Most people gave chocolates or flowers for Valentine's Day. JPEGMAFIA gave us the album "Black Ben Carson." A sprawling 22-track release, the album got its premiere over at Vice's music site Noisey, which is great, because it means people outside Baltimore are finally taking notice.
The subjects JPEG covers are as varied as the sources he pulls from for the album's production, but a lot of the topics are telegraphed in the insanely great titles such as 'Drake Era,' 'Digital Blackface,' 'I Just Killed A Cop Now I'm Horny,' and trio of 'Black Ben Carson,' 'Black Steve Austin,' and 'Black Stacey Dash.'
As JPEG tells Noisey, the album is split into two halves:
"Side A is called 'NIGGER': It's hip hop in its rawest form—loud, angry, political, and self-aware. It’s me looking out into the world and seeing all the problems I face as a black man. But instead of getting depressed about the situation, I embrace it. I embrace the fact that every race on the planet looks down on my black ass. And I wear like a badge of honor. It makes horny. It’s me getting shot by the police in the street but instead of signing songs and holding hands. I shoot back."
"Side B is called 'PEGGY': It's basically me thinking out loud. Getting more introspective about my living situation. I’m an artist but I’m also a real person. I have bills like everyone else. I go the same McDonalds that every one else does, and we all pay BGE. So I get in my own head about things sometimes and they come out musically. This is where I separate myself from any other “musician” screaming out vague bullshit and calling it art. On this side I’m speaking about people, places, things that have affected me in the past year that I’ve moved to Baltimore and invite a lot of those people on the record to share their thoughts with me. Musically it's more mellow and calm than the 'NIGGER' side, but the same passion is retained."
Do yourself a favor and listen to the whole thing below:Copyright © 2019, Baltimore City Paper