“Bold and outspoken Chicago rapper” Elizabeth Eden Harris, known professionally as “CupcakKe,” will be performing at Lawnparties this September.
On Aug.16, CupcakKe announced “The 10k Tour” via Twitter, a national tour with 21 stops across 17 states, including a stop in Princeton on Sept. 15, the previously announced date of fall Lawnparties. University Student Government Social Chair Heavyn Jennings ’20 confirmed that CupcakKe will be performing at Lawnparties.
“Kinda sad she spoiled the surprise. She will be one of the performers,” Jennings wrote in a statement to the Daily Princetonian.
When asked to clarify whether or not CupcakKe is the headliner and exactly what she meant by “one of the performers,” Jennings said she would prefer to “keep the ambiguity” for now.
CupcakKe began her music career by writing “religious-themed poetry” at the age of 14, “performing in local churches,” and eventually posting rap versions of her poems on Youtube, according to her Spotify Artist page. After hearing Khia’s viral hit “My Neck, My Back,” CupcakKe was inspired to write “sexually explicit material,” something she is now famous for doing. Since 2015, she has released six full-length albums and a number of singles.
“Deepthroat,” the most popular song on her debut mixtape titled “Cum Cake,” has over 33 million views on Youtube.
“Her work explores sexuality in graphic detail, and while many of her songs are humorous and playful, she has more serious, introspective material that deals with sexual abuse (‘Pedophile’), racial issues (‘Picking Cotton’), and LGBTQ empowerment (‘Crayons’),” reads her Spotify “About” page.
This will not be CupcakKe’s first time performing for Ivy League students. In 2018, she performed at two Ivy League “Spring Flings,” rapping at Yale University and the University of Pennsylvania.
The explicit, sexual nature of CupcakKe’s music caused some controversy leading up to her performance at Yale, with the Yale Daily News (YDN) publishing five Op-Eds either criticizing or defending the artist. A February 2018 YDN op-ed entitled “Sins, not songs” condemned CupcakKe’s lyrics.
“To call CupcakKe’s music ‘shocking’ or ‘vulgar’ is an insult to what’s truly shocking and vulgar,” wrote then-senior Finnegan Schick. “Instead of inviting spoken-porn artists to Spring Fling, we should embrace music and music-makers that espouse healthy, humane visions of sexual empowerment, not those who get off wallowing in their own filth.”
Less than two weeks later, then-sophomore Jazzie Kennedy published an opposing Op-Ed titled “In defense of Cupcakke [sic]“ in the YDN, where she called out what she saw as double standards in the criticism of CupcakKe, saying that many people who have publicly come out against the artist “have turned a blind eye” to another Spring Fling performer, A$AP Ferg.
“Suddenly, when a woman includes explicit content in her speech, lyrics or any other form of self-expression, sirens go off. The sexism is clear, and it essentially comes down to slut-shaming,” Kennedy wrote, adding that she is also an A$AP Ferg fan and meant him “no hate.”
CupcakKe shrugged off the criticism in an interview with the YDN, saying “I don’t give a f—, and I’m still going to perform at Yale … The people of Yale know exactly what they booked me for.”
Prior to CupcakKe’s performance at the University of Pennsylvania, the Daily Pennsylvanian published a cartoon entitled “Post-CupcakKe church service,” which depicts people lining up to attend “Post Fling Mass” after CupcakKe’s performance, an apparent joke about her graphic lyrics.
CupcakKe’s most recent albums, “Ephorize” and “Eden,” debuted in 2018. The artist has released four singles in 2019 so far, the most recent of which, “Whoregasm,” came out on Aug. 8. CupcakKe is also featured on two Charli XCX songs: “Lipgloss” and “I Got It.”