CupcakKe – “Cum Cake”

CupcakKe‘s debut mixtape Cum Cake was self-released in 2016.

Even experienced CupcakKe listeners are liable to have their jaw dropped by the rapper’s famously explicit, brutally honest lyrics, regardless of how accustomed to her style they might think they are. With her 2016 debut album, Cum Cake, CupcakKe – once performing in churches around her native Chicago – stormed the rap game with an unprecedented amalgam of shock value and legitimate insight that was, and still remains, in a league of its own.

It’s difficult to imagine hearing this debut effort for the very first time again, but doing so is really the only way to put into perspective just how unapologetically CupcakKe announced her entrance. Only three tracks in, and we’ve already heard songs called “Vagina” and “Pedophile” – examples of her off the wall sexual storytelling and immensely personal revelations, respectively. And, of course, so too comes the added touch of CupcakKe’s career being birthed by “Vagina”, just as – well, you get it.

Going from a track who’s entire chorus is “Slurp that dick ‘til it cum” to one that unreservedly accounts the artist’s painful experience as a sexually exploited 15-year-old felt a bit jarring in 2016, but it’s that same sense of shock that made CupcakKe’s rapping as resounding and poignant as it was from the jump, and still is today. Her personal history fuels her music, imbuing it with a sense of openness and honesty that defines her style just as much as her lyrics do, despite the latter being more responsible for her notoriety.

Moving through the album, there are plenty of other instances of both hilariously graphic, X-rated romps and forthright confessions, alike. Songs like “Deepthroat” and “Juicy Coochie” come at face value, displaying accessible, rhythmic beats topped with boldly delivered verses that would fit right in on the Hip-Hop charts, were the subject matter not so radio-unfriendly. Other tracks, like “Darling” and “Tit for Tat”, maintain those mainstream textures, but venture insightfully into deeper facets of life and relationships.

Lyrically, Cum Cake affirms that the Chicago rapper had an early mastery of her one-of-a-kind brand of cutting punchlines. The sexual lines, as shocking as they are at times, possess a measurable amount of humor and poeticism that make them pop beyond the innate ear-catching vulgarity. Take for example this bar from “Juicy Coochie”: “Cause I drip so much slob on the cock you know / Give you what you want like we on The Oprah Show”. Indecent? Certainly. Thought-provoking? Admittedly.

From homeless shelters to festival stages, CupcakKe’s success story is self-perpetuating, with a life full of intense experiences informing a discography full of intense divulgences. And, while a lot of Cum Cake’s themes are reliably lascivious, each track still finds a way to ensure that CupcakKe isn’t repeating herself, as she proves that there are more distinct ways to paint a picture of a blowjob than you could’ve possibly imagined.

CupcakKe‘s Cum Cake is a debut that’s envelope-pushing to say the least, and one that set the foundation for a totally independent catalogue that still is to this day. Just make sure you’re careful of who you play it around.

Jonathan Vilardi

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