Ephorize

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Ephorize
Cupcakkeephorize.jpg
Studio album by Cupcakke
Released January 5, 2018 (2018-01-05)
Recorded 2017
Genre
Length 46:41
Label Self-released
Producer
  • Def Starz
  • Turreekk
Cupcakke chronology
Queen Elizabitch
(2017)
Ephorize
(2018)
Singles from Ephorize
  1. "Exit"
    Released: September 15, 2017
  2. "Cartoons"
    Released: November 10, 2017

Ephorize is the third studio album by American rapper Cupcakke. It was self-released on January 5, 2018[1] via TuneCore,[2] after being announced on her official Twitter.[3] The Ephorize Tour was later announced to promote the album and began on February 21, 2018.[4][5][6]

Background[edit]

On December 20, 2017, Cupcakke revealed the title and cover art of the album through Twitter.[3][7] The track listing was announced on December 27, 2017, via her Twitter account.[8][9]

On December 29, 2017, Cupcakke announced the album pre-order on Twitter.[10]

Composition[edit]

Pitchfork believed Ephorize's themes to be "self-esteem, LGBTQ issues, and the desire for genuine romance" and compared Cupcakke's "absurdist one-liners" to Ghostface Killah.[11] HotNewHipHop believed the album to be "one of the most introspective bodies of work she's dropped off to date".[12] The Observer described the album's production as a mix of "old-school hip-hop, futuristic pop and [..] Latin".[13] Bijan Stephen from The Nation commented that "in nearly every song, you can hear shades of trap, drill, bounce, and reggaeton, with Harris’s voice making the whole thing hang together."[14]

"Duck Duck Goose" has been described as a sex rap song that "flirts with New Orleans bounce".[15][11] "Total" was described as "[embracing] the muted dembow pop varietal known as tropical house".[11] The synth flute lines in "Navel" were likened to the synth flutes used in "Mask Off".[11] "Crayons", which has been dubbed a "pro-LGBTQ anthem", features reggaeton percussion, and lyrics "in praise of the queer community".[11] "Meet and Greet" and "Wisdom Teeth" are drill songs "with added gloss".[11] Lyrically, "Cartoons" has been described as "[flipping] children's icons into totems for not taking shit".[11] "Self Interview" depicts "the external expectations put on women as they transition from childhood to adulthood", particularly through the line "Back then we had lipgloss and some overalls, that's the usual/Nowadays I gotta show skin and wear sew-ins to feel beautiful".[11] The Red & Black described "Fullest" as "a fun, fast-paced song that takes certain elements common to Latin music and incorporates them into the track."[16]

Promotion[edit]

Singles[edit]

"Exit" was released as the first single off the album as a digital download on September 15, 2017.[17] "Cartoons" was released as the second single on November 10, 2017.[18]

Music videos[edit]

"Exit" received a music video on October 13, 2017.[19] "Cartoons" received a music video on November 18, 2017.[20] "Duck Duck Goose" received a music video on January 15, 2018.[21] According to Michelle Kim of Pitchfork, the "NSFW" video features "a bunch of dildos" and Cupcakke dressed in a duck onesie.[22] "Fullest" received a music video on February 20, 2018.[23] The Fader wrote that "the 'Fullest' visual shows what really goes down when CupcakKe throws a house party— and what happens to sloppy uninvited guests."[24] "Crayons" received a video on Sunday March 25, 2018.[25] The Rolling Stone added, "the Chicago rapper and a group of strangers rally to defend a gay couple who are harassed on the sidewalk. Their union turns into a street party, with the emcee proudly flying a rainbow flag."[26]

Tour[edit]

A concert tour was announced via Harris's Twitter page in order to promote the album. The Ephorize Tour started February 21, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois and originally ended March 15, 2018 in Houston, Texas[27] but had a Pawtucket show postponed to April 20, 2018.[28]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
AnyDecentMusic?7.3/10[29]
Metacritic84/100[30]
Review scores
SourceRating
The 4058/10[15]
Crack Magazine8/10[31]
HotNewHipHopHOTTTTT[12]
The Observer4/5 stars[13]
Pitchfork8.3/10[11]

The album received rave reviews,[32] with several music sites praising its evolution from Harris's previous projects.[33] MTV UK[34] described it as "further proof that she's one of the most versatile, quick-witted and consistent rappers in the game." Exclaim! stated that "the latest offering hears Cupcakke presenting her most polished work to date, though she still slides in plenty of deliciously dirty one-liners throughout the new record."[35] HotNewHipHop[12] noted that "cupcakKe's attitude is one of the many stand-out attributes in her music. While the raunchiness in her music has been a quality that she's known for, she still touches on more serious topics at the same time. 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".[11] Writing for Vulture, Craig Jenkins noted that "Ephorize’s introspective moments give it depth to match its more colorful material's brusqueness and vulgarity." He also stated that "at her best, CupcakKe is a semi-automatic fully loaded with ridiculous puns."[33]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Elizabeth Eden Harris.

Ephorize[36]
No.TitleProducer(s)Length
1."2 Minutes"Def Starz3:13
2."Cartoons"Turreekk2:31
3."Duck Duck Goose"Def Starz3:13
4."Wisdom Teeth"Def Starz2:40
5."Crayons"Def Starz3:11
6."Cinnamon Toast Crunch"Def Starz4:01
7."Exit"Def Starz2:47
8."Self Interview"Turreekk2:54
9."Navel"Def Starz2:37
10."Spoiled Milk Titties"Def Starz3:27
11."Total"Def Starz3:13
12."Post Pic"Def Starz3:29
13."Meet and Greet"Turreekk2:58
14."Single While Taken"Def Starz2:49
15."Fullest"Def Starz3:38

Charts[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (2018) Peak
position
New Zealand Heatseeker Albums (RMNZ)[37] 6
US Heatseekers Albums (Billboard)[38] 2
US Independent Albums (Billboard)[39] 18

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Cupcakke Delivers 'Ephorize' Album". XXL. January 5, 2018. Retrieved January 5, 2018.
  2. ^ Cornell, Kevin (January 5, 2018). "New Music Friday: January 5, 2018". TuneCore. Retrieved January 15, 2018.
  3. ^ a b "New album "Ephorize" 1/5/18". Twitter. December 20, 2017. Retrieved January 15, 2018.
  4. ^ "CupcakKe Announces Tour".
  5. ^ "CupcakKe Announces Spring Tour".
  6. ^ "Marilyn MonHOE on Twitter announcing official tour dates".
  7. ^ "cupcakke announces new album 'ephorize'". MTV UK. December 21, 2017. Retrieved January 15, 2018.
  8. ^ "Tracklist". Twitter. December 27, 2017. Retrieved January 15, 2018.
  9. ^ Nied, Mike (December 28, 2017). "CupcakKe Unveils The Tracklist To Her New LP 'Ephorize'". Idolator. Hive Media. Retrieved January 15, 2018.
  10. ^ "Ephorize now available for Pre order". Twitter. December 29, 2017. Retrieved January 15, 2017.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Lobenfield, Claire (January 9, 2018). "CupcakKe: Ephorize Album Review". Pitchfork. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  12. ^ a b c ""cupcakKe Drops Off Her Latest Project 'Ephorize'" by HotNewHipHop". HotNewHipHop. January 5, 2018. Retrieved January 5, 2018.
  13. ^ a b Joshi, Tara (January 14, 2018). "cupcakKe: Ephorize review – lewd and proud". The Observer. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved January 15, 2018.
  14. ^ "CupcakKe's Undeniable Joy".
  15. ^ a b McMullen, Chase (January 11, 2018). "Album Review: CupcakKe arrives triumphant and fully formed on Ephorize". The 405. Retrieved January 15, 2018.
  16. ^ "Female 'dirty' rapper cupcakKe releases incredibly explicit third studio album".
  17. ^ "Exit - Single by cupcakKe on Apple Music". Apple Inc. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  18. ^ "Cartoons - Single by cupcakKe on Apple Music". Apple Inc. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  19. ^ "CupcakKe - Exit". YouTube. October 13, 2017. Retrieved January 15, 2018.
  20. ^ "CupcakKe - Cartoons". YouTube. November 18, 2017. Retrieved January 15, 2018.
  21. ^ "CupcakKe - Duck Duck Goose (Official Music Video)". YouTube. January 15, 2018. Retrieved January 15, 2018.
  22. ^ Kim, Michelle (January 15, 2018). "CupcakKe Shares Raunchy New "Duck Duck Goose" Video". Pitchfork. Retrieved January 25, 2018.
  23. ^ "CupcakKe - Fullest (Official Music Video)".
  24. ^ "Watch CupcakKe's video for 'Fullest'".
  25. ^ "CupcakKe - Crayons (Official Music Video)". cupcakKe. March 25, 2018. Retrieved March 26, 2018.
  26. ^ Reed, Ryan (March 26, 2018). "CupcakKe Throws Equality Street Party in 'Crayons' Video". Rolling Stone.
  27. ^ "The Ephorize Tour extended dates".
  28. ^ "CupcakKe at the Met! (postponed • new date April 20)".
  29. ^ "Ephorize by cupcakKe reviews". AnyDecentMusic?. Retrieved January 15, 2018.
  30. ^ "Reviews for Ephorize by Cupcakke". Metacritic. Retrieved 11 April 2018.
  31. ^ Hall, Jake. "CupcakKe - 'Ephorize' review". Crack Magazine. Retrieved January 15, 2018.
  32. ^ "CupcakKe's 'Ephorize' Ranked Alongside Jay-Z and SZA's Albums". MTV UK. January 9, 2018. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
  33. ^ a b Jenkins, Craig (January 9, 2018). "Ephorize Is CupcakKe's Major Breakthrough". Vulture. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
  34. ^ "cupcakKe delivers best album yet with 'ephorize'". MTV UK. January 5, 2018. Retrieved January 5, 2018.
  35. ^ Murphy, Sarah (January 5, 2018). "Cupcakke 'Ephorize' (album stream)". Exclaim!. Retrieved January 5, 2018.
  36. ^ ""Ephorize" by cupcakKe on iTunes". Apple Music. January 5, 2018. Retrieved January 5, 2018.
  37. ^ "NZ Heatseeker Albums Chart". Recorded Music NZ. January 15, 2018. Retrieved January 12, 2018.
  38. ^ "Heatseekers Albums". Retrieved January 18, 2018.
  39. ^ "Independent Albums". Retrieved January 18, 2018.