Showing posts with label cupcakKe. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cupcakKe. Show all posts

Friday, November 16, 2018

video review: 'eden' by cupcakKe

Generally pretty satisfied with this review... wish CupcakKe had nailed it, but she'll get there.

Next up... hmm, let's get this Muse album out of the way soon, stay tuned!

Thursday, November 15, 2018

album review: 'eden' by cupcakke

So look, I've softened a bit on my opinion that artists might want to avoid dropping multiple albums in a year - between Eric Taxxon and King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, some acts have proven to be prolific and refined enough to pull it off, and in the era where buzz can evaporate incredibly quickly, I get the desire to rebound.

And of anyone I've covered this year, I'd argue CupcakKe has the strongest case for it. She might have built her brand off of provocative sex jams and bangers with flows that go on for miles, but I've always found her most compelling when she split the difference with more contemplative and introspective content, a balance she nailed on her debut Audacious but has felt ever so slightly askew on both Queen Elizabitch and Ephorize. Now I'm not surprised that balance was off - the more wild and colourful songs were the ones that got her famous and snagged her a touring slot opening for Iggy Azalea, and when that tour got cancelled she needed something to make up the opportunity - but I worried that a rushed approach might further pigeonhole her into material where she's really a more interesting and thought-provoking MC. That said, this really has been a year where women have been running the table with hip-hop, from the mainstream where Cardi B's debut racked up hits and really has grown better with every listen I give it, to the underground where Jean Grae, Noname, and Dessa have put up some of the best albums of the year. And yeah, while I liked Ephorize, I hoped this streamlined project could really deliver for CupcakKe, so what did we get from Eden?

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

video review: 'ephorize' by cupcakKe

So I feel like I may have surprised some people with this.

Good. Surprises are fun. And on that topic, coming up next... well, it's been too long for a genre like this. Stay tuned!

album review: 'ephorize' by cupcakKe

I should have been a lot more on the ball with CupcakKe.

And I know for a fact that me making that statement will surprise or even confuse some of you, especially if you have only a passing familiarity with this Chicago MC. If you only know her from her image or reputation for making hyper-sexual, confrontational bangers in the vein of a Lil Kim or Missy Elliott or early Nicki Minaj, you might have been inclined to dismiss her as a viral sensation but not having much beyond that. And thus when I started getting requests to cover her third full-length record Ephorize early this year, I was inclined to blow it off... but I didn't have much else on my schedule so I figured I might as well check out her first two records.

And I'm so glad I did, because while she does have some songs that fit this image, CupcakKe is one of the most impressive new MCs I've heard in some time, no question. A ton of charisma and real stage presence, a diverse set of colourful flows that rhyme and connect way more consistently than so many of her male counterparts, and while she might make those provocative sexual songs, she was just as capable of bringing explosive bangers and starkly emotional and vulnerable tracks with real intimate intensity and intellect. Coupled with a fervent desire to remain independent and an uncanny knack for accessible but hard-hitting production, she showed a ton of real potential that I really appreciated. Now I wouldn't quite say I was entirely won over by either Audacious or Queen Elizabitch - both very good projects, for sure, but the former had a few sung hooks that are definitely not CupcakKe's strong suit, and the latter indulged in more trap-leaning production that didn't always flatter her, a little too desaturated and narrowly focused. But all the buzz was suggesting that Ephorize manage to strike the right balance and I wasn't going to miss out this time, so what did we get here?