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Q&A
Cakes-Da-Killer-The-Eulogy.jpgRap provocateur Cakes Da Killa caught our eye with his audaciously fun track "Whistle," and we've been hungry for more of his antics ever since. Now the wait has ended and we get a second piece of Cakes with the follow-up to his debut EP Easy Bake Oven. The new release, entitled The Eulogy, is a twelve track odyssey through Donna Summer samples, reggae influences and dance-inducing beats, proving Mr. Killa has grown and come into his own unique voice since last year's premiere  We recently got to catch up with him about the new project, writing the "banji 'Born This Way,'" and how he feels about this whole "queer rapper" label. 

So The Eulogy... is something ending here? Why did you decide on that title for this project?

When I was writing it, I kinda felt this was going to be it, in terms of me making music. I'm graduating [from college] this year, and I didn't really see where the whole music thing was going, especially with this whole "queer rap" trend. I didn't want to be a part of that. I kinda just felt like, this is gonna be one last project, and it was gonna be it. But, as I started progressing and finishing it, I realized this was just gonna be the end of one part of my life and the start of another. So I stuck with the name but it's a new beginning, you know?

What is the biggest difference between this project and your first EP Easy Bake Oven?The biggest difference is that with this project, I don't have the mindset that I have to prove that I can make music. And that's amazing. For this project, I am making music I like as  opposed to trying to prove a point. Well... the first project didn't really have a "point," but I just felt like there was a lot of pressure because it was my first project. With this one, there's a lot more dance influence, a lot more reggae influence. It's definitely music that I would listen to on a day-to-day [basis]. Also, everything is original instrumentals for me! Easy Bake Oven only had one original [instrumental track] -- "Whistle."

Your first EP was heavy on a Lil Kim's Hardcore-esque aesthetic. What inspired you this time around?

My project is definitely versatile. It's like a vers-bottom [Laughs]. Every track is a different moment -- [I] was inspired by a lot of reggae, a lot of anime, cartoons from the 90s... double dutch...and religion! On one track ["Da Good Book"], I was like, "I want to deliver this little homage to Frank Ocean, but I want to remix it." I called one of my collaborators into the studio and said, "I just need you to sing with me, 'Cause I've been thinkin' 'bout dick, oh na na na...,' can you do that?" And we did it, and after she was like, "I cannot believe you made me do that." And I was like, "Girl, I make concepts in my head and I commit to it. That's my most Christian-based song, like a big "F you" to Christianity. Not in a disrespectful way -- although it is a little disrespect. It's just saying, "I am going to life my life." [It's] one of those anthems [like] "Born this Way" but banji. It was inspired by a project I did last year where I called an ex-gay ministry, and it was kind of like a sting operation where I acted like someone who wanted to convert. I wanted to see the rhetoric that was being used over the phone, and it was funny. That inspired the song.

You reference a lot of queer urban culture, and sometimes vogue ball culture, in your work. How do you feel about this culture becoming more commonly referenced by mainstream media?

That's not the realness. I mean, it's cute because it makes something that was underground cool and hip. But, at the end of the day, I don't know. You're happy you are being heard, but at what cost? You can have appreciation for a culture, but you can't just force yourself in and be considered a part of it. Hanging out down by the pier and jumping into cars with trade, you know? [Laughs] If you are going to appreciate something, you have to appreciate it whole-heartedly. The culture is so much more than just Paris is Burning. Gay minorities aren't limited to just one documentary. There's writers and artists. You have poets like Richard Bruce Nugent, who are basically unsung.

So how does the title of "queer rapper" sit with you?

Well, for me in the beginning, I was just humbled, honored that people cared in general. I had only done one project, and I was getting asked to be in magazines I used to read on the A train, like Details. And then in magazines overseas. It was really nice because I feel that as a new artist, people don't really get coverage like that. I'm not going to say it pigeonholed me, but looking at it now, it kind of made me feel like I was in a box and that there was no way to get out of the box. Mentally, it made me feel like, "If I am in this box with all these other artists, that's my competition. I have to keep up with them." I realized making this project that it is not like that. There's enough out there for everyone, whatever we want to do we can do ourselves. We don't have to stick under this "queer rap" umbrella. Now I don't want to be just "queer" anymore. I want to be straight-up asexual now!

Asexual? I listen to your music and I don't know about asexual...

Okay more like hypersexual! [Laughs]

You played a Culture Whore party, and the room went crazy for you! Where can we catch you next?

I have a performance on [February 2nd] at a rave party in Bushwick hosted by Contessa. It's called "Devil Cunts and Angel Sluts." I do a lot of parties with Contessa -- she's my gay mother. And then later in the month I am doing a show with Big Dipper at Webster Hall, which should be cute!

You can download The Eulogy free from Mishka Records here.
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