Saturday, January 12, 2019

Review: Eden • CupcakKe

Last year, Chicago rapper CupcakKe grew into something that not many would have predicted upon her debut. Fresh off her second collaboration with Charli XCX, she opened her 2018 with a third full-length album that displays a level of artistic evolution: It was dirty, but it certainly didn't reach the filthiness of mixtapes titled Cum Cake and S.T.D. And by the end of year, she already had another album in the books – her fourth record (and sixth overall body of work) in two years. Bolstered by Queen Elizabitch and Ephorize before it, Eden concretes her status as a counterculture critical darling. But more so than that, her quick rise from a Vine-fueled novelty act to a prominent figure in rap proves how far an independent artist can travel in today's musical landscape.

Eden is a quick half-hour listen, but it’s packed tight with bangers that spin sex-positive messages (the ultra-dirty "Garfield," "Typo"), root for the bullied underdog (admittedly awkward album closer "A.U.T.I.S.M."), and tell stories of betrayal (the vibey "Dangled," "Don't Post Me"). In traditional CupcakKe fashion, it doesn’t tell a cohesive story: In one breath, she flaunts her fat cat genitalia, and in the next, she clocks selfish, unfit parents. But the fact the 12 tracks can coincide peacefully on the same album and match each other in authenticity are the real astounding feats here. (Oh, and she can go head-to-head with her major label counterparts and blend right in, too. "Prenup" is the second Latin trap CupcakKe track to ride the tide of Cardi B's "I Like It," and opening track "PetSmart" is one of the strongest boast tracks of recent memory.)

Given the outright confidence it requires to deliver her lyrics on tracks like "Fabric" and "PetSmart" – I mean, it takes quite the person to dare insult Rihanna, a known Twitter savage, and her ugly sneaker line – it’s almost unbelievable to think that just two months after Eden, her well-documented struggle with depression would convince her to attempt suicide. While her plan was thwarted by some concerned friends and she seems to be happy with releasing even more new music, it's hard to swallow the fact that we almost lost CupcakKe – especially when Eden had just proven that her star is burning at its brightest yet.

Eden is available now as an independent release.

No comments

Post a Comment

© Aural Fixation