CupcakKe - Ephorize
CupcakKe could easily feel like a gimmick, a Megan Trainor for hip hop solely focused on songs meant to pander and get a lot of fucking clicks. Rest assured that never happens and instead we get a fierce Chicago rapper who's lyrical prowess is fucking relentless. Her confidence is Nikki Minaj level but in the slickest way. None of this feels like a gimmick, even when she goes over the top sexual like on "Duck Duck Goose". Her lyrics are fucking insane but endearing at the same time. You find yourself rooting for CupcakKe even when she is berating you and daring you to challenge her. She has something to say about herself, the world and culture in general that needs to be heard yet it's done in such a way that you don't feel talked down to or preached at. The album is also a reference overload with songs like "Cinnamon Toast Crunch" and "Cartoons" blasting the 90s references at a blistering pace. The beats also find this really great balance between trap and old school hip hop. Her delivery is more suited for the latter but she employs tons of trap drums and varies her voice to slide right in between the beat. The hyper sexualized nature of the record has to be addressed even though if CupcakKe was a man it likely wouldn't even be brought up. Hearing CupcakKe say exactly what she wants, no matter how dirty, how depraved or how fucking wild is an absolute delight. She manages to make it funny and sexy all at the same time something other rappers seem to miss almost completely.
It would be simple to call it a bit but CupcakKe is doing so much more with this record than that. It feels like the thoughts spring up in her head and then make it to her mouth without little interference. People who live this way are usually insufferable but she makes it work. You want CupcakKe to keep pushing it, to get as nasty as she possibly can because she should be allowed to do so. What CupcakKe does with Ephorize is take her sexuality and put it on full display yet not to just be dirty but because that is what is living in her head. Authenticity is dripping from this record from start to finish and it makes you want more and more. CupcakKe is not only doing something really fun with this record, but also something important. Take the time to listen and really see the walls she's breaking down here, and you may just find yourself bumping along eventually.
8.0 out of 10