CupcakKe‘s second self-released album of 2018, Eden, is out now.
Covered in chocolate syrup, dotted with rainbow sprinkles, and teasing a strawberry, CupcakKe has returned true-to-form on Eden. Kicking off with the line “This for the ‘cupcakKe a joke’”, this album spends every minute of its runtime picking apart that notion and any others like it, all while making one thing exceedingly clear: CupcakKe doesn’t fuck around.
You don’t have to get too deep into Eden before it becomes apparent that the album bears a lot of similarities to her last album, Ephorize. And yet, what would so often be seen as ample reason for an album to be executed and dumped in a shallow grave for rehashing old ideas just doesn’t seem to apply to CupcakKe. While the confidence, shamelessness, and poignancy remain the same, the laugh evoking punchlines, blush-worthy sexual descriptions, and surprisingly thought provoking moments of Eden all feel fresh.
There are a lot of punchline rappers out there, and a lot of extremely clever ones at that; but, few are as blatantly hilarious as CupcakKe. Call it shock value if you want, but songs like “Garfield” and “Typo” with lines like “I sip on that dick, call me Mississippi” and “Legs tied like some chucks/Candles lit while we fuck/Enema, he in my butt” force you to hit pause and collect yourself in the most enjoyable way.
Now, as hard as it is to imagine shifting to a more serious note after being told “Twat make him feel good like soup and crackers”, she continues to do so surprisingly well throughout the album. The tracklisting here is well padded with meaningful songs like “Cereal and Water”, “Dangled”, and the closing track “A.U.T.I.S.M”, which include takes on social inequality, heartbreak, and inclusivity – all of which feel deeply personal to her. Moreover, her ability to stay laser-focused on the topic at the hand until she’s said everything she needed to isn’t just impressive, it’s undoubtedly superior to that of a lot of rappers who poise themselves as strictly serious and conscious.
Any gripes with Eden are mostly superficial. Some of the beats sound uninspired and overly familiar, with the production on “Garfield”, for example, sounding a lot like something Drake or Rihanna passed on. Beyond that, the Chicago rapper’s hook-writing skills do feel sort of limited to repeating the title of a given track with a related punchline, which can sometimes fit the song, but, at other times, just starts to feel repetitive.
Regardless of what I, or anybody else, could ever say, she is going to continue being CupcakKe, and all there is to do is continue to enjoy and appreciate that. Individuality in artistry can be hard to come by, but she continues to make the case that she may very well be the fucking queen of it.