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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JPEGMAFIA Shares New Song “Jesus Forgive Me, I Am a Thot”

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It’s looking like JPEGMAFIA is teasing a new upcoming album. This morning the experimental rapper shared a brand new song titled “Jesus forgive me, I Am a Thot,” and it’s as uncompromising, loud, off-kilter as you’d expect it to be, but this track does offer an element of “Pop” and an “R&B” inspired auto-tuned hook that somehow fits amidst the chaos. Peggy has also said “The disappointment cums soon. Just a taste before I waste you.” Hopefully that means we’ll be getting a follow-up to last year’s Veteran. You can watch the music video for “Jesus Forgive Me, I Am a Thot” below:

HEALTH and JPEGMAFIA Team Up for New Track “Hate You”

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Here’s a surprise. “Noise Rock” band “HEALTH” have teamed up with rapper/producer JPEGMAFIA for a new track titled “Hate You.” This collaboration makes sense honestly, given the fact that “HEALTH’s” new album Vol. 4: Slaves of Fear is “Industrial” driven and JPEGMAFIA’s at home when he raps over noisy discombobulating beats. The two are a perfect match. You can listen to the track below:

JPEGMAFIA Shares New Music Video for “1539 N. Calvert”

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Baltimore rapper/producer JPEGMAFIA has garnered much attention this year, and it is much deserved. His new album Veteran is the groundbreaking and forward thinking album Hip Hop needs right now. Today Peggy shared his new music video for the opening track off the album titled “1539 N. Calvert.” The video is a tribute to the “Bell Foundry,” a building in Baltimore that housed dozens of artists and hosted live shows. It was unfortunately shut down, but many DIY artists in the Baltimore scene hold their experiences near and dear to their hearts. You can watch the video for “1539 N. Calvert” below:

Album Review: Death Grips – Year of the Snitch

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Artist: Death Grips

Album: Year of the Snitch 

Genre: Industrial Hip Hop/Experimental 

Rating: 8/10

 With a band like “Death Grips,” a band that have built a career on abrasion and dark subject matter, there’s a high risk of becoming a gimmick. Sure their music is brilliant and one might even say they’re the most important band of the decade, but there’s always that chance that a band like this can succumb to expectations and tropes they have created for themselves, but as the band have proven plenty of times in the past, they really don’t care about satisfying their fanbase. Their new album Year of the Snitch is further proof of that. After years of reinvention after reinvention, the band have yet again reinvented themselves. Sure this is unmistakably a “Death Grips” album, it’s noisy as Hell, and MC Ride continues to deliver aggressive and paranoid vocals with cryptic lyrics that are nearly impossible to decipher, but this is surprisingly their most Experimental and bizarre work yet. If their previous album Bottomless Pit was the band going back to the basics of their debut The Money Store, then Year of the Snitch is the band expressing to us all that this is a second incarnation of themselves. This album is a sinister odyssey that will leave the listener uneasy and confused. There are “A Clockwork Orange” sounding synths all throughout this album, and at times it even sounds like the band is being possessed by “The Residents.” Oh yeah this album is bizarre, and it is glorious.

Written By: Steven Sandoval 

Date: 06/27/18

Death Grips Announce Release Date for Upcoming Album “Year of the Snitch”

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The wait is finally over. We now have a release date for Death Grips’ upcoming album Year of the Snitch. It will be released on June 22nd, which is just around the corner. The band have also shared another new track off the album titled “Ha ha ha.” You can listen to the track below: