In 2015, CupcakKe burst on the scene with the viral hit “Vagina,” inspired largely by Khia’s 2002 sexually explicit single, “My Neck, My Back.” Since then, the Chicago native has made a hilariously cartoonish approach to her sexual prowess one of her lyrical touchstones, both on her 2016 debut mixtape, Cum Cake, and its full-length follow-up, Audacious.
“I’m not going to hold my tongue because society wouldn’t want me to say something,” says the 20-year-old rapper (born Elizabeth Harris). “I have an ‘I don’t give a fuck’ attitude.”
But with her new project, Ephorize, out Jan. 5, the independent artist is offering a surprising dose of self-observation. The album, which follows 2017 LP Queen Elizabitch, finds a balance between the sex-positive bangers CupcakKe is known for and more contemplative and even politically charged tracks. On album opener “2 Minutes,” she skips the hook and muses on the state of her life. “It’s just me, very emotional and deep, letting it all out,” she says of the song, in which she raps about everything from body image and the internet to attending too many funerals. Meanwhile, in “Wisdom Teeth,” the rapper takes on a more aggressive tone to highlight the importance of staying modest amid success — with humor, of course: “I eat ramen noodles just to humble myself,” she raps.
“Recently, I’ve been in the mood to do something other than vulgar music,” she says. “I’m going to talk about my struggles and come-up.”
That’s not to say CupcakKe, who was recently featured on Charli XCX’s track “I Got It,” has left her raunchy persona in the past: She says that “Duck, Duck, Goose,” off the new LP, is even more indecent than her past hits. No matter how R-rated the lyrical content, CupcakKe says that Ephorize, “most importantly, has more lit music.”