JPEGMAFIA
LP! (offline)


4.5
superb

Review

by robertsona STAFF
March 24th, 2022 | 55 replies


Release Date: 10/22/2021 | Tracklist

Review Summary: LP! demonstrates that JPEGMAFIA’s brazen dedication to raw lyrical expression and polychromatic tactility in the realm of production has found its fullest, most complex expression yet.

The following review was the result of a collaboration between users deathofasalesman, DavidYowi, CottonSalad, and robertsona.

JPEGMAFIA is a smartass, but that’s what makes him interesting. It’s no surprise that the rapper came to regret his late-2010s contract with EQT Recordings, of which LP! is the final recorded index–the last in a slate of material obligations for the label, coming from a guy to whom deference as a concept seems ontologically anathema. Rather than react to his unfortunate situation with pure bile and antisocial energy, JPEGMAFIA has instead crafted his best album yet. Before LP!, the “interesting smartass” formula was a bit muddier in its rendering: 2019's All My Heroes Are Cornballs is steeped in late 2010s Internet lingo and positively cascades with a plethora of snide remarks, and while I wonder how well that record will age, beneath that torrid surface was a showcase for an accomplished sonic architect gleefully deploying whatever melody or audio trick would amuse him in the moment. LP!, graciously now widely available in both “online” and “offline” iterations, contains all the unconventional playfulness of Cornballs but with nary a hint of irony poisoning, as a result letting all his idiosyncratic ideas stand on their own merits.

The admittedly ironic feel-good sentiments of opener “TRUST!” work because they’re both ironic and not: irony, it seems, is the very means through which JPEGMAFIA “feel[s] good,” “look[s] nice,” the very job he has when he’s about to “go to work”. The bubbly, complex, kind of stunning musical backdrop over which these multivalent statements are uttered confirms this feeling: although he hasn’t given up his antisocial bona fides, with LP!, JPEGMAFIA is in his element. He has settled, here, into something of a groove.

The genius of LP! is that even as it scans as more casual and unaffected than his previous releases, it feels as if it draws from a more expansive fount of personal and emotional material than did Cornballs or 2018’s Veteran. “END CREDITS!” highlights Peggy’s love of wrestling and playing the heel. “DAM! DAM! DAM!” contains the weirdly indelible refrain “Workin’ all day don’t take no sick leave” and lines its closing moments with a sample from a particularly dramatic moment from 1970s sitcom Good Times. Direct and dreamy at the same time, “TIRED, NERVOUS, & BROKE!” serves a similar purpose to Cornballs’ “Free the Frail,” but is given more room to breathe, making it feel more emotionally impactful. Then there’s “HAZARD DUTY PAY!”. Oh, “HAZARD DUTY PAY!”. His signature syncopated flow gravitating around Anita Baker’s immaculately chopped vocals, a smooth synth bassline, and dense percussion, Peggy effortlessly evokes his musical confidence to such a degree it becomes intimidating. JPEGMAFIA, at his supremely confident best, is on some performative ***, in the classic J.L. Austin way: his bars do what they say. LP!, all over its runtime, labors to refine JPEGMAFIA’s sound and lyrical approach to this end, while continuing to open doors to new and ever more vibrant sonic possibilities (on the aforementioned “END CREDITS!”, Peggy raps over Animals as Leaders).

JPEGMAFIA's lyrics and the relationship they stage between artist and Other may give the impression that one of the project's goals is to expose that everyone is the enemy, but LP!'s sonic narrative offers a starkly different view. There's an invitation here: no matter whether your ears are drawn to sleek twinkly synths, gospel, djent, distorted grime, 90's pop, glitch - Peggy wants your attention. The indiscriminate spray of lyrical bullets at propped-up targets on past releases posed the question: Attention to what? On LP! we are provided an answer, an approach or philosophy that the artist wants to teach us or at least express in all its complexities.

“Gotta take more shots, get a good lead / Keep takin’ them shots ‘til the rim bleed,” goes the beginning of that aforementioned “DAM! DAM! DAM!” refrain, and the unsettling drip of the imagery harmonizes with rather than vitiates the message of persistence. Ever the existentialist hero, Peggy here polishes and immeasurably clarifies his desire that everyone be themselves, that we all ply our desired trade in the sordid hem of the world we are provided. He “teaches us it’s okay to be weird”; he employs a sports metaphor to throw us a bone as he works on our deeper feelings and thoughts all the while. An unexpected access to the experience of joy in the midst of abjection has long been key to JPEGMAFIA’s magnetic spirit as a musician. Those listeners will be especially gratified who possess the negative capability to see and feel that JPEGMAFIA is as sick (tired?) and nervous and broke as he is “feeling good” in a manner I dare say is spurred on by his “workin’ all day”. So nod your head vigorously when this particular deadeye promises to “keep takin’ them shots”: LP!, above all, demonstrates beyond a shadow of a doubt that JPEGMAFIA’s brazen dedication to raw lyrical expression and polychromatic tactility in the realm of production, to being a smartass but also really really interesting, has found its fullest and most gratifying expression yet.



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user ratings (140)
4
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
robertsona
Staff Reviewer
March 24th 2022


23189 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

dont take no sick leave

CottonSalad
March 24th 2022


2467 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

bless

MiloRuggles
Staff Reviewer
March 24th 2022


2076 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yooooo nice work. Love this album, sampling is unreal

bloc
March 24th 2022


68651 Comments


Yeah this is crazy good

Digging: Syndrome 81 - Prisons Imaginaires

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
March 24th 2022


23189 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

we did it

JeetJeet
March 24th 2022


11331 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This guy just doesn't miss.

Excellent review guys.

Digging: Gaelle - Transient

AlexKzillion
March 24th 2022


13947 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

THE MOST ANTICIPATED REVIEW IN SITE HISTORY IS HERE

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
March 24th 2022


23189 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

period

deathofasalesman
March 25th 2022


8383 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

YES Y'ALL what a journey! thanks for bringing this into the light robertsona, DavidYowi, CottonSalad, this is just awesome



Finally got a space to talk about what a killer LP this is

Digging: Real Estate - Days

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
March 25th 2022


23189 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

“DIRTY!” is crazy



1. BALD

2.HAZARD

3. DIRTY

4. WHAT KIND OF RAPPIN

5. ARE U HAPPY

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
March 25th 2022


23189 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

And rebound too… yeah, I’m over the top UH

deathofasalesman
March 25th 2022


8383 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

WHAT KINDA RAPPIN IS THIS offline version is a masterpiece. That extra minute is *chef's kiss*





Faderjack
March 25th 2022


17 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Excellent review. Nice work, all.



Gotta say, I was a bit underwhelmed by this album at first, feeling it was less sonically adventurous than Cornballs. But I haven't been able to stop listening to it since release, and it just kept growing on me. The beats are no less complex than Cornballs, they're just more refined, with all of the ideas more seamlessly combined. And it's also his most interesting lyrically. It may actually be my favorite of his now, and at least stands shoulder to shoulder with Veteran and Cornballs. Really can't wait to see what he does next.



This guy just doesn't miss. [2]





CottonSalad
March 25th 2022


2467 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

That extra minute is *chef's kiss*



[2] ahrd

DavidYowi
March 25th 2022


2615 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

"Gotta say, I was a bit underwhelmed by this album at first, feeling it was less sonically adventurous than Cornballs. But I haven't been able to stop listening to it since release, and it just kept growing on me. The beats are no less complex than Cornballs, they're just more refined, with all of the ideas more seamlessly combined. And it's also his most interesting lyrically. It may actually be my favorite of his now, and at least stands shoulder to shoulder with Veteran and Cornballs. Really can't wait to see what he does next."

yeah was my reaction too it too, I think I might prefer it to Cornballs.



This came out incredibly well, really proud to be a part of this. Much love to CottonSalad, deathofasalesman, and robertsona for their contributions, and extra shout out to robert for his editing skills.



Digging: Dir En Grey - Uroboros

DavidYowi
March 25th 2022


2615 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

That extra minute is *chef's kiss* [3]



The run from "END CREDITS" to "THOTS PRAYER!" is god tier sequencing.

dedex
Contributing Reviewer
March 25th 2022


11437 Comments


Bravo for the collab work babes!

Conmaniac
March 25th 2022


27037 Comments


Collab reviews ftw

Avagantamos
March 25th 2022


8405 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

after my first listen this was already my favorite Peggy, but it just keeps growing on me

Digging: Machine Girl - Neon White OST 1 - The Wicked Heart

CottonSalad
March 25th 2022


2467 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah, revisited it for the first time in like a month for this collab and maaaan - it slapped me upside the head haha



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