JPEGMAFIA is apparently finished with the music industry. Heâ€™s done being a cog in the machine and lining label executivesâ€™ pockets with money.
Under the notes on Bandcamp for his new album, LP!, Peggy explains his decision to part ways with the industry. â€œI live and die by the quality of my work, not the hype. And the minute anyone does anything to impede on that. You are dead to me.â€ Those words couldnâ€™t speak truer for the 32-year-old rapper.
JPEGMAFIA built his career on the no-bullshit filter of his persona. Heâ€™s brash, blunt and never sugarcoats his words, often providing color commentary on celebrities and his peers. Throughout the heavy distortions, plethora of mangled samples and off-kilter DIY production, Peggy is always in the forefront, barking at haters, hoes and white people. Heâ€™s unapologetically confrontational.
LP!, the follow-up to 2020â€™s All My Heroes Are Cornballs, comes in two versions â€” online (found on all DSPs) and offline (only available on YouTube and Bandcamp). The offline version is 20 tracks long â€” two more additional songs than the online version, a rearranged track list and samples omitted due to clearance issues. LP! finds JPEGMAFIA in a familiar space; heâ€™s on the outside looking in, entrapped in a position that stands against his principles. On one hand, heâ€™s reaching mainstream appeal with an expanding audience. On the other, his creativity is shackled by a ball and chain, stripped of the freedom he embraced when he was independent.
Throughout the album, he pays multiple tributes to Britney Spears â€” who just ended her 13-year-long conservatorship under her father. On â€œThot Prayer,â€ JPEGMAFIA interpolates Britneyâ€™s â€˜99 pop opus â€œHit Me Baby One More Timeâ€: â€œWhen Iâ€™m not with you I lose my mind/Give me a sign/Thatâ€™s itâ€™s mine.â€ JPEGMAFIA juxtaposes his creative imprisonment with Spearsâ€™, realizing his need for rap but desires to be cut from capitalismâ€™s puppeteer strings. He uses Spears again on â€œREBOUND!â€ but this time uses â€œOops I Did It Againâ€ as a follow-up to a threat hurled at an unknown target.
JPEGMAFIA versus the world is nothing new, but heâ€™s direct and personal on LP! He throws shots at alt-rap duo Armand Hammer (billy woods and Elucid) on â€œREBOUND!â€ and â€œThe Ghost of Ranking Dread,â€ questioning their background in relation to their namesake on both tracks. â€œN-ggas named after baking soda but ainâ€™t never touched no fuckinâ€™ coke in your city,â€ he raps with intensity. JPEGMAFIA is at his best and most focused when he has a specific target. His raps trimmed of fat, filled with wit and delivered like gunshots at his vitims.
The Baltimore MC gives his production more spotlight throughout the tape. As a producer, JPEFMAFIA is a master of the DIY aesthetic. The beats are simple and stripped down; like the flickering electronic sound bytes on â€œNEMO!â€ and the old school Hip Hop beat breaks on â€œOG!â€
The spoken word intro on â€œAre You Happyâ€ speaks volumes for his feelings about record labels, â€œAm I happy with the people around me? Am I Happy with what Iâ€™m doing?â€
LP! finalized JPEGMAFIAâ€™s contract with Republic Records, making him an independent artist again. He clearly felt artistically trapped by the standard of his label, entrapped by mindless repetition and cliche pop-rap radio. LP!, while not the full vision of what he wanted due to copyright issues and record labelsâ€™ limiting artistic rules, is a way for him to take back his creativity and, most importantly, his freedom.
If you havenâ€™t listened to their albums yet, PLEASE DO. Iâ€™m currently relistening to LP! by JPEGMAFIA and Iâ€™m mindblown by how he makes the most odd combination of sounds sound beautiful to me.
â€” Dedee ðŸ¥€ (@thoughtfulbae) October 31, 2021
LP! By jpegmafia has just as good a listening experience as Madvillainy
â€” ð™‚ð™–ð™œð™– (@thegagaman) December 2, 2021
LP! is odeeee, the fact that he just threw whatever songs he had together and it ended up as that is crazy to me
â€” My name is Kvilan (@whoiskvilan) December 1, 2021