Written by Emma Grosskopf
Anyone who has ever seen me react when a Cardi B song comes on knows that I am 100 percent behind her music, as well as the music from female pop/hip-hop powerhouses, such as Beyonce, Nicki Minaj and Rihanna. Say what you will, but their music makes girls like me act like we wear Givenchy (we don’t), go out to expensive clubs nightly (we don’t) and only make money moves (NEWSFLASH: we don’t. I don’t think I’ve made one single money move in my life).
While pretending to be rich, famous and overall a force to be reckoned with, I have recently been spiritually moved by a more refreshing take on what it means to be a woman in our society.
Cupcakke (also known as Elizabeth Eden Harris), a 20-year-old rapper from Chicago, recently released a new album titled “Ephorize” while we were on winter break. As a fan of her previous work (her song “Deepthroat”), I sat down and listened to her new album expecting to be flustered.
However, to get a different take on it, I sent the lyrics of “Duck Duck Goose” to Dr. Galdino Pranzarone, professor of psychology here at Roanoke, and a certified sex educator who also used to write a sex/relationships column in the Brackety-Ack several years ago.
“Her intent is shock value…it’s extremely sexual, but it’s not sexy because it’s so vulgar,” said Pranzarone, who is known as Dr. P.
This particular album has been Cupcakke’s most popular, which, if you think about it, sort of says something about what’s going on with her target audience.
“Young listeners realize that we are a very suppressive culture, and…they’re trying to be what their parents are not,” said Dr. P.
How true. My mom and dad would go into cardiac arrest if they heard 15 seconds of a Cupcakke song.
The music is a more refined sound than her previous albums, but the lyrics still have the sexually explicit and out-of-pocket gravity that they have always had, but what does the popularity of music like this mean in our society?
“There might be a language revolution, where filthy or dirty words are entering our language as a part of the common jargon. In order to be more shocking, we have to push the envelope even more. I think we are going to have to invent a whole new set of taboo words,” said Dr. P.
While these lyrics may not represent a sexual revolution, they certainly push sexually explicit language into our everyday life. Cupcakke’s music in general is special because it can be argued to be a voice of a demographic that is frequently silenced. Her crass language, which may be shocking to most, does open a door for other young women to express themselves and their sexuality openly and without shame.
“Women are nitty-gritty and detailed about what goes on [in their sex lives],” Dr. P said, but he also expressed that this sexual candor usually only happens behind closed doors.
With Cupcakke’s overtly sexual rhetoric, I’m interested to see if she does follow in the footsteps of her feminist predecessors and continue to grow in popularity, shaping our society’s sexual landscape on her way to success.