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Cudi not in the clear

Universal Motown Records

“The Ralphie Radio Show” broke national news last week when I reported that Kid Cudi would no longer be touring with Lady GaGa. The RRS received confirmation of the departure from Interscope Records, sent the news into the blogosphere first and set off the news alert alarms over at MTV News and TMZ — the latter site citing and linking to The RRS blog in its article.

Kid Cudi’s demise commenced on Saturday, Dec. 12. In addition to opening up for GaGa on “The Monster Ball” tour, Cudder performed a solo show in Vancouver on the same night. During the set, a fan threw a wallet on stage. The emcee tossed the holder back into the crowd. Michael Sharpe, a 19-year-old student and avid Cudi fan, caught the wallet. Sharpe felt guilty for holding onto something that did not belong to him, so he tossed it back on stage, away from Cudi. But the Cleveland-born rapper saw it happen. Infuriated, Cudi removed his ear monitors, hopped off stage and slugged Sharpe in his face, making for an instant YouTube moment.

Sharpe then released pictures of his minor bruise to TMZ — along with a statement that he would not press charges. He reiterated those sentiments the following day in a pre-taped interview on The RRS.

However — perhaps taking a page out of Tiger Woods’ public relations book — Cudi did not say a word. His record label, Universal Motown, declined comment on the matter all week. Meanwhile, a second angle of the punch emerged on YouTube, with the videos accumulating hundreds of thousands of hits.

Then Wednesday afternoon, fellow “Monster Ball” opener Jason Derulo fueled speculation of a shakeup by updating his Twitter status with two bits of information: his set on GaGa’s tour was extended and moved to right before the headliner.

The RRS reached out to Derulo himself, Universal Motown and Interscope. A representative for Interscope responded first, confirming that Cudi was no longer on the tour. The e-mail, which noted that the change had “just happened,” also mentioned the Vancouver incident.

As for Sharpe, he claims that he still hasn’t received an apology from Cudder. The student checked in from the Philippines, where he’s home on winter break. After our 10-minute conversation Thursday, it seems that the fan’s feelings are hurt far more than his face.

“Being home now, and talking about it with my family. ... It’s different,” Sharpe revealed in relation to his feelings on the incident. “Definitely, if he would have hurt me seriously, I’d be much more upset. I didn’t really think about that, though, until I came home.”

Sharpe also said he has been in touch with a man claiming to be Cudi’s manager. The person kept insisting that an apology would be forthcoming, however that seems less likely as the days pass.

“How busy can he be, that he can’t call me and apologize?” asked Sharpe. “If you punched someone at a bar, and you were sorry, wouldn’t you make it a point to call and apologize?”

It was in that vein that Sharpe sent his latest and thus far, last series of text messages to the rapper’s alleged manager. After hearing news from The RRS that Kid Cudi would no longer be on tour with Lady GaGa, Sharpe reached out to make sure everything was cool. The “manager” retorted with a defensive, press release-like statement, noting that Cudi pulled himself off the tour and was not asked to leave.

“I was like, ‘Are you kidding me?’” recalled Sharpe. “Like, is he trying to make a statement through me? That was it for me.”


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