LP! is JPEGMAFIA’s most unique collection of tracks
JPEGMAFIA is back with his second release in 2021 with LP!, following up the release of EP2!, a tight seven-track EP that dropped in February. When I think of unique artists in hip hop, artists that push boundaries and explore sounds that go beyond the imaginable, JPEGMAFIA is one of the first names that comes to mind. One of the most intricate figures in the game, he is a true pioneer in the new experimental hip hop universe.
LP! is not as abrasive and rough as Veteran and All My Heroes Are Cornballs are, but it’s definitely more experimental in the sense that he’s trying so many new things on this record.
LP! is filled with unexpected production choices, but it’s to the record’s benefit. You never know what’s coming next and that is what makes it such a special listening experience. One example of this is the heavy metal type beat with tons of echo in his voice like on “END CREDITS!” More surprisingly is the homage to Britney Spears’ “…Baby One More Time” that sees him crooning parts of the chorus with his voice being submerged in autotune on “THOT’S PRAYER!” you never know what direction he’s going in, which makes every track its own unpredictable journey.
The mixing of vocals on LP! is one of the most impressive parts of this album. An average listener may not catch it at a first listen, but it becomes evident when paying close attention. JPEGMAFIA’s voice is constantly changing throughout the album. Sometimes he screams and sounds as aggressive as ever, other times he will simply rap with an inexplicable quirky effect on his voice like on songs like “ARE YOU HAPPY?,” or on moments of “THE GHOST OF RANKING DREAD.” He will always manage to make it sound appealing and interesting.
While not super focused in terms of themes and lyricism, LP! contains a handful of clever one-liners. Bars like “And we got straps as big as Dugg in my apartment,” referring to the 5”1 rapper 42 Dugg on “SICK, NERVOUS & BROKE!” or “I might just ghostwrite a hit” on “NEMO!” are both showcasing JPEGMAFIA’s witty sense of humour.
The track sequencing on this album is also off the charts, with most of the songs having a bit of a random beat switch. Yet JPEGMAFIA always finds a way for it to make sense, something mostly attributed to his attention to every little detail and irreproachable work ethic. Despite the tracks sounding different from one another, they all flow pretty well together.
LP! is a mind-boggling, all over the place experience, but it’s the work of a true genius and no other human being could have done this album. JPEGMAFIA once again proves that he truly cannot miss.
Trial Track : “SICK, NERVOUS & BROKE!”
Score : 8/10