Recording artist and raunchy rapper Cakes Da Killa is a 23-year-old with three critically-acclaimed mixtapes to his name. His latest release Hunger Pangs solidified him as “one of hip hop’s most exciting voices,” according to The Needle Drop, and a ferocious rapper who “sounds like he will absolutely slap your face off” in the words of Stereogum. No small feat, as this intensity has also garnered him praise from the likes of Vice, MTV and The Fader. Cakes Da Killa’s unique sound is a mix of various musical influences, cinema and underground experiences. Praised for both his lyrical content and flow, which has earned him comparisons to Lil Kim and Foxy Brown, Cakes now has over 8,000 Soundcloud followers and over 9,000 Facebook fans, as well as an international following that’s brought him to places around Europe, Canada and Australia, all the while shattering the preconceived notions of what it takes to be a respected lyricist. (Rightfully) bragging that he can, “spit that shit to make a homophobe a hypocrite,” Cakes continues to prove the statement true with each release he knocks out.
INTERVIEW WITH CAKES DA KILLA
(Interview written and conducted by Connor Sullivan)
Q: Your music is both socially conscious and a helluva lot of fun. How do you strike such a perfect balance?
A: I don’t really seek to find that perfect balance. And I don’t see my music as particularly “socially-conscious.” But people will see what they want in the music, and that’s nice. I guess you’re getting that impression of social consciousness because I’m not really doing what most rappers are doing, which shallowly revolves around misogyny and violence. It also seems like everyone nowadays is just doing something for a quick buck on the radio or whatever, and I’m trying to avoid that as much as possible.
Q: What do you think of this current trap wave?
A: I mean, I’m sure there are some artists that are really serious and passionate about trap. But it feels so forced. And there’s just much less variety now. Even as recently as like the 2000s, there were still different brands of hip-hop. Cam’ron, Jay-Z, even G Unit — all of them had a unique style, and you just don’t get that anymore.
Q: You pursued fashion studies at Montclair State before honing in on rapping. Was college a kind of creative awakening for you?
A: College is a creative awakening for a lot of people, but it wasn’t really one for me. It came later, at New York clubs and warehouses.
Q: What spots in New York did you find inspiration in?
A: Warehouse parties and bars. Wherever would let me in, and wherever I could get lit and drink for free.
Q: So music didn’t really figure early on in your life in childhood either?
A: Nah. The two things I was focused on as a kid were boys and cartoons. I was watching edgy cartoons like Daria on MTV. And watching anime. I had a whole collection of manga books. But it wasn’t as basic as like pre-teen boy, hyper masculine Dragon Ball Z shit. I was reading Shojo stuff like Chobits, which featured deep romances. But yeah, I was a total nerd. Then I got older and started drinking, ha ha.
Q: Coming from New York, are you hype to hit the bustling and bad metropolis of Providence for Foo Fest?
A: Yeah — so long as the check clears, I’m ready for anything.