Monday, September 2nd, 2019

JPEGMAFIA – Jesus Forgive Me, I Am a Thot

Hell right?


Katherine St Asaph: Listening to this turned me into a baby boomer.

Wayne Weizhen Zhang: The ugliness, disjointedness, and aesthetic mess all seems deliberate — but that doesn’t make it any more forgivable.

Oliver Maier: JPEGMAFIA wants to have it both ways: provocateur with songs primed for meme-dom and artist whose music, at its best, excitingly blurs the lines between genres. It’s true that the two aren’t mutually exclusive, but leaning too hard on the former has cost him in the past: the funny song names and glimpses of real greatness on last year’s Veteran weren’t enough to elevate a project whose haphazardness often felt tedious and unfocused. Here though, he’s tightened things up, at least musically. Hypnotic piano loops and samples collapse in on themselves and shatter into bursts of noise as Hendricks raps (and screams) breathlessly about his past, present and future. It’s more cohesive and replayable than a lot of his output thus far, though he can’t help but insert a smirking line about keeping his pussy closed during the hook, fumbling the balance between snide humour and sincerity that he manages to keep in check during the verses. It’s hardly song-ruining, and the melody on said hook is at least excellent, but Hendricks is both established and talented enough not to have to resort to cheap laughs to keep people listening. Internet lexicons age and die quickly, and JPEG shows too much promise to be remembered as a snapshot of a phase of online irony bro humour.

Maxwell Cavaseno: The Fantanoricans Favorite Rapper provides his own enthusiastic QRT of Zack Fox to impress those who love a good moment of irony over any display of interest in making good music. Who do I blame for this phenomenon of “Rappers who are really good at Twitter but mediocre at rapping but their social media energy makes them look more dignified than a rapper who simply RTs all compliments”? It’s Vince Staples right? Like Vince, “Peggy” is so inherently self-serving that you must buy into him elsewhere to think he’s good at his job. But at least Vince was doing bad ’90s rap cosplay, as opposed to sounding like the /mu/ version of Scarlxrd.

Nortey Dowuona: A warm, burning synth progression gathers the skidding drums and buried, growling bass that jumps out of the nails while Peggy reminds us all that we could never do it like him.

Kylo Nocom: Moments of sudden production whiplash carry JPEGMAFIA to victory, those lovely pitchy squeals of the chorus worth celebration, but in-between those brief moments is an emptiness that needs to be filled with a bit more. He enters the same Christian song titles league of “Jesus is the One,” and though his production is so much more intricately designed than Kenny Beats’ and his humor more structured than Zack Fox’s, the song remains just as attention-starved a diversion.

Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: JPEGMAFIA songs have this way of feeling longer than their actual runtimes. It’s a factor of the sheer density of ideas that he packs in– each individual measure of “Jesus Forgive Me, I Am a Thot” is packed with sounds. They’re not all good sounds, but the best parts of the track (the Auto-Tune choruses, the more smoothly rapped parts of the verses) are good enough to crowd out the more muddled stuff (mostly the noisy intro and outro, which feel like exercises in what a JPEGMAFIA song is supposed to sound like.) Ultimately, the track is exactly the thing a rapper like JPEGMAFIA needs: an advancement on every part of his sound, more a sampler menu than a finished meal.

Reader average: [9.75] (4 votes)

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