Peggy did not disappoint at all.
JPEGMAFIA is a Baltimore rapper, songwriter, and producer who broke onto the scene in 2016 with his debut project, Black Ben Carson, plus, the controversial single, “I Might Vote 4 Donald Trump” that stirred numerous glaring eyes.
However, my true introduction to Peggy came in the form of the near-perfect, 2018 project, Veteran. An explosive, in-your-face, rough, loud, and grimy album that features some insane productions and absolute bangers with tracks such as “Thug Tears”, “Baby I’m Bleeding”, and a track that I play on repeat to this day, “1539 N. Calvert”.
Every day, I attempt to expand my musical catalog with more obscure artists and this year, I have enjoyed those lesser-known projects more than the overproduced, A+ acts that have bloated the year with recycled production and nothing interesting to say.
As expected, JPEGMAFIA is no slouch when it comes to themes but was I ever blown away by the production. Every choice made in terms of the emotional tones that he chooses for certain tracks is spot-on. I respect how he can transition from this loud and aggressive rapper to a more lo-fi and laidback artist. The best example coming in “BBW” and “PRONE!”, which appear back-to-back on the album. The chord progressions on “Jesus Forgive Me, I Am A Thot” and “Free The Frail” are immaculate.
Peggy takes some fairly interesting routes with themes such as masculinity, social media, and fame. On “Beta Male Strategies” he digs into people who go on the attack towards him on Twitter but would not say the same things to him in person. It also deals with anonymity and men hiding behind social media in general. He also takes the perspective of a woman three separate times on “Jesus Forgive Me, I Am A Thot”, “Thot Tactics”, and “BasicBitchTearGas”. He even gives a small cover of TLC’s “No Scrubs”, which, blended with Peggy’s mixing, provides one of the standout moments on the project.
JPEGMAFIA’s music is not for everyone. If you are one of those people that don’t really place a huge emphasis on production or lyricism, this album is not going to be pleasant to your ears. This is a project where you have to pay attention to detail in order to grasp the point Peggy is getting across. Go into this album with an open mind because this is one you are not going to miss out on and, by the end of your listening experience, it should be a part of your top ten Albums of the Year list.
Richest Tracks: “Jesus Forgive Me, I Am A Thot”, “Kenan Vs. Kel”, “Beta Male Strategies”, “Grimy Waifu”, “PTSD”, “Rap Grow Old & Die x No Child Left Behind”, “BBW”, “PRONE!”, “Thot Tactics”, “Free The Frail”, “BasicBitchTearGas”, “Papi I Missed U”
Worst Tracks: “Lifes Hard, Here’s a Song About Sorrel”