It is taken from the acid touch and maniacal style that forms over the waves of the Baltimore rapper and producer, JPEGMAFIA. Forming one of the strongest bonds between the visual embodiment and a musical performance, VETERAN is the 2018 release that takes methods of experimentation to a new level. The chemistry set that JPEGMAFIA plays with takes hip-hop and the hardcore basis to a new sudden space that is both off-putting and charming in a similar sense.
The first moments of VETERAN, even when scanning the 19-track illustration comes from the bitter resources of forming an ugly overcoat on the somewhat damaging sounds. It matches well for a Halloween date even after seeing the merciless cold January release. There are moments on VETERAN that hurt physically and then in a sudden instance, the track can change like a butterfly into the final stages of a miraculous metamorphosis. It strings the listener along in this game of both attacker and victim.
From the almost frustrating tracks of “Baby I’m Bleeding” to the comedic “I Cannot Fucking Wait Until Morrissey Dies”, there is something for the hip-hop heads and the electronic noise sets. JPEGMAFIA rises to the challenge of creating something that represents production from the swamps; a highly experimental and volatile combination that somehow people can relate to. It is a mosh pit, it is gasoline torches wrapped in barb wire, VETERAN is as experimental as it gets when coming to terms with the way that music is challenged in a modern sense.
Truly VETERAN is genius, the workings of a criminal mastermind who can shift and blend the emotional stance with a new tendency. Almost without fail; JPEGMAFIA marches along this war path that feels more as a descent into madness, taking the listener with him on this ride into trauma through sound. It is audible to hear what could only be considered as genre-lacking and directionless noise with tracks “Germs” or “Rainbow Six” which acts more as interludes with these booming instrumentals placed in-between. These types of tracks flood into VETERAN and form the backbone of some of the more highlighted tracks that rely on the production to succeed. JPEGMAFIA’s voice is for the most part a rambling mess that forms well over the similar production.
These styles that take some time to adapt with are progressive in a sense and rely more on the listener than the performer. The open-mindedness that is required from VETERAN takes moments to understand and multiple attempts to comprehend all that JPEGMAFIA throws around. The solid release is actually quite murky at first approach and relies on the faith of hunkering down, keeping open ears, and praying that JPEGMAFIA keeps creating as long as he can.
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