When: Fri., Sept. 20, 7 p.m. 2013
The Internet has earned itself a bad reputation (though not an undeserved one) for producing blink-and-you’ll-miss-it musical fads, but it’s also capable of helping songs make patient climbs from relative obscurity to mass popularity over months or years. Kid Cudi’s “Pursuit of Happiness (Nightmare),” for instance, has one of the longer, twistier success stories in recent pop history. Originally released as the third single on his 2010 debut, Man on the Moon: The End of Day, it spent only two weeks on the Hot 100 and ended up languishing as a deep cut. Later that year folk-rock singer Lissie recorded a live rendition of the song that exposed its potential as a sing-along guitar ballad. A YouTube clip of her performance gradually went viral, and her version was sampled for “Hands on the Wheel” from Schoolboy Q’s breakout 2012 album Habits & Contradictions. Four years, two million digital sales, and 70 million YouTube plays later, the song has achieved something approaching ubiquity: the other day I heard it on the street being covered by a college-bro busker wielding an acoustic guitar. —Miles Raymer Tyler, the Creator and Logic open.