required physical therapy in the months that followed. It wasn't until he auditioned for Lobby Hero, a 2017 Broadway play with Michael Cera, that he felt as though he had recovered. “I proved to myself that I could do it. I needed that at the time,” Cudi told Esquire. “I was happy. Like, damn, my brain is still strong. I didn’t lose something in that shit that happened.”
The full profile also touches on Cudi's upcoming animated Netflix show and album Entergalactic, out this September, as well as the end of his friendship with Kanye West. The two artists had a falling out over Cudi's friendship with Pete Davidson, who dated West's ex-wife Kim Kardashian.