Peep This Joint: JPEGMAFIA – All My Heroes Are Cornballs Album Review

All My Heroes are Cornballs marks a shift from Baltimore rapper JPEGMAFIA’s signature visceral sound as his latest project trades his aggressive energy for more melodic flows.

This project is JPEGMAFIA’s third studio album after the critically acclaimed Veteran which received much applause from critics for its off-kilter production and politically charged lyrical content. Despite the surprising incorporation of singing and more melodic content on All My Heroes, JPEGMAFIA successfully expands his artistry by including more vulnerable lyrics concerning his newfound success and utilizing new melodies that aren’t as prominent in his discography. 

For those new to JPEGMAFIA, he is a rap artist hailing from Baltimore best known for his experimental sound that includes glitchy production with brash lyrics and provocative song titles. Take the song “I Cannot Fucking Wait Til Morrissey Dies” from Veteran, which addresses singer Morrissey’s racist controversy with a merch t-shirt of activist James Baldwin. JPEGMAFIA aka “Peggy” has gained a cult-like fanbase with his unapologetic approach to his projects. 

Coming off a successful sophomore effort, Peggy continued his method of producing, mixing and mastering all tracks on his albums. He wrote on his Bandcamp page for All My Heroes that he felt obligated to make a successful album after Veteran’s reception. “This album is really a thank you to my fans tbh,” he wrote. “Veteran was the first time in my life I worked hard on something, and it was reciprocated back to me. This the most ME album I’ve ever made in my life.” 

His focus on creating an album that expresses himself fully turned up successful with this project where he reveals more aspects of his identity than what we were initially exposed to in his past discography. Right off the bat, the projects opens with “Jesus Forgive Me, I Am A Thot” where Peggy spits defiant bars over a sparsely-filled instrumental. He ramps up this aggressive energy at the end of each verse with a booming bass that’s very reminiscent of his past work until the chorus hits. A quick juxtaposition fills the listener’s ears as Peggy switches from yelling to auto-tuned crooning over a seamless beat switch. This shift to more melodic singing isn’t new to fans of Peggy, but is a more prominent aspect of this project compared to his previous work. 

The song, “Kenan Vs. Kel” highlights this shift where Peggy croons in auto-tune, “I don’t know this,” as he laments over his nervousness in having more well-known artists wanting to feature on his songs. This vulnerability in dealing with his new-found success is expressed as Peggy asks in the chorus, “How we gon’ make this work?/ But like, how can I make a good beat?” His vulnerability in this song signifies a change in his image from a defiant, “in your face” type of rapper to a more introspective and sensitive individual struggling with fame and success. 

Despite the shift, JPEGMAFIA still remains true to the confrontational and brash nature of his lyrics that many fans associate him with some of his other works on this album. Take the song, “Beta Male Strategies” for example, where he addresses keyboard warriors who criticize vehemently online yet hide behind internet anonymity. In this song, Peggy spits, “Say what you said on Twitter right now/ You only brave with a board and a mouse,” and leaves them with a warning, “Don’t get capped by a n‐‐a in a muhfuckin’ gown.” The song title itself also bolsters his bashfulness as he refers to these keyboard warriors as beta males. Songs such as this are familiar territory for JPEGMAFIA fans and remind listeners that despite his vulnerability in his latest work, he is still as loud and abrasive as ever.

If you’re a fan of JPEGMAFIA and haven’t listened to this project yet, you should definitely give this record a spin. Some songs that I recommend checking out are: “Jesus, Forgive Me, I Am A Thot”, “Grimy Waifu”, and “Free the Frail”. Overall, the inclusion of more melodic content that starkly differs from JPEGMAFIA’s past work marks a significant growth in his art and helps elevate his status as an up-and-coming rapper.

Peep this joint if you haven’t already!

Rating: 7.5 / 10 

Written by: Johann Oribello

Soundtrack to Dating: Best and Worst Date Stories

Soundtrack to Dating

Sound serves as one of the most important aspects to memory. In particular, songs help mark memorable moments in our lives, especially when it comes to dating.

The idea of songs and love together isn’t a new one. For as far as we can remember, after we had all started putting our tendrils into the sticky situation otherwise known as love, we would oftentimes ask each other “what’s your song?” Even today, couples put significance on the song most representative of a particular moment within their relationship. A “Soundtrack to Dating” if you will. And sometimes, after the relationship has soured, or after a particularly nasty incident, that song is forever ruined in the person’s mind. With that being said, in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, we asked members of KCR what songs they would include in their soundtrack to dating. Or, more specifically, we asked them what songs represent their best and worst dates, and why. Below are their stories.

The Best of the Soundtrack to Dating:

The Sound – The 1975

This song takes me back to my high school days, driving around downtown Seattle with my friends. The 1975 connected me with friends that I will have for a lifetime, and every time I re-listen to their first album, I am transported to my grunge days in the rainy city. This song, however, is off their second album and I will always remember the first time I heard it. I won a concert through a local radio station to meet the entire band, ask them questions, and hear a preview of their second album. As I sat next to my best friend (whom I had met at the very first 1975 concert), with the band sitting directly in front of me, I remember feeling euphoric in ways I can’t describe.

-Brittany Roache

Cherry Wine – Born Ruffians

This song takes me back to hanging out in my boyfriend’s bedroom, staring into each other’s eyes. I’m so serious. We do that sometimes. No talking, just staring. Uber romantic. 10/10 would recommend. And this is the perfect background song when you want to feel young and in love, but not sappy and tender.

-Monica Vigil

In My Dreams – Kali Uchis

I went on a date with a close friend of mine and while we did not end up dating, it felt like such a perfect date with no problems. This song comes to mind whenever I look back at how nice it felt having that date & remembering the friendship I have with that person now.

-Sofia Gomez

Baby I’m Bleeding – JPEGMAFIA

Okay, this one is a bit unconventional, so bear with me. One of my favorite dates was with someone who I never saw again. We met up for tacos and it felt like we really hit it off. As I’m walking her to her car, we decide let’s go to Target “for fun.” And so, we raced each other to the closest Target (for the sake of integrity, I’ll just say that I won), and then explored. After we finished, I jokingly said, “you know there’s more than one Target we can go to.” We drove probably 15 miles going to three different Targets, just wandering around and laughing. When we finally tired of that, I suggested tea from a place I loved. Unfortunately, I forgot the name of the spot, and took us to a spot I’d never been before. The tea was good at least, and we spent another couple hours talking. Afterwards, we decided to walk around. I revealed that I like to (badly) rap/sing, and for whatever reason, chose this song to demonstrate to her. I don’t think she was impressed, but I at least had the decency to censor myself throughout. She (a very pasty white girl), on the other hand, didn’t have that same filter, and instead dropped the N-word a couple of times in whatever song she decided to sing. When I kissed her goodbye, that was it. No sparks, no chemistry. It was awkward, and we never saw each other again. But in all honesty, ignoring that random act of racism and just lackluster ending, the rest of that date was really nice.

-Peter Swan

The Worst of the Soundtrack to Dating:

Cocaine – FIDLAR

The worst date I’ve ever been on was a second date that occurred two months after the first. Maybe that should’ve been a red flag. It started off okay at a karaoke bar in North Park, so we decided to head down the street to Coin Op. As we sat among the retro arcade games, things began to rapidly deteriorate. It all stemmed from me jokingly calling myself boring. That’s when he asked if I wanted to do cocaine. At Coin Op. On a Tuesday. I declined and it was all downhill from there. He said I seemed like the cliché of a girl who needs to get out of her shell. He said I should act more interested in people if I want to be interesting. He said it didn’t seem like I was having a good time. Shockingly, I wasn’t having a good time. Despite all of this mildly traumatizing psychoanalysis, I stuck around and even let him drive me home. Sometimes you just don’t want to pay for a Lyft.

-Andrea Renney

The Climb Miley Cyrus

I went hiking with a guy and it was a very intense hike. I was out of breath the whole time and it was almost impossible to keep a conversation, so I associate that song with that date.

-Nina Capuani

Paralyzer – Finger Eleven

If there is one piece of advice you take from this piece of modern literature, it’s to NEVER date a girl who works at a Harley Davidson dealership. About a year ago I was in a relationship with one of these aforementioned dames and on this particular occasion she decided to invite me to a party at her work. I was really excited at the time because I thought it would be a great chance to meet some of the people who were close to her, but as I was soon to find out, these were not the kind of people I was going to be fond of. Due to the nature of the dealership, the party was filled to the brim with biker gangs who all found my girlfriend pretty attractive. While this is usually a positive scenario, it seems to me that being in a gang sort of means the boundaries of being a decent human being get a bit blurry. The whole night I was walking around with my date, these kind gentlemen would stop by to slap her ass and flirt with her, right in front of me, the worst part being she was laughing and flirting back all the while. I even brought up to her how strange it all was and she said this behavior was commonplace at Harley parties. She had a great time. I did not. Worst date ever.

-Anonymous

Just a Friend – Biz Markie

We had only been on a few dates, but just by hearing the title of the song, you can probably guess where our relationship headed. The way the song is performed through vocals and instrumental as well as the lyrics brings me back exactly to when I hung out with this girl before and during college. Meanwhile, the chorus of the song is something I, and likely many others, can chant for days. Because of how relatable this song is, and how well performed it is, this remains one of my favorite songs to this day, even if it reminds me of a really lame time in my life.

-Christian Scognamillo

Kiss Me Thru the Phone – Soulja Boy

Once I was on a date at a bar with a guy I thought was too straight laced and boring, like a bran muffin in human form. And then this song came on and he said “oh this is that song by super boy.” SUPER BOY! Needless to say, I got out of there ASAP.

-Sarah Anderson

4 Your Eyez Only – J Cole

I know this is cheating but I once had sex to J Cole’s “4 Your Eyez Only” album. I was given the options of that or Led Zepplin (I love led Zepplin and I was not trying sully that love) so I chose J Cole. That was the one and only time I ever listened to that album. The only good thing I could say about that album is that it lasted longer than the guy, but trust me, before I left the album hadn’t finished, and neither had I.

-Julie Cappiello

Written by: Peter Swan