JPEGMAFIA and Danny Brown
Scaring the Hoes



by robertsona STAFF
April 15th, 2023 | 18 replies

Release Date: 03/24/2023 | Tracklist

Review Summary: 😱

Oh yes. There go Danny Brown and JPEGMAFIA again, scaring the hoes like it was a pitch-dark 10:30PM on the night of Halloween for Hoes, these hypothetical haters, women all of them if the vocal samples from the title track as well as the title itself are to be believed, alternately groaning and sucking their teeth as Peggy and Danny bang on trash cans and slam lines of that *** that killed Prince and blithely say stuff like “eat your ass like I’m cannabis!” and go absolutely bananas on the Japanese pop samples. So it is that JPEGMAFIA and Danny Brown instantly introduce to SCARING THE HOES (Danny Brown and JPEGMAFIA, 2023) a context not of the aesthetic affront of SCARING THE HOES’ musical ways and means but of the two guys saying that it’s like that, that it will surely scare any bona fide hoe. JPEGMAFIA and Danny Brown have made their careers out of affrontery, though I admit to knowing JPEGMAFIA’s music way more than Danny Brown’s—my “researching the hoes” (which I guess in addition to mirroring the structure of the title makes Danny and Peggy the hoes! Oh ***!) playlist is over 8 hours long and it starts with BLACK BEN CARSON and that album sucks—but Peggy’s is more this Baudrillard-hyperreal swirling void of antipathy where every word is a signifier, a sign with an arrow on it pointing at someone, and the sign says “*** this guy” or whatever, but the guy is faceless (I imagine him or her or them as a Rene Magritte person with a blanket or a superimposition of a tree in the sky over their entire head) because JPEGMAFIA for someone whose lyrics reference the sins of other people so much isn’t so much one for specifics.

Danny Brown raps about living with the emotional spiritual and physical baggage generated by the actions and behaviors of a man society might call a hedonist, a reckless soul, a bad person. He is turned partially or fully inward at all times. He has what Harold Bloom says is good about Shakespeare: true interiority. As we all know from HAMLET, this quality of having a depth not accessed merely through comprehension of surface-level elements is I guess best set in relief by witnessing someone pitched in a situation where it’s somehow been made especially difficult for the person being scrutinized or narrativized to take an action in his best interest, his decision always to opt out of decision-making by making the bad one, his withering conscience pulling on the crusty cuff of his sweater (or chain-link armor or whatever) like an abandoned child, begging him please to stop, to just stop. Or to start I guess for Hamlet. Hmm well the magic of Danny Brown’s lyrics is that you can see both of these figures so clearly, even in the songs that exude pure hedonism, no counterpoint or irony necessary—you just feel it, that tug, that plea.

I listen to JPEGMAFIA’s albums way more than I do Danny Brown’s, though, and anticipate his projects greatly, whereas I didn’t even listen to uknowhatimsayin?

This I suppose is in large part though I can’t imagine 100% because of JPEGMAFIA’s production. I think JPEGMAFIA probably has the highest mean average rating in my head among producers from whom I’ve heard as many beats as him, and that’s not a terrible metric for “best hip-hop producer of all time” even if it isn’t the only one. Here’s a quick rundown of some cool production stuff that goes on during your favorite album ever themed around scaring hoes, SCARING THE HOES.

—The synth line of “Lean Beef Patty” waves around its melody proudly like the siren that’s driven by a cop but he’s a DETECTIVE.

Folks, I took the dibs on this album and then I said Milo could write it and then he said that he tried to write about it three times and failed each time we’re getting through this go to the deli and crush a can of Coke go to your sink and drink some water like James Murphy once said this is happening.

—That bizarre transition between Peggy and Danny’s (I got distracted by my phone for twenty minutes between writing the stuff before and after this parentheses because I am writing all of this in my iPhone’s Notes app) verses on “Lean Beef Patty”—not so much the weirdo jungle (?) second part of the transition so much as the deceleration that somehow generates imagery of a robot suddenly at half its power. The chitterchatter of the voices and guitar (?) trickles is like the insanely scary part of “Americans” by Oneohtrix Point Never but not insanely scary. God, there’s a weird way in which Peggy does resonate this all-bark-no-bite thing in a lot of formal particulars but it’s a good song…

—The maybe simulated-sidechain bass stomp of “Steppa Pig”. That last one was long but we’re blowing through these now. Like a pig stepping in mud…(the beat hopefully not this bullet point)

—I don’t like the chorus to the song “SCARING THE HOES” they were already pushing their luck the beat is fine. The beat to “Garbage Pale Kids” is again that JPEGMAFfery of something that operates brandishing all the signifiers of total nasty ugliness but it’s like, c’mon, anyone who can accept that rupture and weird *** and noise can sometimes bang and be beautiful should kinda get the cut of “Garbage Pale Kids”’ Seven-Dwarves-in-the-factory gib. I don’t mean this as a knock or a backhanded compliment—it’s one of my favorite songs of the year.

This is not a mere track by track review. Let’s switch it up. Muscle confusion. I dunno I feel like it’s kinda dumb to have written a second of these free-associative reviews for the same album but the staff had to do what it had to do.

I kinda don’t love “Burfict!,” which is kinda like the horn-blast-of-triumph of LP! (2022)’s “REBOUND!” but a little too burfict. And then I don’t much like the two songs after it either. This batting average on a 14-track release means this album is overrated relative to the choir it’s preaching to, the self-selected non-hoes, the ones on Rateyourmusic who collectively say not only that this album is the best released thus far in 2023 but also that this album is better than like PAUL’S BOUTIQUE (1989) or ONLY BUILT 4 CUBAN LINX (1995) or STANKONIA (2000). I think we have inherent reason to fear those who advertise subversion and receive genuflection from the masses—yeah, even those masses. But then!

—“HOE (Heaven of Earth)”‘s chord pattern (overlaid with genuinely janky glitch-drums) is so righteous and so weird and bright and quirky and funky that I think of the 1973 weirdo pseudo-Blaxploitation psychedelic religious experimental vampire movie GANJA & HESS. (The cover to SCARING THE HOES 2023 is a clear Blaxploitation homage.)

You thought it was vanquished, this format! You thought wrong and if you thought somehow that it’d be done after this paragraph you thought wrong again, because:

—“Kingdom Hearts Key” is the cloud-rap-on-steroids psychedelic weeaboo reverie JPEGMAFIA was always meant to produce, even though he has like fifteen songs like that. Speaking of which:

If you don’t like (this is the beginning of a new part) literally all of the following songs your taste in beats or your inability to compartmentalize unusual or embarrassing or silly or aggressive rapping styles to savor better the beats within is completely out of joint, topsy-turvy, not gonna cut it: “1539 N. Calvert,” “Thug Tears,” “I Cannot ***ing Wait Until Morrissey Dies,” “Jesus Forgive Me, I Am a Thot,” “Kenan vs. Kel,” “Beta Male Strategies,” “DIRTY!,” “BALD!” and that’s being conservative. Mostly bad song titles; all slammers. Hall of Fame. Hang his jersey from the rafters already dude is a legend.

—anyways “Kingdom Hearts Key” has an almost aleatoric beat changeup in the middle of the first verse (by Peggy) and then never again, but the real structural coup is the inclusion of a verse from a rapper I’ve never heard of otherwise named redveil who’s all like “We got NEXT hoe clear the FRONT been throwin' my ELbow in this ***” as the beat does one of its pseudo-aleatoric departure-arrival tempo switchup things and you are standing up stomping around throwing ***ing elbows on the Bx12 bus at 8AM on the way to school. Again, the beauty/rupture dynamic lands so decisively on the side of beauty, but the *** bangs bangs bangs.

There’s a part of me that wants to say that we have ourselves become the Hoes in letting ourselves be so easily drafted into the ranks of those who are proud to be scaring them, but that’d be Pathologizing the Hoes moreso than I have been perhaps. I also really like the album, and I would give it 4 bags of popcorn.

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Comments:Add a Comment 
Staff Reviewer
April 15th 2023


Album Rating: 4.0

all the sober people on this site are dead

Staff Reviewer
April 15th 2023


Album Rating: 4.5

shivering the timbers of the sex workers

April 15th 2023


This describes music I haven’t listened to!!

April 15th 2023


Album Rating: 4.0

no more sobers oh no

April 15th 2023


Album Rating: 5.0


April 15th 2023


Album Rating: 4.0

i can't feel my face... off these narcotics

Staff Reviewer
April 15th 2023


Album Rating: 4.7

4 bags of popcorn and a large coke (where'd ya get that from?) Nice

I'm starting to think the target audience here is too invested in revelry to formally respond to the art (myself included), might still post my take later down the line haha

Staff Reviewer
April 15th 2023


Emoji summary since when?

April 15th 2023


Best album art ever.

April 15th 2023


Metallica and Danny Brown - Kill ‘em Hoes

April 15th 2023


Album Rating: 4.0

What a summary

April 15th 2023


Album Rating: 5.0

this review giving me flashbacks to various essays written under duress. sleep is good!

April 16th 2023


Can't spell crap without rap.

Staff Reviewer
April 17th 2023


Album Rating: 4.0

can't spell metal without lame oh jfc why i am i replying to you delete this alt and go back to fucking your dog please

April 17th 2023


Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

wtf he was so fun and crazy live. he's such a goofy little snack

Staff Reviewer
April 18th 2023


-why i am i replying to you delete this alt and go back to fucking your dog please-

either this margarita is too good or i've official hit the bottom. but embarrasing laughs by myself happened.

October 11th 2023


This is a description of music I haven't heard! invoice factoring plano

December 26th 2023


all the sober people on this site are happy.

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