All My Heroes Are Cornballs by JPEGMAFIA

JPEGMAFIA aka rapper Barrington DeVaughn Hendricks. All My Heroes Are Cornballs is his third album. It follows the critically acclaimed Veteran (2018). The album is experimental hip-hop taking in influences from glitch, ambient, industrial and noise music. It even finds the Baltimore-based rapper screaming, when rapping or singing just won’t cut it. 

Vinyl Double LP £24.99 2812118685

2LP on EQT Recordings.

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All My Heroes Are Cornballs by JPEGMAFIA
1 review. Write a review for us »
9/10 Fred MG 27 February 2020

JPEGMAFIA’s music is at once immediately intelligible to anyone who lurks feeds and also turns away, smirking, from easy interpretation. Like its predecessor ‘Veteran’, ‘All My Heroes Are Cornballs’ is an album full of chaos, noise and discord yet one also levied by humour. It’s this atmosphere that gives a pass to edgelord bars like ‘One shot turn Steve Bannon into Steve Hawking’ - these are words drifting through Peggy’s conscious, soon to be sluiced away when he clicks to the next tab. Indeed, the authorial voice is chameleonic here, with the rapper constantly swapping genders, perspectives and invectives.

This thing can be disorienting at 18 tracks. That’s the point. It’s best to ride the album as a whole, holding the rail tight as Peggy’s vocals and production lurch from chesty bellow to petty croon to whatever the hell else. Danny Brown is often invoked as a point of comparison for JPEGMAFIA, and there is certainly both Brown’s mania and his voracious genre-munching to ‘All My Heroes Are Cornballs’. Industrial hip-hop is as much ethos as style here, with Peggy just as likely to launch into sonorous a cover of Wayne Wonder’s ‘No Letting Go’ as he is to shred his throat with bellowed bars.

More than on ‘Veteran’ one gets the sense here that Peggy wants beauty to be a ball in play - check the unearthly chord progressions that suddenly appear at the front of the mix on tracks like ‘PTSD’. ‘Free The Frail’ largely ditches the pisstake, with JPEGMAFIA playing down his clowning to deliver a lovely neo-soul/rap tune, the sort of thing that Yves Tumor moved towards on ‘Safe In The Hands Of Love’ but with added street-savvy and a more concertedly ‘anti-’ ethos.

'All My Heroes Are Cornballs' is productively bitter, ironic yet sincere, erratic yet focussed. No-one is blamed; everyone is blamed.



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