CupcakKe / Prado Fortune Sound Club, Vancouver BC, June 14
Published Jun 15, 2018South side Chicago rapper CupcakKe hit Vancouver hard and fast at Fortune Sound Club last night. Opening DJs MY!GAY!HUSBAND! and Softieshan got the crowd's blood flowing before Vancouver's own rising rapper Prado took the stage.
Prado aimed her crosshairs at haters and doubters. She also recounted her teenaged experiences on Soundcloud with "lotta creepy men out there" before firing shots at them with "You Mad," a song she called "basically a 'fuck you' to them." She encouraged everyone to "rage out" to her final song, "When I'm Down," which was "about the people who love when you're down and fucking feed off that shit." The track bottomed out with heavy drops, a standout from the rest of her songs, which, despite their subjects, were chiller, with slower beats and just enough bounce — essentially pop-R&B.
CupcakKe proved that set times can be meaningless. She came out 41 minutes after the advertised 11:30 p.m. start time, but no one booed. Hardly anyone even chanted her name. The crowd seemed content to dance to more of the DJs' club bangers.
When CupcakKe finally appeared, she never turned the place into a splash zone of explosive energy, but she gave her "slurpers" (her affectionate name for her fans) enough to lap up. Before she finished set opener "Vagina," the crowd were already wagging floppy dildos in the air. "Wow, y'all bringin' dildos and — what is this??" she exclaimed as she held up another toy. "That hole's small!" Later, she exposed her breasts and gave them a rub during "Spilled Milk Titties."
CupcakKe, fearless and unapologetic as always, filled her set with some of her raunchiest, most outrageous songs, including "Duck Duck Goose." She shook the dance floor with "LGBT," briefly detoured into tropical house with "CPR," and breathed fire on the deep bass "Spider-Man Dick" and her newest single "Quiz," which she released back in April. She shouted out Pride Month with "Crayons" before finishing off with "Deepthroat."
With three albums and two mixtapes, CupkakKe had a lot of material to draw from, but she only performed nine songs over 35 minutes. She at least served up a bit from each release. She excused her voice because she was sick, which might have explained her short set and lower-than-expected energy.
Despite dripping hardcore sex, CupkakKe also addresses black femininity, police brutality, and her own experiences with sexual abuse in her music. She's also sometimes a romantic and has a song called "Jesus," a nod to churches where she performed poetry as a teenager. But no one seemed disappointed that she didn't perform any of those songs, especially when the alternative was getting blasted by fun, body- and sex-positive songs that also raised fists against entrenched power dynamics.