Experimental | Hip-Hop | Rap
Smashing boy band cheesy codes, alt rapper JPEGMAFIA turns Backstreet Boys song upside down
July 12, 2018
When R&B/Hip Hop unseated Rock and Roll as the most listened-to genre in the US at the end of 2017, the dominance and influence of Rap/Hip-Hop could no longer be ignored. Like many dominant cultures, there are artists who reside on the fringes, subverting trends and keeping to the underdog tradition of questioning the established status quo. U.S. Air Force Veteran turned Alt-rapper and producer JPEGMAFIA brings the center to the fringes with his tone-shifting flow and psychedelic subversion of traditional beats and beloved classics.
“Where MC Ren, Ice Cube, and Eazy-E mixed their politics with language that stoked the post-Reagan moral panic, JPEG-fluent in internet-native irony and bad-faith arguments-wields those tactics to serious, sometimes disarmingly earnest ends…. Entirely self-produced, Veteran is a remarkable exercise in sound and texture.” – PITCHFORK
JPEG was born in New York to Jamaican parents and currently resides in Los Angeles while building a name for himself in Baltimore/Maryland. Even with his Baltimore acclaim, he doesn’t prescribe to the growing Baltimore sound because his writing and delivery shift and adapt and breakneck speeds. In his latest offering ‘Millennium’, JPEG takes on Backstreet Boys’ classic, ‘I Want It That Way’, delivering half remix/half cover with smooth lyricism and an eclectic production. The song introduces itself as “easy listening” because of its mellow style but the add-libs and humor-laced critique speak to JPEG’s eccentric and multi-faceted approach to production.
JPEG will embark on The Reverse Christopher Columbus Tour this Fall in support of his fourth studio album Veteran. The 22-date tour will kick off on August 29th in Vancouver after he takes the stage at AFROPUNK BROOKLYN on August 25th.