Thursday, January 25th, 2018

Cupcakke – Duck Duck Goose

It’s time for… The Singles Jukebox After Dark!


Alfred Soto: Although Ephorize introduces little that Queen Elizabitch and Audacious didn’t, it has the ruthless clarity of a come-on. Whether Cupcakke has lived her scenarios matters is irrelevant; they’re part of her milieu, the locus of her imagination. And what an imagination. Whether using cum as a batter or exploring every metaphoric possibility for cock, she uses luridness as a relaxant. If we haven’t had these fantasies, she implies, we should, or it’s our fucking loss.

Stephen Eisermann: The first time I heard of this song was when I saw we were reviewing it earlier today. After watching the video, all I had written down was this: “the beat is hot”, “Cupcakke can rap,” and “is this what being slapped by a dildo feels like?”

Anthony Easton: This has brilliant, Louise Bogan-level filth, and the super-tight flow is also interesting. What might be more interesting is how Cupcakke recognizes the edge of a trap beat as scaffolding, where a set of minimalist gestures builds up steadily, eventually breaking through into a unique kind of maximalism. That they work together is a kind of marvel. Extra points for how she sings the phrase “this pussy is a vending machine.”

Micha Cavaseno: Raunchy raps have always had an odd transcendental status in the genre for a certain audience that at times can be a bit off-putting: the idea that “Baby Got Back,” “Me So Horny,” “Slob On Your Knob,” or “What’s Your Fantasy” are somehow instantaneously more appealing than the rest of the genre, just for their sexed-up novelty. It’s not that Cupcakke is a terrible rapper by any means; it’s just that her sexed-up brags become more one-note the more dominant they become, a self-contained anomaly in rap that has little time for working outside of this singular vision of sex position puns. “Duck Duck Goose” is incredibly self-defeatist, in that all it can do is provide luridness with very little detail or character, and just wallows in its hedonism.

Will Rivitz: My biggest problem with Elizabeth Harris’s lyrics is that they tend toward a series of disconnected one-liners, each line clever individually but only somewhat related to the ones directly before and after. “Duck Duck Goose” suffers from none of that, whip-tight lyricism presenting punchline after punchline more coherently than she’s ever done before — and goddamn if these punchlines aren’t hilarious. The song’s mercilessly minimalist beat is extra whipped cream on the sundae.

Will Adams: At times I worry that the focus on Cupcakke’s raunchier lines will confine her to being a meme, even as Ephorize demonstrates that her true gift is the gusto with which she attacks every single rap, whether she’s being serious or comedic. On the verses, she rolls out analogies that, yes, are raunchy, but the ultimate prize here is the hilarious visual she creates of patting a dick head like you’re playing duck duck goose.

Ryo Miyauchi: Cupcakke needs some work to structure a solid pop song. The pre-chorus with her put-on voice fits too clunky between her onslaught of pussy/dick jokes and the main duck-duck-goose attraction. But her lack is made up through that aquamarine bass beat and, of course, her wild creativity in the pussy/dick joke department.

Katherine St Asaph: At some point early this year The Cupcakke Discourse became the idea that she’s an obscure rapper that no one promotes, despite her having 300,000 Twitter followers, guesting on at least one major-label album (Number 1 Angel), and being lauded by MTV, Complex, Fader, Pitchfork, and even the venerable Rolling Stone(!) The evidence: not being on streaming playlists, surely a sign of some conspiracy, and not the fact that 90% of the song is flagrantly, dirtier-than-the-Seven-Dirty-Words-in-a-linguistic-orgy NSFW. (Male rappers’ sex verses get playlisted, yes, but industry and audiences alike have long found that more pardonable in men.) So that’s annoying. But what’s also annoying is the idea that this is just sex, memetic amounts, the musical equivalent of being horny on main. What you get from “Duck Duck Goose” is raunch of every possible metaphor, yes — there’s a reason this went up after work hours — but also a more-robust-than-par beat, and a chorus kind of like if someone was doing a bad Tori Amos parody from 1998. (It’s played for humor, I think.)

Julian Axelrod: Cupcakke’s deadpan is her secret weapon. Her genius lies not only in her seemingly endless supply of mind-blowing sex punchlines, but her ability to make lines about brushing pubic hair sound as routine as other rappers bragging about their watch. That’s why her erotic moan on this pre-chorus is such a bummer: It feels like a label exec said, “We love all the sex stuff, but can you make it more… sexy?” She’s circling, underlining and drawing arrows around a thesis that was already abundantly clear. But minor quibbles aside, this is a standout single from one of our generation’s finest artists featuring the line “Riding on that dick, I’m reading Goodnight Moon.” Obviously I love it.

Reader average: [5.88] (9 votes)

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6 Responses to “Cupcakke – Duck Duck Goose”

  1. i couldn’t get my thoughts together on time for this but i love it. the prechorus is, like, cupcakke writing the line lana del rey’s been working toward for her whole career

  2. for once I agree with Maxwell. The more Cupcakke grows, the more at odds her sex songs seem with the rest of her music. The 2 sides don’t connect or interact and quotes from her imply she wants more credit for the non-sex songs.

  3. thank you so much to julian for recognizing the greatness that is the goodnight moon line

  4. @James , i disagree bc believe it or not female rappers are multifaceted people that can rap about sex and the “serious stuff” as well, and one shouldn’t take precedence over the other. the two don’t need to connect or interact, they just both exist as integral parts of cupcakke’s identity

  5. @Joshua there’s so many good ones it was hard to choose, but yeah that’s a classic

  6. Gosh Maxwell, it seems like maybe there might be some difference between the artists who made “Baby Got Back,” “Me So Horny,” “Slob On Your Knob,” and “What’s Your Fantasy”, and Cupcakke. But I just can’t place it. Any help?