By : DJ TROY Frost
6 min read
Walking into The Jungle from the rain, I was met with a jazzy remake of “Fall in Love'' by Slum Village. Despite the weather, people piled in and before I knew it, there was a full house. I’ve witnessed shows where the crowd swells for the headliner but the Cake Frost Winter Show had a solid crowd before the openers stepped on stage. Vinci, Big Body Kweeng, and Chizz Capo opened for Cakeswagg. Each performer brought ample energy. Vinci’s vulnerability captivated the crowd. Big Body Kweeng was accompanied by Diggity Dom on drums, adding a beautiful live element. J.A.B.S and Cakeswagg joined Kweeng on stage to perform “Pop That.” The crowd engagement from Chizz Capo succeeded in priming us for Cakeswagg’s entrance.
Accompanied by DJ WhySham, Mack on drums, Darius on keys, Safari on saxophone and Marquis on strings, Cakeswagg and her band had an undeniable chemistry. Her storytelling between songs added an intimate touch, while the band’s playful banter was entertaining and inviting. Cake balanced a cohesive and dynamic set while offering a glimpse into her life. The animated and lively energy from the crowd let me know “Guapanese” and “Ferb & Phineas” were fan favorites. In addition to the joy, the love and connection in the room was almost tangible. Cake proudly shared that her younger sister, Jaylen, choreographed a dance to “Ferb & Phineas.” It warmed my heart when Cake shared that “Thank You Black Girl” was written for her mom. In addition to playing keys, Darius, who is also Cake’s brother, charmed us with his powerful voice. It was truly a family affair.
Cake is brilliant and calculated in a way that is necessary in hip-hop. She offered alternative ways for the audience to participate in her performance of the track “Solid” from The Pencess, a project by DJ WhySham in which Cakeswagg is the main feature. For black folks the line was “cause niggas ain’t solid no more.” And for non-black folks the line was “solid no more.” This decision exemplifies that Cake’s intentional about how she engages with supporters and that she respects the art form. Cakeswagg is good for passionate and imaginative bars and that’s exactly what she brings on her latest song, “Big Plays.” On the track, she asks “how many flavors I got?” And when it comes to fashions, sis has many! At the Cake Frost Winter Show, she gave us Donna Summer flyness before changing into a silver and sequin look reminiscent of a young Tina Turner. I’ve been impressed with Cake’s style since those pink boots she wore at Hella Black 2020. In addition to seeing how her style evolves, I look forward to hearing the music she's cooking up for 2023.
It will always be a delight to see a black woman, especially one from Roxbury, be listened to and loved on. Cakeswagg has a star quality and level of consistency that sets a tone for others on how to move as a professional artist. With her talent and skill, she will go very far, but her values and character will make her a mainstay in hip-hop. Decades from now, we’ll look back and say “Thank You Black Girl” for elevating hip-hop and inspiring many.
Originally published in-print in Boston Compass Newspaper #154 February 2023
Check out all the art and columns of February's Boston Compass at www.issuu.com/bostoncccompass