Chicago rapper Elizabeth Harris, better known by her stage name Cupcakke, is well-known for her comedically raunchy lyrics. In addition, she’s widely recognized for using her platform to advocate for LGBT rights, and her lyrics often delve into social issues, such as poverty and rape culture.
At only 21, Harris has now released three full-length albums. The third, Ephorize, was released this past month. All in all, the album displays Harris’ fantastic range, as she switches back and forth from (putting it lightly) sex-positive bangers like “Duck Duck Goose” to somber confessionals like “Single While Taken.”
When I chose to review this album, I had little idea of the depth of Cupcakke’s raps. Having been introduced to her more comedic tracks, such as 2016’s “Deepthroat,” I didn’t realize that Cupcakkes’ music also discusses at length problems like racist cops and the unnecessary sexualization of black women and girls. There is much to be said for musicians who take on such issues with the passion and fire that Cupcakke does, especially when remembering her ability to be downright hilarious on the the following track.
The album kicks off on a solemn note with “Two Minutes,” with Cupcakke reminding the listener to “count your blessings,” and how “everybody got flaws.” She implores the listener, asking “What you gonna do in the next two minutes?”
As is usually a prominent theme in Cupcakke’s releases, she focuses heavily on sex positivity and women’s right to do whatever they want with their bodies. This is perhaps most prominent on “Duck Duck Goose,” none of the lyrics from which can be printed in this newspaper. Every track is peppered with saucy, promiscuous and at times hysterical one-liners.
Cupcakke pivots back to heavier themes on “Wisdom Teeth,” where she discusses growing up in poverty and the societal structures to keep the poor poor. “Excuse my ratchet / I remember 20 degrees without no jacket‚“ she said.
These serious themes continue into “Self Interview,” where Cupcakke discusses her insecurities and laments her lost innocence. She also brings up sexual double standards between men and women, saying “Females have sex on the first night, they get called a hoe for that one night stand / Men have sex on the first night, “Congratulations, you got around her bands.”
Cupcakke’s fierce LGBT advocacy returns on “Crayons,” a fun, clubby track that urges listeners to “Like who the f*** you like!” She shows her sex-positive attitude to extend to the LGBT community-as she has revealed on multiple previous tracks.
The fierce energy behind “Crayons” metamorphosizes into sheer rage, as Cupcakke raps about literally murdering her enemies on tracks like “Cinnamon Toast Crunch,” and “Fullest.” Judging by these tracks, I would definitely not want Cupcakke to be angry with me ever. Cupcakke is fully out for blood on these tracks, rapping “Drop a body in two seconds like I’m a baptist/Rest in peace under my mattress / B***hes dead to me, I’m smokin’ they ashes.”
We see this anger paired with relationship troubles on “Exit” and “Single While Taken.” Cupcakke weaves a story of being constantly cheated on, lied to and pushed around by an abusive boyfriend. These tracks are very relatable to anyone who has ever been in an unhealthy relationship, which Cupcakke sees her way out of to focus on her music and fanbase.
Overall, “Ephorize” is a thoughtful and put-together junior effort by Cupcakke and her relatively unknown producer, Def Starz. This album covers such a wide range of themes and issues, combined with fun, fast beats. Jam-packed with the wackiest one-liners, this album will have you both laughing and crying. Cupcakke’s sincerity, paired with her hilarity, make for a thoroughly enjoyable album, but definitely not one to put on in the car with your mom.