Cuee is a musical artist and rapper from Chicago. He is a University of Kansas alumnus and received his undergraduate degree in 2015 and graduate degree in 2017. Cuee has been writing raps since middle school and performing as a rapper since he was an undergraduate at the University.
I’m from Chicago so I try to bring that back here a lot. And that’s with auto-tune even, or something like party music. I grew up in the church, so sometimes I have a lot of faith in my music. But I’m also queer, so that kind of bumps heads. I talk about that experience as well — how do those two things fit together.
Lyrically, I’m a scholar so I focus a lot on how I compose my music and how I write my music.
In my music, I talk a lot about how I look up to God and wear a cross around my neck. Or my grandfather is a pastor. But then I’m also like, “he/him, this is me.” I have a whole song about queer pride, but I also believe in higher faith.
When I first started rapping, I looked at the Granada and I was like, “I'm gonna perform there before I leave Lawrence.” I made a checklist to perform at every venue in Lawrence.
The best one was the Granada. Also, because I performed with Glass Bandit, which is a brass band. I’ve always wanted to perform with a band because I love music, so that was different. And I got to really perform and kill the music. And the Granada was pretty packed, so that was cool.
It’s a way to talk. I’m a quiet person. I’m kinda shy, so I use music to express a lot. Some things that I might not say on a daily basis I’ll write it out and I’d rather rap it sometimes. So that’s how I usually communicate.
Every day is a fight, no matter what it is. I say that because some people think that just because you love something or you’re really good at something, that it’s still supposed to come natural or things are still supposed to be super easy. But you gotta work hard and you gotta fight through stuff every day. No matter if that’s music, work, everyday struggles — that’s the biggest lesson I’ve learned is that stuff doesn’t come easy and stuff doesn’t get handed to you. You have to get your feet dirty and get uncomfortable, but it all pays off.