The music of JPEGMAFIA is a full-body experience. The aggressive, stuttering production all comes from the artist born Barrington Hendricks—he's handled production and vocals for a while, and made the jump to self-mixing and mastering for his latest album, the ground-breaking Veteran.
The album is a new leaf for JPEG (a.k.a. Peggy). It takes cues from his past experiences in rap and punk, adding production that is at turns melodic and catchy, before descending back into the depths of screams and distortion (see: "1539 N. Calvert" transitioning to "Real Nega").
He was originally inspired by Diplomatic Immunity, but could be identified as an early incarnation of the SoundCloud rap dominating charts today. "There's no right or wrong way to do things," he says, "and I think a lot of the SoundCloud rappers with their DIY music are proving that to be true. Their mixes all sound like ass. And they're all great."
We joined forces at VR World, a new storefront near Times Square that boasts a myriad of interactive gaming experiences. There are exercise VR machines, VR machines that test balance, reflexes, and basic shoot-em-up games. It's a little overwhelming, but it seemed an appropriate place for someone who describes themselves as "a product of the internet," even if Peggy freely admitted to not knowing a thing about VR.
Once there, the artist shared his long, intercontinental story. He grew up amidst everyday racism in Alabama, joined the Air Force and spent some formative years in Japan, and is now operating out of Baltimore. The independent streak is fully intact, and the music just keeps getting better. Watch our latest episode of Who Is? above, and listen to Veteran below.