Kid Cudi Wrote ‘Day ‘N’ Nite’ Because His Uncle Kicked Him Out of the House

“Day ‘N’ Nite” is one of Kid Cudi‘s most famous songs. During an interview, he said he wrote the song because his uncle kicked him out of his house. Cudi revealed he moved into his uncle’s home with very little money in his pocket. Subsequently, his uncle’s death made him want to pursue music even more.

Kid Cudi with a microphone
Kid Cudi | Michael Hickey/Getty Images

How Kid Cudi got by when he was struggling financially

During an interview with Complex, Cudi discussed moving in with his uncle before he became famous. He had $500 at the time. “I didn’t have a job for about the first five months there, so I had to make that $500 stretch,” Cudi noted, laughing. “I didn’t have any friends and I didn’t know anybody, so my thing to do then was to go to Times Square and just walk around. I wanted to be a New Yorker so bad.”

Cudi explained what it was like living with his uncle. “It was like growing into a man,” he recalled. “‘All right, let’s see what the f*** you’re made of. Let’s see you be a man now, mama’s boy.’ It was a whole other journey.”

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How Kid Cudi’s relationship to his uncle inspired ‘Day ‘N’ Nite’

Cudi elaborated on his relationship with his uncle. “My uncle that I lived with passed in 2006,” he said. “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.'” “Day ‘N’ Nite” is one of the most famous rap songs about loneliness. Cudi said his uncle’s subsequent death gave him the drive to succeed as an artist because he wanted to fulfill his destiny.

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The way the world reacted to ‘Day ‘N’ Nite’

“Day ‘N’ Nite” became Cudi’s first song to chart on the Billboard Hot 100. It peaked at No. 3 in 2009 and remained on the chart for 27 weeks. Its parent album, Man on the Moon: The End of Day reached No. 4 on the Billboard 200 and it stayed on the chart for 199 weeks. None of Cudi’s songs peaked as highly until “The Scotts” topped the chart in 2020.

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“Day ‘N’ Nite” became a success in the United Kingdom as well. According to The Official Charts Company, the track peaked at No. 2 in the U.K., lasting on the chart for 23 weeks. “Day ‘N’ Nite” is still Cudi’s highest-charting single there. Meanwhile, Man on the Moon: The End of Day did not chart in the U.K. Notably, “Weird Al” Yankovic incorporated the song into his melody “Polka Face” from his album Alpocalypse while Travis Scott sampled it for the song “Through the Late Night” from his album Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight. While “Day ‘N’ Nite” came from a difficult time in Cudi’s life, it remains a classic of 2000s rap music.