You were my role model in ways you may never know.
If you didn’t know, Cupcakke is an independent female artist who I’ve been following for a while now. I think it must had been 2010 when I’d first came to know of her because of viral Facebook posts that many come to recognize now as “trolling.” And then she had a viral song that I won’t mention out of respect: her legacy is something she renounced yesterday on Instagram Live along with her retirement.
After watching her tweet, delete, and go on a series of uncharacteristic shit talking, I had to wonder what was going on because it wasn’t like her. I wrote in an earlier post about how people contemplating suicide will do things that are very left field before attempting and she had already struggled with that earlier in the year. Another indicator of one intending to take their own life is giving their money and possessions away: her $10K Tour that she has cancelled features her giving away money to fans who attend her shows.
At first, I figured someone may had kidnapped her—someone was recording her live and hearing what she was saying, after all. A part of me still wonders if she is okay even though there was someone who located her and called the police for a wellness check.
After watching the Instagram Live, I felt differently. I cried. I get it. A lot of what she said I related to and it made sense.
In her Live, she discusses how she doesn’t want to be known for the sexual songs that have pushed her career; but no matter how many songs she did about topics she truly cared about, the attention still spotlights her sexual persona. The media, nor the industry, cared. She speaks about trying to break out from it and take another direction to showcase her talent. She didn’t want children to be at her shows and sing the songs she outgrew. And along with this, the money that came with her fame have been a source of anxiety for her as she says it’s changed her family life and has brought her the wrong kind of attention.
This is very human and is what I think about as an artist, as I’m sure others do as well. It is especially hard for plus sized Black nonmen to feel welcomed in a society where our oppression is compounded. When reviewing one’s own limitation and talent, a lot of us can feel stagnated by societies wants and calculate the what-ifs:
If I was skinnier, would I have more support?
If I were lighter skinned, would I have more support?
If I were a man, would I have more support?
These aren’t all relative to Cupcakke’s case, but they are questions marginalized creatives may ask themselves. It can be difficult to avoid reflecting on it all. Realistically, there are people who do not handle fame and money well. A saying I’ve always believed in spite of my own poverty is this: money cannot buy happiness. It can solve monetary problems that may impede on your happiness… but it cannot buy it.
I don’t have a lot of reach and I know currently, Cupcakke’s social media has disappeared. If there’s any chance it does get to her, and she is safe and well, I’d like to say I can relate to how you feel. I’ll never be able to completely understand anyone, but you’re not alone in how you feel.
Reality can be very crushing and it can get the best of us. This can be especially hard when your influence contorts in ways you never intended and didn’t want. And there’s a lot in life we all wish we could change.
I hope all the love from her fans reaches Elizabeth. I hope she is able to live life as she truly wants. I hope those who enjoyed her music find comfort. I hope other struggling artists find their peace of mind, too.