Rapper CupcakKe, who has a huge following among young LGBT+ people, posted an emotional Instagram video on Sunday night in which she announced her decision to quit the music industry for good.
“I will no longer be doing music. All of my music will be coming off every platform,” CupcakKe stated, in an 18-minute live Instagram video. She spoke tearfully about the effect that the sexual nature of some of her music has on her fans: “I feel as though I am corrupting them.”
CupcakKe, whose real name is Elizabeth Harris, has been steadily approaching icon status since the inception of her career. A native of Chicago, she is a passionate advocate for many important issues, having previously spoken out about topics ranging from police brutality to homelessness. She is an outspoken ally to the LGBT+ community, with her 2016 song ‘LGBT’ unabashedly declaring her unconditional allyship. She told Teen Vogue that “I even made a song called “LGBT,” strictly for the gay community to know that they are loved and don’t need to feel judged.” More recently, the video for LGBT+ banger “Crayons” features a queer dance party after a triumphant defeat of homophobia. She is also known and celebrated for her sex-positive lyrics.
Throughout Sunday’s video, she delves deeper into her reasoning for quitting the industry in which she has become an icon over the past number of years. Previously a victim of homelessness, the 22 year-old describes how ”this journey has really changed my family’s life, but I don’t want to corrupt anyone else.” Money is also a significant factor; CupcakKe describes how a loss of 700,000 dollars in a casino earlier in the year changed her perspective on how money affects her happiness. “When I had the money all I gained was people that used me and didn’t care for me really. I learned who my friends were.”
She also discusses how her portrayal in the media as a rapper of overtly sexual lyrics has wreaked havoc with her mental health, citing that the media focus is constantly on her body image. “No matter how good of an artist I am…the media would never support me because of my size, my shape…” The attention which she feels should be focused on her music is instead directed towards her body and sexuality. “No matter how talented I am, I would never be good enough for society.”
Devastatingly, she discusses how her desire to speak and sing about diverse and significant topics is always overlooked. “The sexual music overpowers the…non sexual music.”
She rebuts the inevitable wave of cynicism following such an emotional statement: “I’m not trying to get paid, I just want out of the music industry.”
This is an incredibly sad statement from an artist who has previously encouraged art and rap as a forum for social change. In a 2017 interview, she stated that “Art is the place to talk about what’s going on in the world…Artists have the power to open people’s minds a little bit more, and speak on issues that need to be talked about.” But if no one is listening – or at least not the people who most need to hear it – what then? The breakdown of an eloquent, talented artist, just beginning a tour, on a live Instagram feed.
If this video proves anything, it is a reinforcement of the fact that the music industry is yet another corrupt, multi-million dollar vehicle for the destruction of the mental health of many who work within it. Following a hospitalisation earlier in the year after a worrying tweet, fans are concerned about her wellbeing and have taken to Twitter:
CupcakKe tweeted this 2 days before all this went down, do y'all honestly think something isn't seriously wrong? not to mention her live that was very clearly set up and possibly forced upon her considering the heavy-breathing man holding the camera pic.twitter.com/EaqEwlbVIg
— Jay (@fgttyanne) September 23, 2019
However, it’s clear that one thing about CupcakKe hasn’t changed: her unshakeable principles. She states that this is it for good, and we can only mourn the loss of a true ally, wish her the best, and hope that we can learn from it.
© 2019 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.
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