Review Summary: internet rap, unrestrained and evolved.
JPEGMAFIA has a lot going on in the back of his mind, due to his completely shaken down to earth mental state. So do his fans, it seems. There’s been a lot of change in JPEGMAFIA’s sound due to his come-up just even since 2016’s promising Black Ben Carson
, which had some intriguing production and witty lyricism, but the project was inconsistent enough that I forgot about it until I came back to JPEGMAFIA for Veteran
. Was that deserved? He was really going to have to step his game up in the booth and even behind the production, if he wanted to make a worthwhile project. But with Veteran
, JPEGMAFIA has cleary assessed his faults and brutally asserted his dominance in the underground experimental rap scene with this pounding collection of 19 tracks, churning out one of the most captivating and all-encompassing rap records of the last decade.
What makes Veteran
so intriguing isn’t really its style, but the fact that it’s aware and “real” about what it’s talking about, giving off a sense of consciousness without seeming pretentious. It’s not concerned with trying to make bangers or attract fans, it’s not concerned with sending some sort of cryptic message, and especially not concerned with being something greater than it is. But you already motherfuckin know JPEGMAFIA is concerned with all the bullshit being generated by these fake ass internet rappers trying to milk reddit’s saggy fuckin flapjack tits for any sort of sense of “fantano cred” or god fucking forbid ”cult status”
. JPEGMAFIA is making a statement laden with no sense of caring, and stating there should be no sense of dishonesty in art, which is what’s inferred by songs such as “My Thoughts on Neogaf Dying” and it’s droning calls of “i don’t care. i don’t care. i don’t care.” that linger until it’s drilled in the back of your mind. Even song titles like the absolutely hilarious “I Can’t Fucking Wait Until Morrissey Dies” let the listener know off the bat that no one is safe and everything in the eyes of JPEGMAFIA (and probably his fans) is equal.
Sure, the sporadic and stylistically inconsistent production gives off internet-rap undertones, and the sharp cuts that go from every type of person to every political spectrum to himself make this record quite varied in tone as the tracklist goes on, but it’s not concerned with being anything great. JPEGMAFIA is throwing down material for honesty and to make callouts to shit no one else in music is really making callouts to, like fucking Myke C Town of DeadEndHipHop’s luscious ass locks or stuck up conceited ass vegans and everything in between. The lyrics are all over the place and as an album, it doesn’t really serve to convey much of a message because not wanting to convey a message is Veteran
’s intent anyways. So is JPEGMAFIA doing the best he can to create a listening environment that totals out every aspect and flaw of good and garbage hip hop of today? You’d be kidding yourself if you said he weren’t. Is the production overambitious and reeking of SATURATION
and Live From The Dentist’s Office
fan service? Probably, but that only serves to aid the overall sound and artistic stylings that JPEGMAFIA brings to the table, and with Veteran
he has satisfied himself as an artist that does not care about what you care about.