Album Review: Hedonism by Cakes Da Killa

Michael Paramo explores rapper Cakes Da Killa’s debut album ‘Hedonism’ and why it succeeds as a personal statement of self-empowerment amid its most compelling atmosphere of dark cyclonic energy.


I was first introduced to the music of Cakes Da Killa via his track ‘Cold Wintour,’ a collaboration with producer LSDXOXO, which was released in March 2015. The song instantly resonated with me and quickly became one of my favorites of the year. Cakes Da Killa is a rising rapper and artist based in New Jersey, USA with a flow that is instantly alluring, consistently delivering lyrics that are expertly crafted, embodying both power and amusement. This is shown on the aforementioned ‘Cold Wintour,’ along with some of his other bests including the high energy tracks ‘Goodie Goodies’ and ‘Living Gud, Eating Gud.’

Following a string of high quality singles on mixtapes and EPs, Cakes Da Killa released his debut album Hedonism on October 21st, 2016 via Ruffians/Thirty Tigers. The album features ten songs in total, making it a brief thirty-two-minute listening experience, however, it is a cohesive one that commands your attention at its most powerful, funneling you into its dark eccentric atmosphere like a whirling tempest. This is perhaps best portrayed on standout track ‘Gon Blow’ featuring rapper Rye Rye, a heavy banger that utilizes a swirling instrumental, almost drowning both of their assertive flows in its captivating madness. After a beautifully positioned “I’m screaming,” the energy never ceases on this track, initially beginning with “young god on the go.” His commanding delivery only affirms his claim.

This empowering aura is also pronounced on ‘Been Dat Did That’ and single ‘Talkin’ Greezy,’ which both succeed as eerie anthems, the former employing a high-pitched chime that creates an atmosphere nearing on ominous while the latter owns a more traditional hip hop sound, embracing a vibrating bass. These songs both relish in the cryptic, with Cakes Da Killa effectively changing up his tone to emphasize this reality while simultaneously adding interest to the songs. High energy track ‘Keep It Goin’’ featuring Calore is another highlight, staying true to its lyrical message of going full force with “no interruptions” all the way through.

Cakes Da Killa is a rising rapper and artist based in New Jersey, USA with a flow that is instantly alluring, consistently delivering lyrics that are expertly crafted, embodying both power and amusement.

The album reaches its apex in the collaboration with Canadian artist Peaches on ‘Up out My Face,’ which flawlessly blends both of their vocal deliveries, intertwining them brilliantly with a bouncing synth. The track is bold and unapologetic, as one would expect with such a title, but only in the most infectious way. It exists as a relatively lighter moment, yet one that is still defiantly direct amid the darker tones and instrumentals that dominate much of the record. Acting as a fierce eye to the storm, its message instills confidence within the listener, encouraging them to return to its brilliance time and time again.

There are no moments of uncertainty on Hedonism, every track melding with the next existing as compliments to each other. This is shown evidently with ‘Tru Luv’ featuring Josh Dst along with preceding interlude ‘Frostin’,’ which comprise a serenade of stark contrast to the rest of the album. Personally, I was immersed in the atmosphere of the previous tracks to such great intensity, that it was difficult for me to enjoy these with the same amount of fervor. However, I still found much pleasure in the more peaceful ambiance these tracks generated together.

Cakes Da Killa makes it known that he is not “basic” on Hedonism, as profoundly stated on closer ‘Revelations (Outro).’ His declaration unifies this album in its strength and composure as a statement of self-empowerment as both a rapper and a human being. Hedonism ultimately succeeds with its hurricane of high-energy tracks complimented effectively by mid-tempo songs of equal magnitude. It is a pursuit of pleasure that is best satiated within the atmosphere it so effectively spawns, encouraging movement. It inspires dances in the dark, those of power that relish in the strength within the soul of the listener. Hedonism wholly embodies this pursuit of pleasure, complete from the artist to the audience.

Tracklist:

01. Hedonism (Intro)
02. Keep It Goin’ [feat. Calore]
03. Been Dat Did That
04. Up Out My Face [feat. Peaches]
05. New Phone (Who Dis)
06. Gon Blow [feat. Rye Rye]
07. Frostin’ (Interlude)
08. Tru Luv [feat. Josh Dst]
09. Talkin’ Greezy
10. Revelations (Outro)

Click here to purchase Hedonism via iTunes.

Follow Michael on Twitter (@Michael_Paramo)

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