Once a performer puts a piece of art out into the world, they give up a certain measure of control to an audience who will take from it what they will. But that doesn’t mean they have to like it, which is why Kid Cudi cannot get over how much he hates TikTok’s “Day ’N’ Nite” meme. “I dont fuck w what they did to my song on tik tok takin out the lyrics,” the Man on the Moon III: The Chosen rapper and actor tweeted Friday. “We live in a strange time. I’m not flattered.”
In case you missed it, or the TikTok algorithm hasn’t inundated you with it yet, the “Day ’N’ Nite” meme uses a verse from Cudi’s song, originally released on his 2008 mixtape A Kid Named Cudi, stripped of lyrics except for the phrase, “Now look at this,” after which the video cuts to something strange or random. For example, a duck with a Pringle for a hat or someone inadvertently throwing boiling water on themselves.
When a Twitter user criticized the rapper’s objection, insisting “it’s not that deep,” Cudi disagreed. “I dont think im makin it ‘deep’ by tweetin how I feel,” he responded. “Now if I was ranting thats another thing. Nothing wrong w me stating I don’t approve, plus if u are such a fan, u know my lyrics are most important to me. Im passionate about my shit so idc who has a problem w that.”
Kid Cudi has discussed the personal background of the song, written about his uncle, jazz drummer Kalil Madi, following his death. “My uncle that I lived with passed in 2006,” he told Complex. “We were actually beefing because he forced me out the house when I didn’t have another situation set up, so I was bitter. I never apologized for it, and that kills me. That’s why I wrote “Day ’N’ Nite.’” So, yeah, maybe he just doesn’t love the duck with the Pringle hat?!
Update March 14 9:26pm: On Sunday, Cudi took to Twitter to clarify that he isn’t “angry” or “pissed” about TikTok playing around with “Day ’N’ Nite.” He was just thrown. “Hey!! I wanna make things clear and this is the last time ima address it,” the rapper wrote in a statement this afternoon. “The media has misconstrued my words. I am not ‘pissed’ or ‘angry’ as some articles are saying.”
Continues Cudi, “I don’t have a problem w tik tok at all and what kids do on there. When Memories and The Scotts went viral, i thought it was pretty cool. When I made Day n Nite, I wanted it to help people. I never imagined it would be used in a jokin manner. It threw me off a lil bit. As long as the song is still helpin you guys and the lyrics aren’t forgotten, keep doing your thing. Peace n Love y’all!” So let’s see those ducks in Pringles hats! Not so much the throwing boiling water video. That wouldn’t go with any song.