Pursuit of Happiness (song)

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"Pursuit of Happiness (Nightmare)"
Single by Kid Cudi featuring MGMT and Ratatat
from the album Man on the Moon: The End of Day
Released January 25, 2010
Format Digital download
Recorded 2009
Genre Alternative hip hop, neo-psychedelia
Length 4:55 (album version)
4:03 (radio edit)
6:16 (Steve Aoki Remix)
Label GOOD Music, Universal Motown
Writer(s) Scott Mescudi, Evan Mast, Mike Stroud
Producer(s) Ratatat
Kid Cudi singles chronology
"Make Her Say"
"Pursuit of Happiness"
MGMT singles chronology
"Pursuit of Happiness"
"Flash Delirium"
Ratatat singles chronology
"Pursuit of Happiness"
"Party with Children"
Music video
Slow party version on YouTube
Music video
Megaforce version on YouTube

"Pursuit of Happiness" is a song by American recording artist Kid Cudi, released January 25, 2010, as the third single from his debut studio album, Man on the Moon: The End of Day (2009). The song was produced by American rocktronica duo Ratatat and features vocals from American neo-psychedelic act, MGMT.


On the album, the track is titled "Pursuit of Happiness (Nightmare)", following the album's dream sequence. The final version of the song was premiered on September 4, 2009, on the DJ Semtex BBC Radio 1 show.[1] The song made its US television debut on the Late Show with David Letterman on September 11, 2009. Cudi later performed the song on September 23, 2009, on Jimmy Kimmel Live.[2] The song was featured during a Vitamin Water commercial in 2010, in LeBron James of the Miami Heat, narrates and stars in. The song was later included on the soundtrack to the 2011 film Fright Night.[3]

Music videos[edit]

The first music video released, directed by Brody Baker and produced by Josh Hartnett, displays Kid Cudi at a party. While everyone is having a good time, the whole party goes into a slow-motion state. Ratatat does not appear in the video, however MGMT member Ben Goldwasser does make an appearance. Other cameo appearances include Cudi's former GOOD Music label-mate Consequence, along with fellow rappers Johnny Polygon and Drake.

The second music video released, directed by Megaforce, shows Kid Cudi waking up and interacting with a swiveling couch, and a party scene. The members of Ratatat are featured.


Upon the song's release, American electro house DJ Steve Aoki, produced a remix of "Pursuit of Happiness", which went on to become as popular as the original and became a staple at Aoki's concerts. Steve Aoki released his remix on December 5, 2009.[4][5] In 2012, the remix was featured on the trailers for the comedy film Project X and was later included on the film's soundtrack. On May 1, 2012, an "Extended Steve Aoki Remix" was released via digital distribution, such as iTunes and Amazon.com.[6] Also in May 2012, Kid Cudi received a nomination for Best Song from a Movie at the MTV Movie Awards, for the Steve Aoki remix to "Pursuit of Happiness", being used in Project X.[7] Aoki's remix is also heard in the 2014 superhero film, The Amazing Spider-Man 2.[8]

Covers and influence[edit]

In 2010, Australian alternative rock band Cloud Control, covered "Pursuit of Happiness", on multiple occasions throughout their concert tours, which received high praise.[9][10] Also in 2010, American folk-rock singer Lissie, began covering the song live in concert.[11] Her cover earned praise from Kid Cudi, who posted the video on his official website, commenting that Lissie did a "great job" and that it was "just really beautiful and extremely flattering."[11] She included the cover on her extended play/cover album, Covered Up with Flowers (2011).[12] Lissie's cover was also included on the soundtrack to the 2013 comedy-drama film, The Dirties. In 2012, Los Angeles-based rapper Schoolboy Q, sampled Lissie's cover version, for his song "Hands on the Wheel", taken from his album Habits & Contradictions (2012). In June 2014, Kid Cudi and Lissie performed the song together for the very first time at Le Divan du Monde in Paris, France.[13][14][15]

Chart performance[edit]

"Pursuit of Happiness" debuted and peaked on the Billboard Hot 100 at #59 on the week ending October 3, 2009. The following week, it fell 41 spots to #100. The song recharted at #95 on the week ending January 8, 2011. It has now sold over 2,000,000 downloads since its release.[16] The song originally peaked at number 137 on the UK Singles Chart, but it re-entered the chart in 2012 attaining a new peak of 72 and entered for the first time on the Irish Singles Chart, peaking at 24. In 2012, it has also charted for the first time in Austria, Belgium (Wallonia), France, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland.

Charts and certifications[edit]


  1. ^ BBC - 1Xtra - Semtex Kid Cudi on BBC Radio 1Xtra with DJ Semtex.
  2. ^ Illy (23 September 2009). "Video: KiD CuDi – Pursuit Of Happiness (Jimmy Kimmel Live)". youheardthatnew.com. 
  3. ^ "Fright Night (2011)". IMDb. 
  4. ^ "Kid Cudi - "Pursuit Of Happiness" (Steve Aoki Remix)". Pigeons & Planes. 
  5. ^ "Pursuit of Happiness (Steve Aoki Remix)". The Chuckness. 
  6. ^ "Pursuit of Happiness (Extended Steve Aoki Remix) feat. MGMT & Ratatat - Single by Kid Cudi". iTunes Store. Apple. Retrieved March 14, 2013. 
  7. ^ "2012 MTV Movie Awards Winners: The Full List". MTV News. 
  8. ^ "The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014) Soundtracks". IMDb. 
  9. ^ http://www.clashmusic.com/live-review/cloud-control
  10. ^ http://www.abc.net.au/triplej/media/s2901683.htm
  11. ^ a b "The Wonderful Lissie's Cover of Pursuit of Happiness". Retrieved August 6, 2010. 
  12. ^ Monger, James. "Covered Up with Flowers > Overview". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2012-06-06. 
  13. ^ "Watch Kid Cudi and Lissie Perform 'Pursuit of Happiness' Together - MTV". MTV News. 
  14. ^ Zach Frydenlund. "Watch Kid Cudi and Lissie Perform "Pursuit of Happiness" Live In Paris". Complex. 
  15. ^ "Watch KiD CuDi & Lissie Perform “Pursuit of Happiness” In Paris". HYPETRAK. 
  16. ^ Grein, Paul (March 6, 2013). "Week Ending March 3, 2013. Songs: Is The Right Song #1?". Chart Watch (Yahoo Music). Retrieved March 14, 2013. 
  17. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Kid Cudi feat. MGMT & Ratatat – Pursuit Of Happiness". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  18. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Kid Cudi feat. MGMT & Ratatat – Pursuit Of Happiness" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  19. ^ "Ultratop.be – Kid Cudi feat. MGMT & Ratatat – Pursuit Of Happiness" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  20. ^ "Ultratop.be – Kid Cudi feat. MGMT & Ratatat – Pursuit Of Happiness" (in French). Ultratop 50.
  21. ^ "Pursuit Of Happiness (nightmare)". acharts.us. 
  22. ^ "Lescharts.com – Kid Cudi feat. MGMT & Ratatat – Pursuit Of Happiness" (in French). Les classement single.
  23. '^ "Club 40" (in French). club40.fr. In the box under Afficher le classment du week-end du, select "27/07/2012". Retrieved August 23, 2014.
  24. ^ "Officialcharts.de – Kid Cudi feat. MGMT & Ratatat – Pursuit Of Happiness". GfK Entertainment.
  25. ^ "Chart Track: Week 11, 2012". Irish Singles Chart.
  26. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Kid Cudi feat. MGMT & Ratatat – Pursuit Of Happiness" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  27. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Kid Cudi feat. MGMT & Ratatat – Pursuit Of Happiness". Singles Top 100.
  28. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Kid Cudi feat. MGMT & Ratatat – Pursuit Of Happiness". Swiss Singles Chart.
  29. ^ "Official UK Singles Top 100 - 19th January 2013 - The UK Charts - Official Charts Company". Official Charts Company. 23 December 2012. Archived from the original on 19 January 2013. 
  30. ^ "23, 2012/ Archive Chart: December 23, 2012" UK R&B Chart.
  31. ^ Illegal name entered Kid Cudi feat. MGMT & Ratatat/Kid+Cudi+feat.+MGMT+%26+Ratatat/chart?f=379 "Kid Cudi feat. MGMT & Ratatat – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for Kid Cudi feat. MGMT & Ratatat.
  32. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2013 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved February 21, 2013. 
  33. ^ "Kid Cudi’s ‘Pursuit of Happiness’ Goes Platinum". Dat New 'Cudi'.