Sugar in the Rap Game

Cakes da Killa Has a Sweet Spot for Hip-Hop

  • Graphic Flora Hammond

Cakes da Killa (alter ego of Rashard Bradshaw) is on the rise, and that’s not just a baking pun.

His recent Internet hits, including his 2011 EP Easy Bake Oven and his latest release The Eulogy in 2013, have already garnered him attention from music critics and hip-hop fans across the blogosphere.

Coupled with an established social media presence and a style that stands apart from the crowd, the New York native is poised for success.
Bright colours, pop beats and voluminous eyelashes contrast his rapid-fire rhymes and often-raunchy subject matter.

“I like to have fun!” says Cakes. “That’s the point of it all. I do have an aggressive flow at times because I want to be taken seriously, even with extra eyelashes and a pink lip.”

At 22 years old, the recent university grad has already established a definitive style to his particular interpretation of hip-hop. He counts everything from “being gay, anime, indie movies [and] current events” to “teen angst [and] colouring books” among his influences.

Cakes, as his name suggests, does indeed offer a sugar-frosting sweetness with his impeccably fashioned flow. Pastel colours and sly winks dominate the music video for his single “Goodies, Goodies,” as Cakes owns his unique image.

But it’s not all candy and flower crowns with this artist—Cakes has an undeniably lyric-driven ferocity that comes out in measured doses.

Influences such as Foxy Brown, Missy Elliot and Cam’ron are apparent in his rhymes—Cakes knows his hip-hop history. Describing his writing process as “long and drawn-out,” he brings a well-studied approach to his work, complemented with a background in journalism from his alma mater, New Jersey’s Montclair State University.

LGBTQ rappers such as Frank Ocean, Azealia Banks, Big Freedia and Mykki Blanco have stirred up recent controversies surrounding the question of homophobia in the world of hip-hop. Though acknowledging the importance of making room for artists of all orientations in the music industry, Cakes eschews any strict labeling himself.

“I don’t want to labeled a gay rapper,” he says. “I’m just a rapper. Sometimes I’ll talk about gay things but that doesn’t mean a straight man won’t be able to relate.”

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