In the past year, singer-producer Cuco has gone from underground darling to the emerging prince of dream pop. Back in June, we described the ascendant teenager as a “balladeer making cosmic Chicano love songs,” but, as anyone who follows the artist’s social media is blessed to witness, Cuco is unafraid of surprising his supporters with quirky, left-field tweets and exploring new sounds.
Today, Cuco drops off a new single as he gears up for the release of his forthcoming EP, Chiquito, set to drop on May 4.
Titled “CR-V,” the bubblegum trap record seems to reference Metal Gear Solid’s iconic “Solid Codec Sound” and combines rap-flex cadences with self-deprecating lyrics. An ode to his Honda CR-V, the track calls to mind Lil Yachty’s early SoundCloud singles, featuring Cuco’s unique surreal pop production. It’s that ability to pull from many directions – namely underground hip-hop and the tender sounds of LA’s souldies scene – that has endeared him to a growing legion of eager followers and quickly turned him into a fan favorite.
In a press release, Cuco laughs as he explains the inspiration behind his latest offering. “It was the first car I bought on my own, and I hope fucking Honda sponsors me.” In the first verse, Cuco gets right to the point. “I look like a mom/in my CR-V/flexing on your friends/in my CR-V,” he raps in a calm, cool burst of unassuming bars that only pauses for the melodic chorus.
All in all, it’s a two-and-a-half minute flex about riding in the most “average” car imaginable. Its self-aware humor is emblematic of a teenage upstart on the cusp of stardom who’s figuring it all out as he goes. It’s an honest reflection of what life is like when you’ve got enough clout to tour with Helado Negro before going back to Hawthorne to link up with childhood friends in a compact, PTA-approved SUV.
With all that in mind, “CR-V” lands right on time as Cuco and his team prepare for a busy festival season – one that will see him perform at everything from Coachella in Indio, CA to Governor’s Ball in New York City. To celebrate the sweltering summer months ahead, the artist’s streetwear brand Fantasy’s Easy Living is partnering with Red Bull Music for a pop up at the Glass House in Pomona, California on April 12, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The first 200 fans to show out for the singer can expect a limited edition ringer tee and coaches jacket from the artist’s merch line. Feel free to pull up on the bus, a skateboard, or flexing in a mid-size SUV with the homies.
Cuco plays Goldenvoice’s Chella event on Thursday, April 19. To purchase tickets, click here. Check out photos of the limited edition Fantasy’s Easy Living line below.