Quite the strong opening to a debut EP, but what do you really expect when the title is Cute AF. Hopeadope is a special talent, excelling both lyrically and vocally. She brands herself as a Hip-house artist, which is truly unique. Most importantly, she isn’t singing about men and how they ain’t shit. Rather, she’s talking about how we ain’t shit but that only encourages her to boss up more. The above line comes from her song “Crybaby” but her album is full of similar quotables. The EP also features production from Chuck Alkazian and Humbeats.
“Triple O.G.” is her truly standing firm on the belief she is not to be messed with. She’s played the games and tried to be considerate of others, but now it’s her time to shine and no one will be able to stand in the way. It’s especially intriguing hearing her belt out these claims in a singing voice, somewhat softening how aggressive they can be but still conveying the message all the same. It’s actually beautiful.
A strong point for me in this project is the experimental sounds. It’s not just all 808s and hi-hats, but she utilizes unique sounding instruments and synths. There’s an island feel to “Just Got My Nails Done” and I’m not sure if I’m alone in that feeling, but I assume she’d want her nails on fleek if she was heading to an island so it can work somehow.
“Watchful” shows a bit of her paranoia. “Watchful, watchful, all these fuckin’ demons be watchful” she repeats over the chorus in this slower tempo offering from Hopeadope. It’s not a song of fear at all though, as none of the watchers stop her grind. You can’t help but notice how much the people who dislike you watch your every move as you continue to rise up.
The introspective ballad “Musical Chairs” hints at her ability to sequence a narrative over an album. Being the slowest song on the album where she’s full-on singing, it feels like a natural and sensible ending. She’s in the midst of a confusing, tumultuous relationship which can often feel like a tough game of musical chairs. “When the music stops, I feel I may never win.” Damn.
There is a lot of upside and a high ceiling for this young artist. Though the women rap game is bubbling, there’s always room for more talent. She has a solid resume already, having studied at Berklee School of Music, performed at Vfiles ‘Be Heard Make Noise’ event and opening up for Cupcakke on her tour. Needless to say, the best is yet to come. She has a single titled “Vibe” that will be released through Vfilesloud on their upcoming Pass The Aux Volume 2 EP.
Congratulations to Hopeadope and her team made up of Molly McDonald and Shane Cardinal. Check out the EP Cute AF below and you too can boss up.