JPEGMAFIA - “All My Heroes Are Cornballs” Album Review

Story posted September 17, 2019 in Arts & Entertainment by Owen Paiva.

Experimental rapper and producer JPEGMAFIA, better known as Peggy, has released “All My Heroes Are Cornballs,” quite possibly the best album name this year. This is one of the most unique hip-hop albums, evolving the sound found on last year's “Veteran.” Peggy shows why he is regarded so highly among the newer crop of rap artists.

The production on this album is out of this world. Largely produced by Peggy himself, it blends genres from track to track and most of the time even on the same track. The noise rap sound Peggy is known for is there, but since his first single released after “Veteran,” this light, music box like piano and synth work has really made every single track pop.

“Kenan vs. Kel” is the best example, with an absolutely amazing piano melody playing in the background for the first half and then, suddenly, distorted guitars and heavy drums come in to completely shift the mood. Other songs have an East Asian influence that Peggy completely makes his own. The drums are also fantastic, really allowing each track to breath its own way.

The glitch-hop influence can be found on some tracks, adding to the stellar production. He even mixes up his producer tag “You think you know me." He, also, uses a sample of “PEGI 18,” which is the european game rating system and works as well as you think.

With the production being as varied as it is, it's hard to imagine that the vocal delivery would be the same. Yet, the vocals, too, are unique and varied. Peggy thrives in being as experimental as possible. He uses a mix of harder rap and soft singing vocals, usually accompanied by autotune. Autotune is always best when served as a stylistic flair, like how T-Pain uses it, and Peggy does the same. His singing isn’t fantastic, but it actually shines in a few places, especially on “Free the Frail.” Couple this with an astounding feature from Helena Deland and you have quite possibly the best track off the project.

Peggy uses very deep, socially charged lyrics. “Rap been so good to me, I hope it get me canceled.” He comments on how artists usually get “cancelled” at the height of their popularity for some mistake they made far in the past, alluding to today’s cancel culture. This comes off the track “Beta Male Solutions,” which shows Peggy’s knack for creative names. Not just that, the song “PTSD” draws heavily from Peggy’s time in Iraq as a member of the Air Force. That’s right, “Veteran” got its name because JPEGMAFIA is a veteran.

Peggy met expectations on this album. “All My Heroes Are Cornballs” is a bit better than its predecessor and it puts him in a good spot with his second album, proving that “Veteran” isn’t a fluke. This album isn’t for everyone, if you are unfamiliar with JPEGMAFIA, than you might not like this album that much. That being said, it does nothing to take away from how good this album is. JPEGMAFIA is that breath of fresh air the industry needs.

Rating: 8/10

Reviewer’s Favorite Song: "Free the Frail"

Reviewer’s Least Favorite Song: "Prone"

 

 

Owen Paiva is a junior majoring in film/video. To contact him, email owenpaiva@sbcglobal.net.