Content Warning: Topics of sexual assault appear in this article.
“Hump me, fuck me, daddy better make me choke!” are the opening lyrics of hip-hop artist CupcakKe’s hit, “Deepthroat.” CupcakKe, an up-and-coming rapper from Chicago, is 20 years old and has already released 4 albums. She gained fame recently when her offer to provide a hotel to a gay teenager experiencing homelessness caught the eye of the media. While her songs about sex are her most popular, to focus on those alone would do her a disservice. From songs like “LGBT” to “Biggie Smalls,” CupcakKe’s versatility and kind spirit bring a refreshing, feminist perspective to hip-hop.
While CupcakKe’s music and online presence are easily received as satire, the depth and range of topics she addresses throughout her four albums goes beyond the sex-themed tracks she’s associated with. She skillfully vocalizes her experiences as a young Black woman, and her audience is receptive to it. In under six months, she’s developed her own fandom of “slurpers” with a hilarious stan culture of their own. Her feminism is personal and inclusive, and her heart is full of love for all.
Here is a look at four of her most powerful songs.
One of her most famous songs, “LGBT” is a dedication to CupcakKe’s queer fans and the LGBT community as a whole. At the beginning of the song, CupcakKe boldly declares, “Fuck out my way when you see me, I’m rollin’ with the LGBT!” Her song is bisexual inclusive, an important acknowledgement given the minimal representation and erasure of bisexuality in the mainstream media. She cleverly raps “Shout out to my bi’s you ain’t gotta pick a side” and “Don’t judge a lesbian because she don’t want you back, man.” She inspires confidence in many of her LGBTQ identified fans, and will be performing at a Pride Parade in D.C. this coming June.
In “Picking Cotton,” CupcakKe raps about the reality of police brutality that Black people face. She begins by recalling a time in her life when a police officer remarked, “Yo car was moving faster than a runaway slave.” She moves on to the chorus where she draws parallels to slavery in history. Repeatedly she echoes, “Beat us and treat us so rotten. Still think we slaves, we just not picking cotton.” After this, she cleverly extrapolates slavery to present conditions for Black women in the music industry. She raps, “I’m not a slave to the record labels bidding how to sign me.” In her chilling bridge, she adds “I’m dead even if I surrender.”
One of her darker raps, “Ace Hardware” clues us into CupcakKe’s childhood in Chicago. She recalls, “Go to school dealing with depression, getting teased cause I couldn’t read.”Through the song she sparks a dialogue on rape culture by recalling herself helping out a friend who was raped by her father: “He forced it in til 10, she start to feel weak, Wrapped his hands around her mouth and realized she couldn’t breathe.” She ends the story taking her friend to the emergency room, ensuring her safety. CupcakKe elaborates on her painful childhood in other songs as well- most prominently in a series of interludes titled “Reality, Pt 2,” “Reality, Pt. 3,” and “Reality, Pt 4.”
Upon the release of her fourth album, “Queen Elizabitch”, CupcakKe’s album art drew attention. In furry pink lingerie, CupcakKe stands and smiles at her audience. Her fans were quick to commend CupcakKe for including her stretch marks in the cover art to promote body positivity- a topic central to the song, “Biggie Smalls.” In this body positive anthem, CupcakKe raps, “size is just size, one ain’t better than the next” and “Stretch marks in a bikini, I’m that damn brave.” She encourages her fans by reminding them that hegemonic beauty standards are harmful and unrealistic.
Having written four diverse albums over a year, CupcakKe shows that she is a force to be reckoned with in the hip-hop world. With a guest feature on Charli XCX’s new mixtape “Number 1 Angel,” CupcakKe has solidified herself as an artist in the game for the long haul. It won’t be long before she officially hits the mainstream.