For this review we have to go all the way back to the beginning of the year, where on January 19th , Jpegmafia, aka “Peggy,” blessed hip-hop nerds like me with his third and strongest album to date, Veteran. Be wary, the first time you hear this thing you will be confused, bewildered, and perhaps even a little frightened, but please bear with me as it will only make more sense as you give it more time to grow as you listen. Veteran is jam packed with diverse samples, witty lyrics, and unfiltered opinions (see “Libtard Anthem.”) It’s mostly a chilled out album, whose sound is comparable to Madvillany, as it posses a healthy amount of interludes, with very few high energy tracks sprinkled throughout. Just like many sample-heavy albums, it’s not for everyone but I promise it’s definitely not boring. The album kicks off with one its more milder tunes, “1539 N. Calvert,” instrumentally. The address refers to a former recording studio and music venue for underground artists in Baltimore. Although it doesn’t really prepare you for the craziness your ear is about to experience, he shows off a little taste of the mood and flow that he keeps up throughout Veteran. The second track, “Real Nega,” is where you see the real Jpegmafia, as he raps over the ghost-like moan thats sampled fro the Ol’ Dirty B*stards’ song “Goin’ Down.” If that wasn’t weird enough, the next track, “Thug Tears,” uses pen clicking as a part of the instrumentation. Even if you aren’t a fan of the psychotic-ness of Veteran, you have to give credit where credit is due, Jpeg knows how to flow with these wild beats. On “Baby I’m Bleeding,” Jpeg unleashes his hardest rap verses while taking shots at the white house, country music fans, and Kanye’s hair color. Right after this banger Peggy goes straight to giving his “Thoughts on Neogaf Dying” by humorously repeating the same low-pitched, dragged out vocal, “I don’t care,” over and over again. On “Germs,” Jpegmafia uses another crazy, self made beat to create one of the more slow-paced, relaxed highlights of this album. “Panic Emoji” is no different. On one of the most memorable tracks on the latter portion of the album, “I Cannot F***ing Wait Until Morrissey Dies,” Peggy comedically attacks Morrissey and “timid white boys” everywhere, which I think even fans of the Smiths can find pretty funny. “Rainbow Six” is another one of those cream of the crop mellow songs you can find toward the end of the track list; Yung Midpack, one of the better features on Veteran, provides an entertaining moment to accompany Jpeg on this track. Peggy closes Veteran with “Curb Stomp,” which fittingly contains one of the many disses towards the Alt. Right, and doesn’t forget to include a “Damn Pegggggy,” which is a signature vocal sprinkled all throughout this project. Overall, I found this album a well produced and very amusing. Although it may not be as well thought-out and spectacular as comparable sample-heavy rap albums such as Piñata or Madvilliainy, you have to at least respect Jpegmafia for single-handedly creating one of the most interesting, and creative hip-hop albums of 2018.
Hits – “Baby I’m Bleeding” “Thug Tears” “Germs” “1539 N. Calvert”
Misses – “Dayum” (if any)
By: Daniel Lopez