Concert preview: CupcakKe at Ace of Cups

Rick Allen

Explicit language is nothing new in hip-hop. We were collecting quarters back in the '80s to play 2 Live Crew's nasty talk and Geto Boys' crime narratives on the Jukebox Network. In the hands of Chicago rapper CupcakKe, such language becomes something all her own.

Sure, there are elements of dirty fun and “do-me” feminism, of love of sex and sexuality in its myriad forms, but CupcakKe transforms both the English language and her subconscious id into three-minute hits of pure sexual psychedelia. The lyrical tableau she paints with just her words and her body and her mind is akin to being dosed with acid, to swallowing a sugar cube of pure sexual liberation, while being led through the trip by a young woman who clearly understands the weight of the forces in this society that would love to silence a powerful, sexually free black woman.

And I hope she stands up to them all: the racists, the prudes, the body shamers and anyone else who would cage such a beautiful bird. Such a beautiful, nasty, rapping bird. I can't say I'm a fan of CupcakKe, but I'm a fan of her freedom, and a fan of her strength, and a fan of a world that supports her truth to power.Jacoti Sommes opens.(Don't miss it)

8 p.m. Friday, March 22

2619 N. High St., Old North

Ace of Cups