Release Date: Sep 13, 2019
Record label: EQT Recordings
Often switching between masks and jumping from one genre to another, JPEGMAFIA seems the perfect artist for this particular cultural moment JPEGMAFIA's last album, 2018's ‘Veteran’, was a sadistic thrill ride, created by a rap artist just as comfortable screaming as breaking into a catchy falsetto. Essentially the antithesis to a Drake album, ‘Veteran’ was inspired by the idea of taking trap and twisting it completely beyond recognition via thick bursts of distortion, stabbing guitar kicks and dusty drums that hit like heart palpitations. Channelling iconic hardcore punk bands such as Fear and Bad Brains, as well as eccentric rap outliers Ol Dirty Bastard and Spaceghostpurpp, the Baltimore rapper translated the chaos of Trump's America into escapist mosh pit anthems ('Real Nega', 'Rainbow Six') that felt like a rush of blood to the head.
JPEGMAFIA won't follow the trends. In a genre overcrowded by basic booming 808s and heavy hi-hats coupled with bars about "fucking your bitch, look at my drip," Peggy represents the inner rebellion of Hip Hop itself. He doesn't side with the new school trap rappers, nor the old school lyrical miracles, he creates his own path going left when everyone turns right.
In the months leading up to the release of his third studio album, All My Heroes Are Cornballs, JPEGMAFIA has teased the prospect of disappointment. Since its announcement he's shared multiple cryptic entreaties ("ALL I WANT TO DO IS DISAPPOINT U" read one Instagram post), posted faux-insulting listening parties with everyone from Kenny Beats to Wilco's Jeff Tweedy, and encouraged his comment sections to chime in with anticipatory 0/10 scores. The big joke, of course, is that the finished product is anything but.
JPEGMAFIA understands our predicament, and he’s going to make you feel something. Over 19 tracks, All My Heroes Are Cornballs dares you to confront how you see yourself, how you see others, and how you see Barrington Hendricks a.k.a. Peggy. Or you may just think the album rips. It doesn’ ….
So says James Blake in a tongue-in-cheek teaser for JPEGMAFIA 's new album, All My Heroes Are Cornballs - the follow up to the rapper's lauded 2018 record Veteran. Here's some explaining of the joke for you, reader: it's funny cos he does do all of those things well. First thing you need to know about JPEGMAFIA is that he deals in discordance. When listening to the Baltimore rapper-cum-producer, forget typical song structures and hooks.
From the DC Universe to the internet writ large, JPEGMAFIA's heroes span genres and mediums. The producer and rapper's pantheon is expansive and colorful, a bustling splash page of influences and pop culture totems. While JPEG has never downplayed the prominent roles that anime, video games, and wrestling play in his music, the adrenalized politics of his past projects sometimes obscured that scope.
When Barrington DeVaughn Hendricks, aka JPEGMAFIA, aka Peggy, released 'Veteran' in 2018 he generated an incredible amount of hype, and Jpegs. He was heralded as the next big thing, saviour of hip-hop and all manner of grandiose plaudits. Fortunately 'Veteran' lived up to this praise. It was an album that was born from social unrest, the internet and a love of optimism.