Cakes da Killa

Black Sheep (Young Art Records)

Contact Sam McAllister, Ahmad Asani about Cakes da Killa

Today, the New York rapper Cakes da Killa announces his new album, Black Sheep, out March 22nd on Young Art Records and shares its lead single/video, “Mind Reader” (ft. Stout). Reuniting with longtime collaborator Sam Katz, the producer behind 2022’s Svengali, Black Sheep finds the duo at their most comfortable and confident: Cakes wrote every bar, Katz did every beat. Over the course of the album, Cakes guides us through a spiritual trip from the clubs of Manhattan to the back blocks of Brooklyn. With features from Dawn Richard, Wuhryn Dumas, and more, Black Sheep is a work of survival and sees the decorated emcee fully aware of his power, his place, and no longer settling for less than he deserves.


Black Sheep’s inspired by seeing the world, embracing the nightlife and building community. Whether holding court, going through customs, or crushing competition, Cakes stands firm as a seasoned vet who knows his role and knows the game. He moves through mess with a wise poise, having persevered through blogs, SoundCloud, an ongoing  global pandemic, and an ever-shifting music landscape prioritizing everything but talent and taste. Nevertheless, his critical and communal acclaim precede him: he’s played Glastonbury, Governors Ball, Sonar, and Whole Festival. He’s worked with everyone from Honey Dijon to Injury Reserve to Rye Rye.


Following the mutated house shuffle of previous single “Cakewalk,” which Cakes performed last month for COLORS, today’s single “Mind Reader” sees drum breaks shapeshift from four-on-the-floor to jazzier technicalities and back again, never interrupting the groove. Cakes and Stout bask in their own allure, having onlookers at attention while entertaining a new love on the dancefloor.


The Black Sheep’s an oft-misunderstood figure, marginalized and isolated by society for being who they are. This feeling’s followed Cakes through his career: while beloved across the aisles, he’s never landed neatly in any scene, and the industry’s long fixated on questions of his identity before considering his musical abilities. But Cakes da Killa is quick to remind you: he’s one of them ones. “I know I rap, and I know I’m Queer, but I’m also very talented compared to queer people or straight people!” He’s reigned in New York through a decade-plus independent career tearing up stages and dancefloors worldwide with a trendsetting blend of rap, house, jazz, dance, and anything that piques his interest.


Black Sheep may be the name, but it’s a thrilling listen that spends its time basking in the light. When concerning the pen, Cakes’ relationship to isolation became inspiration for some of his sharpest writing and most electrifying performances to date. He silenced the outside voices, and leaned fully into his versatility: more melodic hooks, even slicker punchlines, and the signature voice that always cuts through with an assertive, raw power.


As darkness looms in our global conditions, Cakes da Killa offers new avenues to escape; not of negligence, but of recovery to continue fighting. In a sense, Black Sheep is a coronation of his graduation to foremother: a figure who spent his 20s hustling alongside his peers, focusing on the work, and paving the way for the generation we see today. He’s a rapper’s rapper, a girl’s girl, and he’s ready to be a superstar.