Album Review: JPEGMAFIA – All My Heroes Are Cornballs

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Artist: JPEGMAFIA

Album: All My Heroes Are Cornballs

Genre: Hip Hop/Experimental Hip Hop

Label: EQT Recordings 

Rating: 9/10

What separates JPEGMAFIA from all of the edgelord shitposters whom try to get a rise out of people by being offensive for the sake of being offensive? Well, to a lot of people absolutely nothing, but if you delve deeper into what may come off as surface level shock, you’ll find that there is merit to what Peggy is saying. On his last album Veteran, the album that garnered him acclaim, the Baltimore rapper/producer assaulted the genre of “Hip Hop” by giving us an album that was instrumentally discombobulating with bizarre and abrasive samples and unorthodox song structure, and on top of that he rapped aggressively, getting a rise out of everyone from right-wing extremists to millennial keyboard warriors. This radical delivery prompted a lot of Hip Hop traditionalists to grab their 2Pac and Biggie bibles, and it’s the kind of shaking up the Hip Hop world needs right now. He’s the “Punk” of Hip Hop, and dare I say he’s the “Throbbing Gristle” of Hip Hop? Many of  you are probably thinking “what the Hell is a Throbbing Gristle?” Deemed “the wreckers of civilization,” “Throbbing Gristle” were a band in the late 70’s that made everyone else in the realm of “Experimental” music sound like “ABBA.” They had no interest in making traditional music, instead they were the complete deconstruction of traditional song structure, touching on taboo subjects that left many disturbed and unsettled. They helped birth “Industrial” music, and over 40 years later here we are with a genre called “Industrial Hip Hop,” a genre where JPEGMAFIA fits in quite well, and like “Throbbing Gristle,” Peggy has stated that the whole traditional song structure of verse-chorus-verse-chorus needs to be rejected. I would say he’s on a mission to deconstruct the norms of Hip Hop, but it seems as if his “anti” approach comes out of him naturally, as opposed to having to try hard to go against the grain. So where do you go after a highly successful album such as Veteran puts you on the map? Well, there are two options. You can either play it safe by giving the people what they want and become a gimmick of yourself, or you can progress even further and sharpen your skills by utilizing what makes you great to explore new ideas, and on his new album All My Heroes Are Cornballs Peggy does the latter. This album is still radical, it’s still abrasive, and it’s still instrumentally discombobulating, but there is a bit of maturity believe it or not. Peggy has sharpened his masterful production skills incorporating more melody with atmospheric synths, samples, and even acoustic guitars that appear randomly throughout the tracklist, but at the same time this album is even more anti-structured than Veteran. That isn’t to say this album is without it’s killer choruses. The track “Free the Frail” will make anyone shed a tear with it’s gorgeous chorus and the album’s opener “Jesus Forgive Me, I Am A Thot” has an auto-tuned high note that is hard not to sing along to, and crafting a whole album that throws traditional structure out the window that doesn’t come off as a bunch of noise is no easy feat, and he was able to do this because he himself is a fan. His eclectic taste translates to his music. Everything from creating “Punk Rock” without picking up an instrument on the track “PRONE!” to covering “No Scrubs” on the track “BasicBitchTearGas,” it’s evident that Peggy has an ear for melody as much as he has an ear for abrasion. One thing we need to remind ourselves though, is that Peggy is primarily a student of Hip Hop. To top off his unique production skills, he flows nicely, and much of the lyrics are a lot more thematic and conceptual. There is a recurring “thot” theme, and this can be interpreted as Peggy calling himself a thot, painting a picture of a fictional promiscuous woman, but when he speaks from her perspective it’s almost as if he’s talking about himself, and whether or not he’s using this as a metaphor for being a “thot” for money, materials, and fame is very much open for interpretation. The track “Grimy Waifu” is a lush guitar-driven track that finds Peggy dressing up the track as a love song, but underneath the surface it’s about a gun. He claims that his gun is his waifu, waifu being a term for a fictional anime character that fans have an affection for. This track can be seen as commentary on America’s obsession with guns, and serving in the military, Peggy has experienced firsthand how guns have a lot of power in this country. Following the mixture of topical subject matter, thematic concepts, and his usual braggadocio, the album is summed up with the brutally honest closing track “Papi i Missed U.” Many of this song’s lyrics can be viewed as offensive and insensitive, but Peggy has no interest in sugar-coating or being your non-corrupt hero, which reflects the album’s title All My Heroes Are Cornballs. This speaks on the unrealistic image we create of our so-called heroes. We view celebrities as these untouchable beings when at the end of the day they’re only human like everyone else, humans that aren’t as pristine as we’d like them to be. JPEGMAFIA may not be a traditional celebrity, but his fearlessness, his honesty, and his unique style are exactly what music needs right now, because sometimes we need an artist to make us look at ourselves and realize that we’re all a bit ridiculous.

Written By: Steven Sandoval

Date: 09/16/19

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BROCKHAMPTON Release New Song “I Been Born Again”

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BROCKHAMPTON are back after what feels like ages since their last album Iridescence. Well, it hasn’t been that long, but in BROCKHAMPTON years that’s a long time to wait considering the prolific boy band are constantly active. Their new album Ginger is set to be released sometime this month, and the group have released the album’s first single “I Been Born Again,” which also has a music video to accompany it. You can watch the video below:

 

E.P. Review: S. Reidy – And Here With You, I Am

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Artist: S. Reidy

EP: And Here With You, I Am

Genre: Hip Hop/Alternative Hip Hop

Rating: 8/10

 The term “Alternative Hip Hop” has been thrown around to describe artists in Hip Hop who experiment and incorporate outside elements of different genres that aren’t primarily used in the genre of “Hip Hop,” and as much as this can be a necessary label to inform the listener that they’re in for something different from the mainstream Hip Hop they’re most likely accustomed to, it’s also a label that almost never does an artist justice when it comes to describing the myriad of sounds an influences in their music. Artists like Norman, Oklahoma’s own S. Reidy is further proof that some music is nearly impossible to sum up with one genre tag, and that’s a sign of someone truly ambitious and innovative. His new E.P. And Here With You, I Am is an emotional, introspective, and poetic ride that is as fun as it is sentimental. Being five tracks in length, the E.P. is a short but fulfilling journey through the world of Reidy, and the atmosphere and mood is created right off the bat with the opening track “Fall.” The production is dreamy and features lo-fi percussion, and Reidy’s versatile vocals range from melodic rawness that evokes the spirit of “Emo Rock” to impressive rapping free from boastfulness but rich in genuine mindfulness. Without a doubt this E.P. is moody and a tad bit melancholy. Perfect for those days when you wanna go for a walk in gloomy weather with headphones on ignoring the world, but it’s also fun enough and catchy enough to ride around with your best friends singing along to the undeniably catchy hooks. Seriously, I dare you to try and not sing along to the chorus on “Dustin’s Mustache,” by the end of the song you’ll be shouting the lyrics “I never wanted things to ever change! I never wanted things to stay the same! I’d make my mind up but I’m feeling too jaded!” With powerful emotions and introspective thought expressed through poetic lyrics, live instrumentation consisting of soothing acoustic guitar, bass, some piano combined with Hip Hop inspired drum machines, and the irresistible vocal melodies, it’s evident that S. Reidy is one of those artists that gets better and better with each release, and the future looks very bright for this talented visionary. 

Written By: Steven Sandoval 

Date: 10/23/18

https://sreidy.bandcamp.com

 

 

BROCKHAMPTON Share New Music Video for New Song “J’OUVERT”

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BROCKHAMPTON are set to release their new album Iridescence tonight, which was recorded at the legendary “Abbey Road Studios.” While we wait, the group has released a new song off the album titled “J’OUVERT,” and it is a hard hitting banger that is dark, unrelenting, and features a standout aggressive verse from member JOBA. You can watch the music video for “J’OUVERT” below:

BROCKHAMPTON Announce Release Date for Upcoming Album “Iridescence”

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The wait is finally over. After several album name changes and much speculation as to when their new album Iridescence would get a release date, BROCKHAMPTON have announced that they will release the album on September 21st, and that’s just around the corner. This follows last year’s impressive SATURATION trilogy, and this is the group’s first album without Ameer Vann who was kicked out recently due to sexual misconduct allegations. The tracklist has also been revealed and it looks like the album will not feature their recent singles “1999 WILDFIRE,” “1998 TRUMAN,” and “1997 DIANA.” According to the band, Iridescence will be the first installment of another trilogy titled The Best Years of Our Lives. The group recorded the album at the legendary “Abbey Road Studios,” and it will be their first release on the label “RCA Records.” You can check out the tracklist below:

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BROCKHAMPTON also have a documentary about the making of Iridescence coming out in select theaters titled The Longest Summer In America. Watch the trailer below:

BROCKHAMPTON Release New Song “1997 DIANA”

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“BROCKHAMPTON” have been dropping banger after banger in recent weeks, and their new track “1997 DIANA” is no exception. Accompanied with a music video containing the group’s signature off the wall energy, “1997 DIANA” might be the group’s best single of the year by far, even though it is their shortest. You can watch the music video below:

BROCKHAMPTON Release New Song “1998 TRUMAN”

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Last night “BROCKHAMPTON” released the second episode of their Things We Lost In The Fire radio show on Apple Music, and like the previous episode, the group released a brand new track along with it. Following “1999 WILDFIRE,” their new track “1998 TRUMAN” is a bit zanier and a lot more high energy than the preceding track. Still no word on whether or not these tracks will appear on their upcoming album The Best Years Of Our Lives, or when that album will even be released, but it’s clear that “BROCKHAMPTON” will continue to release new music throughout the Summer. You can listen to “1998 TRUMAN” below: