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The mixtape caught the attention of American rapper-producer Kanye West, who subsequently signed Cudi to his GOOD Music label imprint in late 2008.
Cudi has since gone on to launch his own record label imprints, the now-dissolved Dream On and current independent label, Wicked Awesome Records.
In 2008, his debut single "Day 'n' Nite", led him to prominence, reaching the top five of the Billboard charts.
In July 2008, Kid Cudi released his first mixtape, A Kid Named Cudi (executive produced by Plain Pat and Emile Haynie), in collaboration with New York street-wear brand 10. Kanye West first called upon Cudi to reference hooks for American rapper and mogul Jay-Z, and while in the studio Cudi and West went from working on The Blueprint 3 (2009) to West's R&B-esque 808s & Heartbreak (2008).
Initially a rapper, Cudi has since added singer, songwriter, record producer, guitarist, music video director and film composer to his repertoire.
As of 2018, Cudi has released six studio albums as a solo artist.
Cudi was promoted as an artist to watch for in media such as Rolling Stone, Vibe, The Source, XXL and BBC News's 2009 Sound of poll.
In late 2008, Cudi was revealed to be included in XXL's 2009 annual Freshman Class.