Cakes Da Killa: Party of One
By Dimitri Ehrlich
After Easy Bake Oven was released as a free download, Cakes, currently a fashion studies major at Montclair University, began producing his own videos and booking more live shows. “Since I’m really poor and in college, I meet people who are in art school and we barter to produce the videos with no budget,” he says.
The new album was released via the clothing brand Mishka, which sponsors mixtapes and posts them for free on its website. Cakes doesn’t earn any money from it, but his shows have begun to draw larger crowds and bigger paychecks. Still, he admits that performing as an openly gay ratchet rapper can be challenging in some venues. “I didn’t start out performing at gay shows,” Cakes says. “When I began, the majority of the audience was straight, but I’m the type of person who just performs my material, and if you like it, you like it, and if you don’t, you don’t.” He adds that he hasn’t had any major run-ins with audience members.
Asked where he falls in the current wave of queer hip-hop, the funnyman turns serious. “I came out in the third grade,” he says. “This is just me being me. People make it sound like it’s controversial and revolutionary, and that’s weird to me, because in hip-hop you have people glorifying negativity like killing people and not taking care of your kids -- and that should be scandalous! That should be what we talk about. An openly gay rapper shouldn’t be breaking news.”
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