On the opening track of Cherub‘s debut album, Year of the Caprese, Jordan Kelley croons in his Hall & Oates-meets-R Kelly manner: “simple minds lead to simple rhymes.” Perhaps no opening track has been so indicative of what was to come. Through either malice or ignorance, Cherub manages to make an album that sets some dangerous precedents. Take “Doses & Mimosas” for instance, where Kelley sings “To all the high class ass that’s too hard to pass/Oh yeah, I hate you too” because why not objectify and at the same time hate women? That sounds cool.
Just to solidify the anti-feminism of the album, the next track “<3" features Kelley singing "I don't think this is working out to well/I wish you would die and go to hell...I hate you and its not too hard to tell." This all comes before a chorus of "I want to take a sledgehammer to your car/and break every little part/Just wait until I get the nerve to break your precious little heart." To complete the trilogy of lyrical sickening songs, there is "Strip to This;" a song with a pleasant laid back bossa nova beat. Kelley sings "found out you were new in town/you need a little money to drive around/drop your clothes on the floor." This makes sense because when someone is in need, the first option should be to sexually exploit them. In the end, Cherub's Year of the Caprese screams soundtrack to American colleges’ rape culture, whether meaning to or not. The amount of women who will fend off unwanted sexual advances to this album is palpable. Some may argue that they are not the only offenders so should not be singled out but that does not make their messaging any better.