Peggy and Danny give us wacky production, no-holds-barred lyrics and madcap chemistry on their joint album. And they call this a practice session
JPEGMAFIA: a pure creation of the internet. His lyrics reference Twitch, 2chan and social media personalities, and his wildly eclectic production style owes a lot to the increased connectivity of the modern age, as well as the hyperactive spirit of TikTok. Danny Brown: a renegade of the rap scene who has essentially proven he can succeed at whatever he puts his mind to. Whether it’s hedonistic EDM-trap or the jagged loops of Atrocity Exhibition, Brown’s yelp is effortlessly charismatic. Scaring The Hoes: a self-deprecating meme about having a weird taste in music, and also now the title of a bold, energetic collaborative record.
Steppa Pig is an early highlight, as Rustie-esque synths and some *NSYNC vocals accompany Peggy and Danny in brutal, combative form (“their career like Whitney in the bathtub, sad as fuck”) while Kingdom Hearts Key has a beat that can best be described as modern-day Pharrell sampling citypop as the pair give way to the energetic flow of redveil, the album’s only feature. Burfict! is perhaps the least hoe-scaring track on here, with triumphant horns and bassy trap percussion that many rappers could comfortably flow on (“straight crack in the booth / feeling like Speed, who gon’ stop me? Not you / couldn’t shop if the store ain’t have EBT too / now it’s vente pa’ca, bitch bring that money through”).
Run The Jewels have political angst and Jay-Z and Kanye West had obscene boasts of wealth, but there isn’t a theme that unites these songs – Peggy and Danny are just having fun, and while one can’t begrudge them for that it sometimes leave the tracks hanging too loose. Orange Juice Jones utilises an audacious Michael Jackson flip but the hedonistic lyrics don’t sound good on top, and though closing track Where Ya Get Ya Coke From?’s overdriven samba arrangement is certainly novel, it might have been nice to hear all of Danny Brown’s verse without it being swallowed by distortion.
JPEGMAFIA has revealed on Bandcamp that Scaring The Hoes was produced with self-imposed limitations, adding somewhat enigmatically “you can call this a practice session”. If another project were on its way with a bit more polish and focus that would be ideal, as the two certainly have a madcap chemistry that deserves to be explored further.