CupcakKe brings femme, sex-plicit hip-hop

By Kelly Page
pagekell@grinnell.edu

She’s unique, she’s unapologetic, her fans call themselves “slurpers” and she’s coming to Grinnell this weekend. Get ready to see rapper CupcakKe, who will be taking Harris Center by storm at 10 p.m. this Saturday, Oct. 7. 

Having grown up in Chicago, CupcakKe started rapping after a member of her church encouraged her to turn her poetry into music. A few years later her songs “Deepthroat” and “Vagina” went viral for their lyrics that bulldoze sexual taboos with a sense of humor and unabashed confidence. In 2016, she released her mixtape “Cum Cake,” which Pitchfork called “a well-rounded introduction from a skilled writer” and established her as a rapper to watch out for. CupcakKe also gained attention through Twitter and Instagram where her sense of humor has gained thousands of likes and retweets. Since “Cum Cake,” CupcakKe has released another mixtape, “S.T.D. (Shelters To Deltas),” and studio albums “Audacious” and “Queen Elizabitch,” the second of which refers to her birth name Elizabeth.

In her two years of releasing music, CupcakKe has made a name for herself by turning portrayals of female sexuality on their heads in a way that is bold and empowering. Songs like “CPR” and “Spider-Man Dick” show her approaching sex in a way that is gross, hilarious and completely on her own terms. With nonstop puns, metaphors, descriptions and sound effects, listening to these songs are an experience like no other. Nothing is off-limits when CupcakKe has the mic.

Beyond the intense sex positivity she is often known for, CupcakKe’s songs often also deal with major struggles and social ills. In songs about sexual assault, police brutality and poverty, CupcakKe continually spreads messages of empowerment. On her most recent album, “Queen Elizabitch,” she fights unrealistic beauty standards for women in “Biggie Smalls,” confronts slut shaming in “33rd” and shares lessons learned from a difficult childhood in the a cappella track “Reality Pt. 4.” Most recently, CupcakKe released the track “Exit” on Sept. 15, which illustrates the process of telling a significant other to exit her life after cheating on her, over music that is danceable and energetic. CupcakKe constantly asserts herself with confidence and refuses to let anyone stop her.

CupcakKe’s concert is one of the most highly anticipated at Grinnell this semester, and for good reason. She is a rapper like no other, portraying sexuality without fear and helping fans find hope with her sense of humor and uplifting lyrics. At only twenty years old, CupcakKe is only getting started in her career, and it will be excited to see what she does next. This show is definitely not to miss.

CupcakKe is a hip-hop revolutionary at only 20 years old. She’s set to dismantle sexual, emotional and political taboos this Saturday in Harris Center.
Poster by Steven Duong @stumpyduong on instagram