JPEGMAFIA’s “All My Heroes Are Cornballs” is a Chaotic Yet Beautiful Masterpiece


JPEGMAFIA at Pitchfork Music Festival 2019 | Photo credit: Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Kingston Cox, Entertainment Writer

After having an explosive 2018 following the release of his second studio album, Veteran, the experimental hip hop artist and self-proclaimed “Left-Wing Hades” JPEGMAFIA, also known as Peggy, returns with his third studio release, entitled All My Heroes Are Cornballs.

The Baltimore rapper, singer, songwriter, producer, and audio engineer teased this LP with two singles and a series of 20-minute-long YouTube videos featuring Peggy alongside fellow musicians, such as Kenny Beats, Injury Reserve, and Denzel Curry, discussing the album and other musical interests they share. The first single, also the first song on the album, was the provocatively titled “Jesus Forgive Me I am a Thot.” The track starts off with a few seconds of what sounds to be a chopped up and distorted sample of a live musical performance and then moves into the light and lo-fi electric guitar harmony that repeats throughout the song. The track sees Peggy doing a little bit of auto-tuned singing on the hook, which actually compliments the track perfectly. Another element of the song which pops up just twice is when, for a bar or two, Peggy’s rapping becomes very aggressive and the drums and bass become more chaotic before quickly regressing back to the main guitar riff. 

The other single, “Beta Male Tactics,” is a laid back and lo-fi banger which sees Peggy addressing anonymous haters on the internet with lyrics such as “Say what you said on Twitter right now // You only brave with the board and mouse.” The beat switch halfway through the song includes a somewhat more aggressive delivery, a thicker bassline, a nasty guitar sample, and the great line of, “Rap been so good to me, I hope it gets me canceled.” 

These songs work very well with the rest of the tracklist, which comes together to create an amazing listening experience. The songs on this album utilize elements of ambient and lo-fi music as well as an industrial hip hop sound in many of his drum choices. Some of my favorites on this album include “Kenan vs. Kel, “Grimy Waifu, “PTSD,” and the title track, “All My Heroes Are Cornballs.” “Kenan vs. Kel” starts off as a mostly chill song with a pleasant melody and mellow drums, but switches the beat halfway through with a menacing and in-your-face guitar sample under one of Peggy’s most high-energy verses on the LP. Another one of my favorites which also includes a beat change is “Rap Grow Old & Die x No Child Left Behind.” This song is one of the many instances on this album where Peggy flexes his singing ability over another distorted lo-fi guitar sample. The first part of the song is somewhat braggadocious, with Peggy saying “Let the kids crown me king for this art,” and “I got booked for Coachella, enemies can’t stay the same.” He also makes the proclamation “I’m the prodigal son.” The beat switch in this song occurs with about 40 seconds left; Peggy goes on to sing the strange lyrics, “Fresh out the womb, now towel // I’m so feeble, I’m evil // Don’t treat me like no child, baby” with an odd watery-sounding effect on his vocals. It makes for a strange but fun outro for the song. 

For this album, I could probably do an analysis of each song and say what I liked about each of them, but at some point it would become redundant. Instead, suffice it to say that I think All My Heroes Are Cornballs is by far one of the best, most adventurous, and most sonically interesting albums to have been released in 2019. Peggy took what he did on Veteran and made it even better. I would say that not only are there no bad songs on this album, but every song is great and masterfully blends and transitions into the next song in order to create a unique listening experience.

My favorite songs: All of them

Score: 10/10