When Cupcakke first popped onto the scene, her highly animated and hyper-sexualized image overshadowed the mastery of her flow and her intricate wordplay. Simply put, Cupcakke can go toe to toe with pretty much any rapper from her generation and it’s very likely that she comes out on top. Cupcakke, née Elizabeth Harris, built a brand off of comical and sexual songs like “Deepthroat,” “Doggy Style,” and “Juicy Coochie.” Among those more ostentatious tracks, there were moments of inspired production and liberating anthems, like “Barcodes” off of 2017’s Queen Elizabitch, for example.
Now, with “Discounts,” Cupcakke is letting it be known that she’s the leader of pack. Over a bass-heavy track accented by piano and a flute-like loop, Cupcakke delivers punchline-filled bars about how she’ll knock “half your shit off.” Her price may not be discounted, but she’ll surely knock yours down because she’s that good. The first verse of the song is a confident showcase of Cupcakke’s ability to seamlessly switch flows and ride different pockets of the beat like it’s nothing. While the hook lacks the catchiness that makes that section of a song memorable, it does enough to keep the energy up and transition into the second verse. The beauty of “Discounts” comes from its sense of balance and length. First, no one element of the song overshadows another. The punchy production works with Cupcakke’s impassioned flow and delivery, not against it. The greatest example of this is when the piano bounces right before the rapid-fire section of the first verse: “Underrated but I know they hate it and ain’t no debating that I’m elevating/Ever since I made it, niggas that I dated acting aggravated, ’cause I’m fragulated.” Second, while many other rappers would add another repetition of the hook or an unnecessary feature, Cupcakke avoids the song overstaying its welcome by cutting it down to two (lengthy) verses and hooks.
“Discounts” is yet another addition to the overflow of strong showings from female rappers in 2020.