Netflix’s Rhythm + Flow is Now Streaming: Meet Black & Queer contestant Cakes Da Killa and Catch Episodes 1-7 Now

Global superstars Tip “T.I.” Harris, Chance the Rapper, and Cardi B, search for the next hip hop sensation in Netflix’s Rhythm + Flow, the streaming platform’s first music competition show. The series brings together industry legends across a multi-city search in hip hop epicenters Los Angeles, New York, Atlanta and Chicago, to find raw talent and help undiscovered artists pursue their come up.

Rhythm + Flow is a standout music competition show due to its various contestants and the trio of judges. The world already knows Cardi, Chance, and T.I., but it’s their unlikely teaming up that brings the show a new level of freshness. Additionally, finding local talent in each of their hometowns, Chicago, New York, and Atlanta, to journey to Los Angeles to start a music career proves quite the challenge and thrill. While most music competition shows focus on voice and singing ability, Rhythm + Flow delivers in the areas of cadence, pace, fun, and personality.

Photo Credit: Adam Rose/Netflix

I got a chance to chat with Rhythm + Flow contestant, Cakes Da Killa, to discuss his experience in the competition and what it meant to be an out queer artist in Hip Hop.

Photo Credit: Atsushi Nishijima/Netflix

DaShawn Usher (DU): Hey Cakes. I definitely have heard your work and have followed your journey in music. You’ve been rapping for a while and have done the festival circuits. How did you hear about the show and what made you decide to audition for the show?

Cakes Da Killa (Cakes): I was sent the casting call from a friend who thought I’d be perfect for the show. I was kind of hesitant to audition as a reality show wasn’t on my to-do list. I’ve been asked before for other shows, but it wasn’t my vibe at that time. What made me decide to take it seriously was that it was going to be centered around the personalities and people’s background. So I figured I’d give it a shot. Also, I’m not getting any younger so the time is now.

DU: Can you describe your experience knowing that you would be performing in front of Cardi B? Did you get nervous once you found out who the other guest judges were?

Cakes: Initially, I knew I’d be performing in front of Cardi B. So I wasn’t really nervous about that. It actually was the other people I had to perform in front of that I wasn’t aware of when joining the show. So walking in, I was really guarded and already had my armor up for the judges and contestants. However, it was more comforting than I expected. Everyone was really nice. I didn’t get nervous performing because I’ve been doing this for about eight years. I just knew I didn’t want to be prejudged due to my sexual orientation. I knew I had more to offer than that. I was willing to make the sacrifice though. Especially if it meant that it would be good for visibility to showcase being a Black queer artist for the people coming after me.

Photo Credit: Atsushi Nishijima/Netflix

DU: What did it feel like when you got the greenlight from Jadakiss and Fat Joe?

Cakes: For me to get the green light was an accumulation of all the work that I’ve built up to this point. Being Black, gay, and effeminate, I always had to fight an uphill battle. But it also meant that I had to face that. So getting the green light meant that I was willing to be the face for that community. Also, I knew that regardless of what happened that I was facing my obstacles by just being there in that moment.

DU: The show definitely has a classic hip-hop feel. It seems like we are in an era of authenticity. What would be your advice for any up and coming queer artist that is interested in hip-hop?

Cakes: My advice is to just do you. The landscape of music has changed drastically. It’s honestly now more about working on your craft. People are more focused on clout and viral, but that is not going to get you far. The talent is what you have to focus on and continue to work towards.

Photo Credit: Netflix

DU: How has it been working with the other contestants? Has there been any challenging moments with personalities?

Cakes: So, we started walking in I was the most guarded one. There were about 30 to 40 people waiting to audition in New York. It basically was the rap version of FAME. If you could picture everyone just trying to get their stuff together, that’s what it felt like. So I had my little drink ready just in case anyone tried it. People had their areas they were focused on so no one was clashing. Everyone was just trying to do their best.

DU: Finish the sentence: “My best moment on Rhythm and Flow was ______.”

Cakes: Getting the confirmation email.

Photo Credit: Greg Gayne/Netflix

DU: What can fans, both your original and new ones, expect from you next? Do you have any upcoming shows?

Cakes: I’m actually preparing a single as we speak and have some live shows coming up. I recently relocated to Georgia. So to keep up with my music and future shows people can follow Cakes Da Killa on all social media platforms.

We definitely will be watching and following along with Cakes Da Killa and all the other contestants as they pursue their dream of becoming Hip Hop’s next superstar. Catch Rhythm + Flow on Netflix now. Episodes 1 - 7 are now live with the finale episodes (8-10) rolling out on Wednesday, October 23rd. Additional guest talent that appears on Rhythm + Flow includes Snoop Dogg, Quavo, Fat Joe, Anderson .Paak, Royce da 5'9,” Nipsey Hussle, Big Boi, Killer Mike, Twista, Lupe Fiasco, Jadakiss, Ebro, Miguel, Teyana Taylor, Jhené Aiko, Tory Lanez, Ty Dolla $ign, DJ Khaled, Smack, King Los, Sounwave, Hit-Boy, London on da Track, Tay Keith, Denaro Love, Off-the-Wall, Kal Banx, G-Dav, John Legend, DJ Hed, DJ Oreo, DJ Scratch, DJ Holiday, Charm La’Donna, and Adam Blackstone.