Imagine if the internet and hip-hop had a baby. Yeah, that baby would be JPEGMAFIA.
JPEGMAFIA, otherwise known as Peggy, is a rapper and producer from Baltimore, Maryland. He’s known for his hard-hitting, unique beats and humorous, but truthful lyrics. He has three projects, that I know of, that are out. These include: Black Ben Carson, The 2nd Amendment, and his most notable, Veteran. And a collection of released singles. Some of my favorites include: “Puff Daddy” and “Does this Ski Mask Make Me Look Fat?”
I believe I discovered Peggy around late winter of 2018. I remember listening to a few of his songs off Veteran because of my YouTube recommendations. I’m assuming I wasn’t that interested in his music considering I didn’t continue to listen to him until spring after hearing Anthony Fantano, a music reviewer on YouTube, constantly rave about him. So, naturally, I revisited Veteran. (I mean come on, how could I not trust Fantano? The mans got great teeth.) After listening to Veteran for the second time, I still wasn’t feeling it. Peggy’s music can be labeled under experimental rap, a genre I wasn’t typically exposed to before. But, I really liked the first track on the album: “1539 N. Calvert.” Probably because it was the easiest song on the ears and was more to what I was used to listening to. I would listen to that song non-stop. I tend to wear out songs I really take a liking to, as I’m sure most people can relate. But suddenly, I don’t know if it was because I had built up a tolerance to this new sound or I just never took the time to really listen to the album, but as I re-listened to other tracks, such as “Real Nega,” “Baby I’m Bleeding,” and “I Cannot Fucking Wait Til Morrissey Dies,” I became addicted to Peggy’s music. I came to appreciate the eccentric samples and the grittiness that he brings out through his projects.
If you’re still not curious about JPEGMAFIA. Just wait because I haven’t even gotten into what makes him so unique. First off, the man is an entertainer. His sense of humor shines throughout his work. From titleling songs like: “I Might Vote 4 Donald Trump” and, as previously mentioned, “Does This Ski Mask Make Me Look Fat?” to writing hilarious lyrics like: “I need a bitch with long hair like Myke C-Town.” It’s not just about comedy though. Peggy is known to speak out against significant topics such as, racism. For example, in his song “I Cannot Fucking Wait Till Morrissey Dies,” Peggy calls out the known racist English performer, Morrissey. You may be thinking, “Seems a bit harsh? Why would he talk about pistols and murder concerning the man?” Well, I mean he got your attention right? And that’s his goal: to shed light on these issues. He doesn’t actually want to kill anyone. It’s more like he wants to kill off all the racist ideas and actions. Believe it or not, but this shock factor is what brings awareness and catches people’s attention.
Next, I want to mention the sound of the music itself. I believe experimental rap is up-and-coming. Many mainstream artists are taking inspiration and even contributing to the genre. Consider Brockhampton’s most recent album, Iridescence. The producers and mixers dabbled in using noise and unconventional samples to produce the successful project. Peggy’s beats are insane. Each time I listen to one of his songs, I take notice to new bells and whistles that I hadn’t heard before that contribute to the entirety of the beat. One of my favorite beats off Veteran comes from the song, “Real Nega.” In this song, Peggy samples Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s mouth noises and ballad from his song, “Goin’ Down.” It still surprises me whenever the song comes on during shuffle hahaha. The sample and the way it’s chopped up matches perfectly with the energy of Peggy’s flow and is just a hype song all the way through until it slows down, mimicking the feeling of taking a deep breath after running like three miles. His style is futuristic. The best way I can describe it is that it sounds like what I think the Internet would sound like if it was personified. If ya get what I’m sayiiinnngggg.
Finally, let’s talk about his stage presence. Now, I’ve never had the chance to see him live yet, but by the videos I’ve seen of his shows online, it looks like so much fun. The crowd is jumping and Peggy is too. He is notorious for joining the crowd and continuing the show on the floor. And I believe that fan-to-artist connection is essential. I never would’ve thought I would want to see a man jump up and down screaming to a bunch of greasy white boys so bad. But hey Peggy if you’re reading this….COME BACK TO CHICAGO!
© 2018 Wisner