“Day ‘N’ Nite (Nightmare)” by Kid Cudi – Lyrics for English Students

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Do you want to know the lyrics to “Day ‘N’ Nite” by Kid Cudi? Great, you’re in the right place! The song was featured on his 2008 album, Man on the Moon: The End of Day, but was also released on a previous mixtape and single. This page is geared toward explaining to English learners some of the expressions, idioms, slang, and cultural points in the song that most native English speakers probably know already.

I suggest reading the song lyrics and explanations first. Then listen to the song with the lyrics to check for comprehension. If you know most of these explanations, then cool. Your language skills are on point! Ready?

Also Listen: Day ‘N’ Nite Remix (Crookers)

Read: for the lyrics without my explanations, Genius

Read more: Lyrics “Explained”

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Lyrics & Explanations

Day and night

  • Informal Writing: Just a note about the spelling; in the song’s title, “N” is the same as “and” but a popular way to spell it in informal titles or writing. “Nite” is the same as “night” but also an informal alternative spelling. This happens a lot when texting for words that don’t spell like they sound. Ex: Tho (Though), Rite (Right), U (You), 4 (For)

I toss and turn, I keep stressing my mind, mind

  • Expressions: “Tossing and turning” is another way to say that you can’t sleep. It’s a very common expression.

I look for peace, but see, I don’t attain

What I need for keeps, this silly game we play, play

  • Expressions: “For keeps” means something you want to keep or hold on to. It usually means you will win the object you want after playing some game. “Let’s race. Whoever wins gets a new car.” “Are we playing for keeps?”

Now look at this

Madness the magnet keeps attracting me, me

I try to run, but see, I’m not that fast

I think I’m first but surely finish last, last

  • Culture/Literature: This line is reminiscent of a popular fable, “The Tortoise and the Hare.” The two animals race and the hare becomes cocky thinking he will easily beat the tortoise, but the tortoise ends up winning after slowly but steadily staying on track. Maybe Cudi assumes he’s going to win like the hare did, but he gets beat in the end.

‘Cause day and night

  • Informal Speech: *Because day and night …

The lonely stoner seems to free his mind at night

  • Slang: A “stoner” is someone who gets high on drugs, especially cannabis. Similarly, getting “stoned” means getting high on cannabis.

Read more: Stoner

He’s all alone through the day and night

The lonely loner seems to free his mind at night, at, at, at night

  • Other Vocabulary: You might have picked this one up, but a “loner” is someone who spends most of their time alone. They don’t interact much with other people.

Day and night

The lonely stoner seems to free his mind at night

He’s all alone, some things will never change

The lonely loner seems to free his mind at night, at, at, at night

Hold the phone

  • Expressions/Dual Meaning: This one’s pretty obvious, but it can also mean to “wait” in general. This is similar to other expressions like “Hold on,” “Hold up,” and “Hold it.” These all mean to wait. Even though “hold the phone” sounds pretty specific, there are other phrases like this that mean to wait. Ex: “Hold the front door,” and “Hold your horses.” These are a little more silly and informal, though.

The lonely stoner, Mr. Solo Dolo

  • Popular Vocabulary: “Solo” means solitary or alone. I think we got it from Spanish but it’s pretty common to say that you are “solo” or doing something “solo.”
  • Informal/Unusual Expressions: “Dolo” I think is the same as solo. I haven’t heard this expression much, but I guess “solo-dolo” means being alone but feeling relaxed or okay about it.
  • Figurative Speech: Saying “Mr.” before some kind of quality means that the person is full of that quality, as if they were the owner of it. “Okay, Mr. Bossy, you don’t have to order people around all the time.”

He’s on the move, can’t seem to shake the shade

  • Idiom: Being “on the move” is to be active in making plans or moving from place to place.
  • Slang: To “shake” in this sense means to avoid or escape something, like to shake off. “The cops are behind us. I can’t shake them.” Shade here has the sense of something ominous or sad. In slang, “shade” can also be general disrespect or dislike that comes from people who don’t like you. A similar concept is “hating on” someone.

Within his dreams he sees the life he made, made

  • Slang/Possible Dual Meaning: The repeating of “made” here reminds me of another expression. Saying that someone is “made” or they “have it made” is like saying they have everything they dreamed of, they have all the success they could want. They’re living the good life. They “have it made.”

The pain is deep

A silent sleeper, you won’t hear a peep, peep

  • Other Vocabulary: “Peep” is any very small sound. It’s usually said in phrases like “won’t hear a peep” or “don’t make a peep.”

The girl he wants don’t seem to want him too

  • Grammar/Informal Speech: *The girl he wants doesn’t seem to want him either … The way he says it sounds better in this case, though.

It seems the feelings that she had are through, through

  • Common Speech: When something is “through,” it means it is done or over. It has ended.

‘Cause day and night

The lonely stoner seems to free his mind at night

He’s all alone through the day and night

The lonely loner seems to free his mind at night, at, at, at night

Day and night

The lonely stoner seems to free his mind at night

He’s all alone, some things will never change

The lonely loner seems to free his mind at night, at, at, at night

Slow mo’

  • Slang/Casual Expression: “Slow mo” means slow motion. Here, he says it probably to mean slow down or wait.

When the tempo slows up and creates that new, new

  • Foreign/Musical Term: When used in English, “tempo” specifically has to do with the speed of a rhythm, like in music. It has almost become synonymous with speed. I believe it comes from Italian.
  • Slang/Informal Expression: To “slow up” is the same as to slow down or go slower, interestingly enough. It is just another cool way to express this idea. “New new” is a fun concept. It basically means something that is new or hasn’t been experienced before, like an emerging trend. It’s like saying “new thing” but the focus is on the impact of that new thing as opposed to the new thing itself. “You still wear the old brands, but I’ve got that new new. You want to see some?”

Read more: New new

He seems alive though he is feeling blue

  • Slang/Idiom: We probably all know this one, but feeling “blue” is feeling sad.

The sun is shining, man he’s super cool, cool

  • Expressions: “Man” here is just an exclamation, it doesn’t mean anything really.
  • Informal Speech: The way he pronounces “cool” is a very common way to say it in some accents. It also rhymes a lot better with blue.

The lonely nights

They fade away, he slips into his white Nikes

  • Casual Expression: To “slip into” something means to wear it or put it on. “I’m going to slip into a nice dress.”
  • Informal/Alternative Speech: The way he pronounces Nikes (referring to shoes) is an informal way that only certain communities say, though it can also just be an alternative or sarcastic way of pronouncing it. It also rhymes better with nights.

He smokes a clip and then he’s on the way

  • Slang: Smoking a “clip” is smoking the leftovers of a blunt of cannabis.
  • Idiom/Expressions: To be “on the way” means to be arriving somewhere or going somewhere specific.

To free his mind in search of, to free his mind in search of

To free his mind in search of

Day and night

The lonely stoner seems to free his mind at night

He’s all alone through the day and night

The lonely loner seems to free his mind at night, at, at, at night

Day and night

The lonely stoner seems to free his mind at night

He’s all alone, some things will never change

The lonely loner seems to free his mind at night

At, at, at night, night

At, at, at night, night

Na-na-na-na-na-na, Kid Cudi

Cleveland status, grind all day

  • Casual Expressions: Adding “status” after something like a quality or a place means that person is acting like that quality or representing that place. “He’s on Brooklyn status with his Nets jersey and his old Brooklyn Dodger hat.”
  • Slang: To “grind” in this case means to work hard and put in an effort. A similar concept is to be “on your grind.”

Read more: Grind

Then it repeats …

**I hope you enjoyed reading the lyrics to “Day ‘N’ Nite.” Did you understand these pretty well? What part of the lyrics do you still have trouble with? Tell us what your favorite lines are, or what other songs you like by Kid Cudi. You can contact me personally at tietewaller@gmail.com or to collaborate. Read more posts like this one at Lyrics “Explained.” Thank you for coming! Peace.