♫♪  JPEGMAFIA - Veteran

Few seconds, even minutes into ‘Veteran,’ and I fooled myself into believing that this was going to be a trill AF trap project, from an ALL CAPS name that I’d seen floating around in the subterranean hip hop realm but hadn’t dedicated an immersive sesh to in quite some time. That said, “1539 N. Calvert” is pretty much a certified B.A.N.G.E.R, with great imperatives for our generation, like “get your demo out my face.” Soon afterwards though, Peggy was all up in MY face with what’ll likely end up being one of the most electrifying rap releases this year.

The beats here are not interested in the inherent contrast of a thuddy kick and crunchy snare–there are crazy flickers, snickers, chitters and rumbles that make each musical passage a temperamental, insidious beast of it’s own. They blow out Peggy’s voice and you can hear him fighting each instrumental bare-fisted, determined to scream over them, if that’s what it’s going to take. One second we’re giddily bouncing around (“Thug Tears”) and then we’re falling deep into a hellish sonic landscape (“Dayum”) without any prior notice. It’s a gloriously scatterbrained representation of Peggy’s stream of consciousness.

A life like JPEGMAFIA’s is a life lived observing absurd caricatures of the people around you. From dead dads and SoundCloud rappers to Classic White Guilt™ and liberal arts degrees, there’s no agenda here, nor any interest in advocating for anyone. He’s picking apart hypocrisy at its most ubiquitous, channeling opinions and atmospheres to invoke laughter, sadness and deep, maddening frustration, sometimes all within a 3-minute song. And as long as Peggy promises “to never go blonde like Kanye,” at least we can rely on one thing in this stupid, crazy world.

Chocolate Grinder

CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we’ll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.

Most Read