"I'm a Facebook prophet/I told all the girls that I'd be the hot shit." Thus sings Kid Cudi on "Soundtrack 2 My Life," the uninflected voice of a generation that grew up staring at monitors for hours and spends nights cycling through social networking websites. Embodying the hipster-hop aesthetic, Cudi's soundtrack is essentially a stream of chatroom confessions and lamentations. Sometimes it works — the sparse, catchy "Day 'n' Nite" captures the drone of restless solitude and somehow makes it danceable — and most of the time it's mopey. But Cudi really is the hot shit right now: His smooth, intuitive cross-genre musical approach reflects our web-surfing, boundary-crossing, potentially infinite pop culture reality. It's artists such as Kid Cudi who are best suited to speak to a generation of kids who conduct their social lives and define their identities online, rather than subscribing to any one scene or genre to find a sense of self.
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