Somewhere between Salacious and Serious, Cupcakke’s 'Euphorize' Takes the Cake

Categories:  The Arts    Music
Wednesday, January 31st, 2018 at 7:20 PM
Somewhere between Salacious and Serious, Cupcakke’s 'Euphorize' Takes the Cake  by Livia Homerski

                                                                                                       ★★★★★

With lyrics containing a surplus of enough sexual lyrics to make fans of even Missy Elliott blush, Chicago rapper Elizabeth Eden Harris makes herself known as Cupcakke. “Euphorize” is the rapper’s third studio album, released on Jan. 5.

Rather than crossing the carnal threshold of demeaning lyrical content like the pioneering dirty-rap group 2 Live Night, Cupcakke uses her explicit lyrics as an outlet to own female sexuality and crack some pretty hilarious one-liners. She draws inspiration from artists like Missy Elliott and Khia who paved the way for this type of rap, yet it is still equally jarring and amusing to hear quips like, “Do not touch my booty hairs, man, I'm feeling like Solange!”

The title of the album turns euphoria into a verb, a sly gesture to Cupcakke’s knack for clever  plays on words. “Euphorize” is Cupcakke’s first major mainstream success, coming in at number two on the Billboard U.S. Heatseekers Albums and six on the U.S. Independent Albums list upon release.

The first song on the album, “2 Minutes” features a trap beat with heartfelt piano strokes which eases you into Cupcakke’s world. The opening lines “This that studio session (Listen up) / Where I deliver you a message” braces the audience as the song goes on to remind us of the “real problems” at hand, like hunger, homelessness and violence, that were all too prevalent in Harris’ childhood.

While the presence of drugs and alcohol are mostly absent from the music, sex and violence are the sensational themes of this record, a par for the course in the rap game. But “Self Interview” is a righteous act of self-awareness that owns up to that notion and calls into question her own authenticity as a human being as fame begins to pick up around her.

Not wanting to lose sight of the importance of helping others, she raps “I see people on the 'Gram, postin' 4k / Be the last person to donate / I'm hoping I never be that, you know? / Never change for the fame, stay me.

These are important instances where Harris peeks through the raunchy icing on the Cupcakke act. The contrast of these level-headed moral messages against the silly provocation clears the conscience in a way that most rap music fails.

Speaking of provocative, there are no lack of salacious moments on the record, because that is what Cupcakke specializes in.

“Cartoons” excels in both the writing and performance. The aggressive-drill style rapping is starting to sound less guttural on this album compared to her previous releases and more confident. As Cupcakke animates her ad-libs and the bass rattles against the clattering chimes in the background, it’s clear that this isn’t child’s play for Cupcakke anymore, and it’s her turn to spit what she’s got. 

“Duck Duck Goose” contains some of the most unabashedly sexual yet comical lyrics on the album. Unlike “2 Minutes,” there is no warning in the first line, she launches right into a sexual misadventure, complete with sound effects. There’s also various moans and a breathy, steamy pre-chorus. Towards the end of the song, Cupcakke continues her indulgent self-love, calls her nether regions “a vending machine” that you can’t eat from “until there's money between, money between!”

“Euphorize” truly does have something euphoric to offer for every type of rap fan if you can get past the titillating humor. “Fullest” and “Cinnamon Toast Crunch” are diss tracks, relationship problems and worries about love are vented on “Single While Taken” and “Total,” and Cupcakke even shouts out the LGBT community in her infectious dancehall bop “Crayons.”

This has been the album I’ve been waiting for Cupcakke to release, complete with more finely tuned production thanks to producers Def Starz and Turreekk. It’s exciting to see someone my own age continue to challenge boundaries and chase success in their own way, regardless of the controversy it may create.

Standout Tracks: "Duck Duck Goose" and "Self Interview."

Stream "Cupcakke" below:

Livia Homerski can be reached at musics.spectator@gmail.com.

View Our YouTube Channel
Edinboro TV
 
Find Us on Instagram