A Kiki with CupcakKe: The Audacious Rapper Is a Queer Icon in the Making

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Lady Gaga has her Little Monsters. Beyoncé has the Beyhive. And CupcakKe has Slurpers.

Elizabeth Harris, known by her rapper name CupcakKe, quickly soared in the rap scene after her songs “Vagina” and “Deepthroat” went viral online. Other fan favorites include, “Cumshot,” “Juicy Coochie” and “Best Dick Sucker.”

As you can guess by the title of her songs, her lyrics are often vulgar, explicit, sexual, in-your-face, and absolutely genius. Take, for instance, “Spider Man Dick”: “You got me caught up in yo web, you my Spider-Man/Suck Ramen noodles off that dick, that’s my vitamin.”

CupcakKe may have risen in the rap world because of her freaky lyrics and social media persona (her Twitter bio boasts: “GOING TO SUCK 2017 DICKS IN 2017”) but now she’s tackling larger political, societal, and personal issues in her music. In her last studio album, Audacious, she had two songs in particular that stood out: “LGBT” and “Picking Cotton.”

In the former, CupcakKe raps, “Fuck out my way when you see me/I’m rollin’ with the LGBT.” In this ode to the LGBT community—and how we are not a community to be messed with—her sentiment is clear:  “Judge one of my drags, catch a heel up yo' ass.”

Related | Lil’ Kim: Why Hip-Hop's Nasty Girl Wants to Be a Gay Icon

In “Picking Cotton,” she explores police brutality, rapping, “Beat us and treat us so rotten/Still think we slaves we just not picking cotton.” I recently spoke with Elizabeth/CupcakKe by phone about her upcoming studio album Queen Elizabitch, her relationship with the LGBT community, and where she sees her career heading.

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OUT: What inspired your vulgar, transgressive lyrics? How did you decide this is what you want to rap about?

I just did it a couple years ago. I released “Vagina,” and it was my first freaky, sexual song. I was basically in my room, listening to Khia’s “My Neck My Back,” and I was horny as hell at the time. And I was like, this is the perfect time to write. So I wrote it and when I put it out, the response was insane. It was just crazy. So that’s when I started “Deepthroat” and my freaky shit. “Vagina” opened doors but “Deepthroat” is for the people.

And now your work has evolved. It’s not just freaky shit. You write about political issues. You touch on domestic violence, sexual assault, police brutality, LGBT politics, and systematic racism in your music. What changed?

Nothing changed. The past three albums I did was a mixture, but in my last one, Audacious, I wanted to do a song for each. So for the LGBT community, I put a song out for them. For people who are sexual and horny, I put a song out for them. I put [out] one called “Jesus,” for the church. I do very versatile shit. “Pedophile” is because you know, I experienced it. I don’t wanna do nothing the same. My biggest songs is the freaky songs, so they just eat all that, but I do all types of music.

So you saw your in through the freaky music and from there, you were able to expand and do all type of music?

Yeah. Especially, like I said, Audacious is so so versatile. They’re not two songs on there that are alike. Everything is talking about something different. Oh, and I have an album [Queen Elizabitch] coming out!

I’ve never met anyone who’s able to drop new albums as quickly as you.

I never get comfortable. I never get comfortable. All I do is write.

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What can we look forward to on the new album?

It’s different. I’m talking about more serious topics. It’s more serious, but still has what I know is gonna be hits.  I’m talking about some crazy shit on this. And I think this album is very personal. You know my real name is Elizabeth. So why not call it Elizabitch, 'cause it gives that good side of me, but also that raunchy and crazy side. So it’s definitely gonna be dope. It’s gonna be very dope. Everyone’s like, ‘You can’t top Audacious. You can’t do it.’ But this is definitely gonna be top.

Is there a difference between your real life and your online persona/social media presence? Or, maybe a better way to ask this is—Who’s sucked more dicks: you or me?

[Laughs] When I’m online, I just like having fun. I don’t like to be boring or write boring shit, so I keep my Twitter spiced up, crazy, and fun.

Would you say in real life you’re as sexually adventurous though?

Sexually adventurous in my music yeah. For sure. That’s real. But with Twitter and my captions there—that’s my imagination.

What’s your relationship with the LGBT community and what inspired you to write the song “LGBT”?

The LGBT community is so so special to me because it’s like, people treat them so bad; like the ones I be around—they just get treated so bad. Growing up, I always saw that people who’s less fortunate [like] people that’s part of the LGBT community,  they get treated so different. When I put out “LGBT,” it was so everyone can be treated equal. Everyone deserves love no matter who you like or who you want to marry. If you like a gal, [and/or] guy, that’s on you, and have fun with it. That’s who you are, and there’s nothing wrong with that. That’s all I wanted to make clear in that song. Be comfortable with who you are because if no one else loves you, I definitely love you, because I love the LGBT community.

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YASS! And I think that’s something that comes out in your music. You have this bad ass, raunchy persona, which is amazing, but you also have this softer side of you. I just saw on Twitter today, you give money to your fans who are struggling or going through some hardships and could use financial assistance.

Yeah. I mean I was less fortunate. Two years ago, before my ITunes account, I didn’t have a penny in my bank account. I was broke as fuck, and when I made my ITunes songs and everyone supported me— it’s their money. You know some rappers be flashing all their money. That’s not me. I be like, the fans gave you the money so why not give something [back] if they in need? Y’all put money in my account so why I wouldn’t I help you out?

How did growing up Chicago inspire you and your work?

I grew up on 63rd and King Street in Chicago, right across the street from Parkway Gardens. I went to school with Chief Keef. It’s a rough neighborhood. There’s nothing good to say about the area. It’s the hood, but I always knew that I wanted to do poetry. That’s why I started off—I wanted to do something. I didn’t wanna be that girl from the hood. So while I was first reading poetry, I was in the church, and some guy was like, ‘You should start rapping. Poetry is rapping. You should just switch it over and start making money off of it.’ I wasn’t making money in the beginning of my career, but I listened to him and I started going into the studios and making rap. But I came from CHA [Chicago Housing Authority] and homelessness sometimes. Being in shelter to shelter to shelter to shelter to shelter, I know the struggle and I always wanted to make it out, so I tried to stay with a positive mind even though everything around was bad.

Is there an overall message to your music?

The message? There are a lot of messages. I can’t even think of one exact message, but I will say: Be you and who you are and always stay positive.

Any final words?

I want the LGBT community to know that I love them so much.

Queen Elizabitch comes out Friday, March 31.

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