Cupcakke in 2017
|Elizabeth Eden Harris|
May 31, 1997 |
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Harris began her career as a rapper by releasing material through the internet in late 2012. In 2015, two of her songs, "Deepthroat" and "Vagina", went viral on video sharing websites such as YouTube and WorldStarHipHop. The songs were later included on her debut mixtape Cum Cake, which was released in February 2016 and placed at #23 in Rolling Stone's "Best Rap Albums of 2016" list and received attention from Pitchfork. Her hyper-sexualized and often comical lyrical content has gained her songs notoriety across the internet, and she has since developed a strong online fanbase whom she nicknamed "slurpers".
Her second mixtape, S.T.D (Shelters to Deltas), was released in 2016 and was included in Rolling Stones June 2016 list of the "Best Rap Albums of 2016 So Far". She has also received attention from music publications Complex and The Fader.
Following the release of her mixtapes, Harris debuted her album Audacious in 2016. Her second studio album Queen Elizabitch was released in 2017. In 2018, it was followed by her third studio album Ephorize.
Harris was born on May 31, 1997, in Chicago, Illinois, and was raised on King Drive, near Parkway Gardens. Being raised by a single mother, Harris spent nearly four years in Chicago's homeless shelters starting at age seven. She grew up and went to school with other established Chicago rappers such as Lil Reese and Chief Keef. She got an early start into music and poetry at the age of 10 by her involvement in her local church. It was also there that she got her start in performing, where she would perform for her local pastors by reciting poetry about her Christianity and faith.
When she was 13, she met a fellow church-goer who encouraged her to turn the poetry into rap music, and she became infatuated with the new art form. She cites 50 Cent, Lil Kim, & Da Brat as early influences to her musical style.
Harris released her first music video, "Gold Digger" onto her official YouTube channel in August 2012, which went viral on the internet. She was only 15 at the time of its release--the original video has since been deleted. Over the next few years, she continued to release original music, as well as freestyles using beats from other artists, through her YouTube channel, where she has amassed over 300,000 subscribers.
In October 2015, the official music video for her song "Vagina" was released on YouTube via YMCFilmz. According to Cupcakke, she wrote the song because she was inspired by Khia's song "My Neck, My Back". One month later, Harris released "Deepthroat" on her own channel. Within weeks, the two videos went viral on YouTube, Worldstar, and Facebook due to their overt sexual nature and raunchiness. The songs later became singles for Harris' debut mixtape, Cum Cake, which was released in February 2016. Its release was also supported by further singles such as "Juicy Coochie", "Tit for Tat", and "Pedophile". A writer for Pitchfork called the mixtape a "well rounded introduction to a skilled writer" and said it used songs "about love, loss, and hardship with its more explicit tracks to create a full profile of the up-and-coming Chicago rapper". "Pedophile" was also specifically noted for its powerful lyrics and blunt commentary on sexual assault.
In June 2016, Harris released her second mixtape, S.T.D (Shelters to Deltas) It was preceded by the single "Best Dick Sucker". Other tracks, such as "Doggy Style" and "Motherlands", were also later released as singles. The mixtape was listed among Rolling Stone's "Best Rap Albums of 2016 So Far".
In October 2016, Harris released her debut studio album, Audacious. The album was preceded by the single "Picking Cotton", which was described by MTV News as "a protest song about racist cops". Other tracks on the album such as "Spider-Man Dick" and "LGBT" were accompanied by music videos.
In February 2017, Harris released "Cumshot", which served as the lead single to her second studio album. On March 7, English singer-songwriter Charli XCX premiered her song "Lipgloss", which featured CupcakKe. The song was later included on XCX's mixtape, Number 1 Angel, which was released on March 10.
On March 24, 2017, Harris officially announced her second studio album, titled Queen Elizabitch, which was released on March 31, 2017.The Fader described it as "the type of nasty rap that made her a viral sensation, alongside all-out pop bangers like "33rd" and the confessional a cappella freestyle "Reality, Pt. 4."Stereogum also noted that the album "sees CupcakKe engaging with the current political climate and radio trends in a way that could help her cross over to a more mainstream audience".
On April 7, 2017, Queen Elizabitch was removed from online streaming services and digital music stores due to an illegal backing track that Harris had purchased from what she described as a "shady producer". She soon announced on Twitter that Queen Elizabitch would be re-released on April 16, 2017.
On September 1, 2017, Cupcakke revealed a new single, "Exit", and its release date on her Instagram account. It became available for digital download on September 15, 2017. On November 6, 2017, Cupcakke announced on her Twitter the release of her new single, "Cartoons". It was released November 10, 2017.
On December 20, 2017, Cupcakke announced through Twitter that her third studio album, Ephorize, would be released on January 5, 2018.Exclaim! called it "her most polished work to date" and noted that "she still slides in plenty of deliciously dirty one-liners throughout the new record."HotNewHipHop commented that "Ephorize might be one of the most introspective bodies of work she's dropped off to date."Pitchfork awarded the album with the publication's "Best New Music" accolade, calling it Cupcakke's "best album yet, with terrific production and a barrage of raps that reveal Elizabeth Harris to be far more than her hilarious and absurdly raunchy one-liners."
On January 15, 2018, Harris posted the music video for her song "Duck Duck Goose", from Ephorize, on YouTube which garnered much attention from music publication sites such as Vice and Genius.The Fader wrote about it, stating that the "visual features the Chicago rapper showing off an extensive collection of dildos as well as a souvenir Statue of Liberty." On February 20, the music video for "Fullest", another track from Ephorize, was released which drew more attention with Out calling it "a house party for the Instagram generation... Millennial pink palette: check. Inflatable pool animal: check. Neon backlighting to ensure everyone finds their best angle: check." The video was also recognized by international publications such as Konbini and Ismorbo.