REVIEW: Cupcakke @ Middle East Downstairs 10/31

Photo by Bruna Giampietro
Photo by Bruna Giampietro

An empowering sex icon, LGBT ally, and female rapper has emerged in our generation and deservingly turned heads. At only 20 years old, Cupcakke has conquered a massive loyal and passionate fan base amounting to 275K followers on Twitter and 323K on Instagram. Ironically, she started her career performing about her Christian faith at her local church. However, soon, the artist from Chicago embraced rap culture and started releasing her original music through social media platforms, such as YouTube, and quickly became viral with hits such as “Deepthroat” and “Vagina.” Her 2016 album Cum Cake placed her as #23 in Rolling Stone’s “Best Rap Albums of 2016” list.

Many people can be shocked by the obscenity and lack of censorship in the lyrics of Cupcakke’s songs. However, I think that her boldness is extremely remarkable and admiring because she defies gender stereotypes and breaks the stigma of gender roles in the music industry. Male rappers are often praised for their raw mentions of sex and the blunt objectification of the female body in their songs. The media rarely calls out these sexist remarks because this internalized oppression of women in music has been way too normalized within our society. Therefore, this type of sexist content is blasted all over mainstream media, where it becomes acceptable for men to brag about sex, but taboo for women to even think about it.

This is where Cupcakke comes in. Having so quickly and deservedly sprung up as an empowering artist, Cupcakke has become a symbol of sexual freedom. Other than being a female in the largely male dominated rap industry, she has gained credibility for being an outspoken artist who is not afraid to express herself. More importantly, Cupcakke opens a path of sexual liberation for females and shows that it is okay for women to talk about sex. She keeps it real when it comes to reminding people that women want sex and desire pleasure just as much as men do.

I attended Cupcakke’s concert on Tuesday, Oct. 31 at the Middle East Nightclub in Cambridge. It was definitely one of the craziest, most intense concerts I have ever experienced. Needless to say, a Cupcakke crowd is expected to be absolutely crazy and energetic and it lived up to my expectations. Everyone was dressed up in eccentric costumes. Many people were in full drag, rocking professional makeup, wigs, and impressive 7-inch heels. Afterall, what could be more iconic than experiencing Cupcakke grace her presence on Halloween, a night where you can choose to dress however you would like to?

Cupcakke came on stage at midnight and only performed for 30 minutes but, let me tell you, those 30 minutes were long enough to be life changing. She lit up the crowd and had everyone off their feet with “LGBT” and had a roaring chorus of moans when she sang “Vagina.” She was sweet and humble, amazed at the fans’ loud, loving reaction towards her music. I went to her concert with three friends, but I got separated by the busy, pushing crowd of Slurpers, the term that Cupcakke fans call themselves. Since I am very petite, I fell through the cracks amongst the mob and was pushed forward closer and closer to my queen. The crowd was so lively and excited to see her that they created a swerving mosh pit and I was raised off the ground by the cramming of the passionate fans. In spite of the discomfort, in that moment, I was living.

Overall, I just want to thank Cupcakke’s audaciousness by using her music as a tool of sexual liberation for women and for just being a badass lady in general. Keep up the good work, girl. I hope to see you turning heads and shocking more sexist conservatives in the near future!

-Bruna Giampietro