Kid Cudi had the internet abuzz with his fashion-forward performance as the musical guest on “Saturday Night Live” — with two looks that were an apparent tribute to the late grunge rocker Kurt Cobain.
First, the singer performed the song “Tequila Shots” wearing a T-shirt with a photo of the late “SNL” cast member Chris Farley, who died in 1997 at age 33 of a drug overdose.
Cudi also wore a green cardigan that recalled the one that Cobain — who died by suicide at age 27 in 1994 — had worn during his band Nirvana’s “MTV Unplugged” performance the year before.
Cudi returned later in the show with an even bolder callback to the late Cobain for his song “Sad People” — an ankle-length, spaghetti-strap floral dress reminiscent of a similar outfit that the Nirvana frontman wore during a photo shoot for the U.K. music magazine The Face.
If you’re out here hating on Kid Cudi because he was wearing a dress, grow up and understand that it’s not only an homage to Kurt Cobain but also him speaking loudly for everyone to be and love themselves for who they are. pic.twitter.com/H7i7NfYbM3
— ⚜️𝗞𝗜𝗗 𝗖𝗨𝗗𝗜'𝗦 𝗛𝗨𝗠𝗢𝗟𝗢𝗚𝗜𝗦𝗧⚜️ (@CudisHumologist) April 11, 2021
Both songs are from Cudi’s new album, “Man on the Moon III: The Chosen.”
Cudi has long been an admirer of Cobain — and according to Consequence of Sound even got a tattoo of the late rock star that he shared on social media last summer.
Many online commentators note the apt choice of outfit and its lyrical connections, since “Sad People” concerns Cudi’s longtime battle with depression, including a 2016 stint in a rehab for “suicidal urges”: “Lettin’ go, ooh, this ain’t livin’ / I swim in pain / Never drown, keep my head up above the waves (get it, get it).”
Others noted the timing of the performance, just days after the 27th anniversary of Cobain’s death.
Watch the performances below.
The Twitterverse heaped praise on Cudi for his performances, and for “breaking social norms” with his “fabulous” and “stunning” outfit in the “Sad People” performance — which he ended with a smile and a curtsy.
See more reactions below.
— Jillian Sederholm (@JillianSed) April 11, 2021
— Danny Armstrong (@DArmstrong44) April 11, 2021
— Sophie Ross (@SophRossss) April 11, 2021
Kid Cudi wearing a dress on SNL. Yes.
— here for now (@LouisTheChild) April 11, 2021
Kid Cudi performing on SNL in a floral dress is the energy we need in 2021
— Jon Steingart (@jonsteingart) April 11, 2021
Kid Cudi rocks a Chris Farley tee, then a stunning sundress. Respect. #SNL
— Karen DaltonBeninato (@kbeninato) April 11, 2021
— Brandon Pope TV (@BpopeTV) April 11, 2021
Cudi flourishing on SNL. Next level pic.twitter.com/53kXlTFXhx
— Kozza (@Kozza) April 11, 2021
— Tanya Casole-Gouveia (@TaCaGo) April 11, 2021