Kid Cudi has some big, stylish shoes to fill.

The hip-hop newcomer is replacing Kanye West as Lady Gaga’s tourmate on her 41-city Monster Ball tour, which includes a stop at the Air Canada Centre Saturday.

Despite being signed to Kanye’s vanity record label GOOD Music, Cudi says he’s not really aware of the circumstances surrounding West’s abrupt departure in September from Gaga’s show, which was originally a co-headlining event called Fame Kills.

“I don’t have any knowledge of that at all,” he tells Metro in a phone interview. “They just asked me, and I said ‘yeah.’”

Thanks to the last-minute change, Kid Cudi had to scramble to make sure his part of the show was up to Gaga’s flamboyant standards.

“We’re really really trying to do what we can,” the rapper says during his first week of rehearsals. “Because I know that Gaga’s set is going to be ridiculous. It’s gonna be way better than mine, so what I’m just trying to do is come up with creative ways to just do my thing, too.”

But as for exactly how he’ll go about doing his thing, well, you’ll just have to wait and see.

“I can’t really reveal too much,” he says. “But I can say that it will be cinematic in nature.”
In that case, his set will have something in common with his debut album, Man on the Moon: The End of Day. One of the most original hip-hop full-lengths of the year, the album dramatically casts Cudi in the real-life story of a lonely yet imaginative rap upstart.

With its brooding, melancholy overtone and forlorn subject matter, since its release in September, the album has inspired a new term among critics: “emo-rap.”

Cudi — who’s working on a free mixtape and a compilation set to come out early next year — welcomes the coinage, saying that newfangled ways of describing his music was inevitable.

“You gotta remember, my goal in making the record was to confuse those people,” he says. “I wanted people to love it, but to not know what to call it, you know what I mean?”