CupcakKe – Eden Words Daniel Megarry
CupcakKe might just be the hardest-working rapper in the game. In the space of three years, the Chicago-born rapper has dropped four studio albums and two mixtapes, collaborated with Charli XCX and Kelela, and filled the rest of her schedule with sold-out tours of the US and UK. With each release, her following of Slurpers – yes, that’s what she calls her loyal fans – grows bigger, thanks in no small part to viral hits like Vagina and Cumshot.
But there’s more to CupcakKe than just sex, and on Eden she pushes her unique brand of socially conscious rap to the extreme. Cereal and Water sees the rapper direct the listener’s attention to a list of social justice issues including racism, “deadbeat” parents who abandon their children, and the corruption of the criminal justice system. There’s even a closing track dedicated to people living with autism, and while it might be a little jarring on such an explicit album, the intent certainly can’t be faulted.
Things get introspective on Dangled, a rare display of vulnerability from the hyper-confident rapper as she opens up about heartbreak and puts an unfaithful ex on blast. Album opener Pet Smart, a relentless track that takes aim at her detractors, delivers one of her most lyrically accomplished moments to date; it’s littered with razor-sharp pop culture references, from Azealia Banks’ soap business to the time Wendy Williams famously fainted on live TV, and her flow never once lets up. The rest of the album is just as witty. “The dick like Ariana ponytail ‘cause I swear that shit was the longest,” she teases on single Blackjack.
As a whole, Eden feels like an attempt to prove herself as a true artist – and it definitely achieves that – but OG fans will be glad to know the album’s still got a handful of sex-positive bangers in its repertoire. On standout track Typo, she raps of dick and enemas over stabby synths that echo Iggy Azalea’s smash hit Fancy, while Garfield is a tropical pop bop that sees CupcakKe use the food loving cartoon cat as a metaphor to describe how fat her “pussy” is. Four studio albums in, and CupcakKe’s found the perfect balance between fun, unapologetic sexuality and social awareness. It’s about time people start taking her seriously.