By Andrew Breazeale, Contributor
Key tracks: “PetSmart”, “Garfield”, “A.U.T.I.S.M”
If cupcakKe’s consecutively released albums are a staircase to her success, her fourth full-length album, Eden, is a giant step upward. The Chicago-born rapper Elizabeth Eden Harris released her second album of 2018 and doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon. With this next major step in her music career, she dials back the raunchiness and comes in hard with straight bars layered over dance beats. Tackling racism, autism and haters, cupcakKe takes us on a very personal journey through her life, revealing a whole new side of herself we’ve never seen before.
Read more: Album Review: cupcakKe — Queen Elizabitch
Right on the first track, cupcakKe reveals her serious side to us. “PetSmart” is a hard-spitting track about the problems she faces in the music industry as a female rapper covering topics of sexuality and body image. She calls out the people who refuse to take her seriously, saying “Why is my name in your mouth? / Tell the dentist get rid of it, right with that plaque.” She reminds us that just because she talks about topics others might find uncomfortable, that doesn’t make her any less of an artist. She follows this statement up with “Cereal and Water”, a powerful track about police brutality and the racism that she and many others face each day. She uses her music to talk about topics that are important to her, exposing her fans to a broad spectrum of issues that are not openly discussed in the music industry. She continues this with “A.U.T.I.S.M”, a club song that reminds all her fans, but more specifically the autistic ones, that they will always have a place in her heart. She rails on society’s treatment of autistic people and demands we do better, reminding us that A Unique-Thinking Individual Strongly Matters (A.U.T.I.S.M).
Her lyrical prowess is on full display in “Quiz” and “Garfield”, two energetic tracks that take us back to the “Deepthroat” days with vivid imagery of sex and positive messages of body image, stressing that this is the same cupcakKe we know and love. She utilizes sex imagery in other songs such as “Typo” and “Fabric”, taking advantage of the power it has over her audience. The confidence with which she raps about these matters serves to empower the audience, urging them to take control of their bodies and do what they please with them. But with relationships of any kind comes problems and with “Dangled”, she takes us through a major breakup, baring her emotions for all to see. She releases her anger and sadness in this track, letting her fans into her life and sharing her story with them.
Eden takes us closer to the artist than we ever have been before, both lyrically and physically, as she is headlining her own tour this December. The 21-year-old shines the brightest on this cohesive body of work, balancing her raunchiness with positive messages and songs about standing up for what is right. With this album out of her system, there’s no telling how far cupcakKe will go next.