Music For the Sole / JPEGMAFIA - Veteran
...Sometimes there's a man... I won't say a hero, 'cause, what's a hero? Sometimes, there's a man... Well, he's the man for his time and place. He fits right in there. And that's the Dude.
To paraphrase a great film in its 20th anniversary, the opening monologue to the cult classic Coen Brothers film The Big Lebowski just felt too on the nose to describe our feature for this week's Music For the Sole. The Dude in question? Baltimore resident Barrington Hendricks, known under the alias JPEGMAFIA, disciple of all things Old, Dirty and particular Bastardly.
The superconscious, highly nihilistic, and mocking air to the pretentious deployed across Veteran, his 4th release in a highly provocative back catalogue, echoes heavily that of the Coen Brothers classic. Barrington is wholly adept at collating a tough guy internet persona into a highly political lyricist and riot starting frontman. He's the kind of keyboard warrior who could actually meet you IRL and kick your teeth in and maybe be able to follow through on the Navy Seal Copypasta with his military experience.
'Baby I'm Bleeding' is where the true persona of JPEGMAFIA, or Peggy as he affectionately refers to himself, manifests in his truest form. His glitchy beats produced all on his lonesome in frantic fashion at breakneck speed provides 2-minute conduit to the manifesto of chaos that Barrington may, joke or no joke, introduce to the world. As tense as we are in our political landscape that a presidential assassination could occur, don't be surprised to see Barrington holding an M1911 with a grinning face at the epicentre of it all.
Further examples across the record birth smack talk about Drake, Yuppie culture (particularly whites named 'Chad'), lax gun control and the 2nd amendment (a big topic for Barrington, check out his last record), social media and minorities being scapegoated. The topics move faster than a Reddit AMA with lighting quick retorts ranging from the popular culture to the nichest of niche references. Barrington calling out raps biggest cats and the SoundCloud types who try to pawn off their mixtapes to him, with absolutely no regard for human life.
Although it's easy to pigeonhole this sound into a small group, peers such as Death Grips, Ho99o9 and Clipping all being brandished with raps counter culture brush, JPEGMAFIA is his own man, a one guy solo show that will succeed or implode by his own hand, Veteran providing a further step to elusive recognition that Barrington probably doesn't give a flying fuck about.