Fuse is celebrating Pride Month by looking at a variety of rising forces who are creating Future LGBTQ History before our eyes. Today we're honoring Cakes da Killa, the loud and proud rapper whose strong sense of self has the potential to give an important and necessary LGBTQ representation in his chosen genre.
While America as a whole has made huge strides in gay rights, acceptance and visibility, there are pockets where gay voices are still extremely rare, particularly in the hip-hop community. While there have been strides, those that do exist typically face difficulties or lack of full acceptance from their peers (see Migos' controversial response to ILoveMackonnen's coming out) with the question of how homophobic hip-hop is still commonly discussed in the media. In 2014, Cakes da Killa held an infamous interview with radio station Hot 97 (an accomplishment in and of itself, mind you) where host Ebro Darden praised the rising rapper's skills, but questioned if his perspective and use of masculine pronouns would be accessible to the larger hip-hop audience. Since then, Cakes went on to release his critically acclaimed, debut full-length album Hedonism in late 2016, marking a huge moment in his career, that continued to showcase himself in his authentic, true light while collaborating with artists of all walks of life and sexualities like Mykki Blanco, Rye Rye, Peaches and many more.
Cakes has been out since elementary school with a supportive mother to which he has shared helped shape his unapologetically queer viewpoint. "I always loved myself, but I think in this industry you have a lot of people telling you who you should be, how you should act, how you should talk," the 26-year-old told Fuse in a past interview (above). "I had to realize, 'Woah, I know who I am. I know what I'm about.' What I want people to get out of my music is that they should have a strong self of sense, live the way the way they want to and love yourself for who you are."
Yet Cakes also knows that his confidence can dissuade even those who are part of the LGBTQ world. "There is a lot of self-hate in the gay community," he previously told NBC News. "So when gays see other boys wearing heels or wigs, sometimes they give that person the side eye, because some people are not comfortable with themselves." While the Jersey has constantly stressed the importance of the gay community supporting one another, the awareness he brings to his work is important in helping create tolerance to all music fans.
As he continues to rise not only in hip-hop, but in general mainstream music, Cakes da Killa will continue not only to stand out for his incredible ability to spit fire, but also for representing a minority that's rarely heard in his world. While many are hoping Cakes will be the one to break rap's queer glass ceiling, the progress he's already made will undoubtedly continue to help pave a more accepting and loving future for all LGBTQ rappers and musicians.
Tune in to Fuse and come back to Fuse.tv every day for profiles, videos, galleries and more on the individuals around the world who are creating Future LGBTQ History. Join the conversation with #FutureHistory and find Fuse in your area with our Channel Finder. Next, watch Cakes da Killa talk about his Hedonism album, love of tequila and more at Voodoo Music Fest: