cupcakKe’s Ephorize is a breath of fresh air on the rap landscape

4/5 stars

The past couple months have been huge for cupcakKe. The Chicago-born rapper increased her profile in the music industry, collaborating with Charli XCX on ‘Lipgloss’ and later on Charli’s mixtape Pop 2. Now, in 2018, cupcakKe has released her latest studio album Ephorize.

cupcakKe’s rise is certainly due to her eccentric style. She raps hard, goes in and does not spare the vulgar detail. You might be thinking, “So another Cardi B?” But she is much more than that. cupcakKe is weirder, if not a little humorous too. She has the capability to take the phrase “Cinnamon Toast Crunch” and turn it into the catchiest hook in the world.

If taking cupcakKe’s music in the context of Chicago rap, it’s a sound that provides a bit of a break from all the Chance the Rapper copycats. To every ‘Sunday Candy’ that comes out, there should be a ‘Cinnamon Toast Crunch’.

Ephorize is 46 minutes in length, which given the style of music is optimal, as it doesn’t overstay its pay. While ‘2 Minutes’ is the first track, the fun really starts at ‘Cartoons’. It’s here that we begin to see the insane lyrical versatility cupcakKe is capable of. ‘Cartoons’ is a potpourri of rap culture, cartoon characters and the usual dose of explicit sexual detail. It has an incredible hook with quotables such as, “If I see carats like Bugs Bunny/ I’m Batman, robbin’ for the money/ Strip her, bare feet like The Flintstones/ Make a Tom and Jerry whole way home/ I’m a snack so I attract Scooby Doo’s.” Her talent with awesome hooks comes up again in the aforementioned, ‘Cinnamon Toast Crunch’ and ‘Self Interview’.

As entertaining as the lyrics may be, there is a reason cupcakKe is so explicit when it comes to her sexuality. In ‘Self Interview’ is one such example, where her catchy and funny lyrics become a biting critique of gender paradigms. Moments like these are cupcakKe at her best. Nevertheless, there are times, particularly in ‘2 minutes’, where her lyrics fall on the nose and become too preachy.

If she can stay on the current trajectory, cupcakKe could be destined to become a game-changing MC in hip-hop. Ephorize is another step in the right direction. Where Ephorize lacks is in production quality – it would be nice to hear her over the kind of tracks she produced with Charli XCX.

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