JPEGMAFIA - All My Heroes Are Cornballs
Sep 13, 2019 (updated Sep 13, 2019)
63
DAMN PEGGY, was I supposed to be disappointed with this? Instructions unclear, accidentally married Morrissey in the Chapel O' Love.

JPEGMAFIA's latest full-length studio album, following his major breakout project, Veteran, is a step in a very interesting direction to say the least.

If there's one thing I appreciate about Hendricks' music up until this point, is just how unpredictable the man is while still keeping an engaging album experience. JPEGMAFIA is genuinely one of the most entertaining musical acts in recent hip hop history, and it's mostly thanks to how inventive, off the wall and abstract his music has been ever since "I Might Vote For Donald Trump".

All My Heroes Are Cornballs is a sonic change-up following Veteran, but it isn't a stylistic change. It's an album that follows the Veteran flow and formula, just with a less centered sonic direction.

If there's two ways I can describe and present this album, here's how I'd sum it up:

Exhibit A: Hip Hop Origami

Origami, the art of paper folding. A simple form of art and expression. Imagine having a piece of dog origami in front of you. With just a couple of technical folds, you can change that picture into a bird. You didn't change the paper you were using, but you managed to transform one picture into a different one.

All My Heroes Are Cornballs takes advantage of its incohesive and unstructured format by exploring many different corners and elements of hip hop, while also being its own unique style. Veteran was very similar, but on this album, there are more pop and alternative rnb influences. The sound is a fair bit more toned down and less aggressive. The production is sometimes stunning, but is also abrasive and bombastic. It follows a similar blueprint to Veteran, just that the sound is different. It's about the same tracklist and most of the songs are short and to-the-point.

Exhibit B: Abstract Expressionism

Abstract Expressionism in art has no limits or boundaries. There is theoretically nothing dictating the art, just the artist itself. Veteran and All My Heroes Are Cornballs share this one trait, because while there isn't much tying most of the tracks together, it also doesn't feel like a complete mess. They're still very enjoyable, commendable hip hop projects. It does what it wants, and rarely feels forced.

Sometimes you look into a painting and all you may see is just strands of colors, completely disorganized without an actual concept. Even though the picture is a complete mess, the colors somehow blend together nicely and you find it mesmerizing.All My Heroes Are Cornballs takes the Veteran form of shitposting to another level. Peggy takes the album's sound to a much less dictated and unpredictable direction.

So overall, there is a lot to appreciate about All My Heroes Are Cornballs and JPEGMAFIA's discography up until this point. There are certainly some very pleasant and impressive unique sounds.It is a very enjoyable and pretty exciting album to return to, but I will admit, it is not the most consistent. The "I don't give a shit" attitude of this album does come back to bite itself in the end. There are many different, stunning sounds, but occasionally, some ideas do fall a bit short than others. There are amazing songs and mediocre ones. It's intentionally a mess of an album, but not always in a good way.

It may be new, but this album isn't nearly as memorable as Veteran. Immersive, but less punchy and in-your-face. More free-flowing production, but less of a sense of direction. The use of autotune is great, but becomes gimmicky after a while. The production on the latter half can feel redundant and too repetitive for those seeking the Veteran sound. Great lo-fi, glitchy aesthetic for most of the tracks, but there are a few moments where it goes under-utilized, half-baked or simply ignored.

Experimental for the sake of being experimental, and the result is fairly solid. Certainly an interesting direction, but not always consistently great or charming.

FAV TRACKS: Jesus Forgive Me, I Am A Thot; Kenan vs. Kel; Beta Male Strategies; PTSD; Rap Grow Old & Die x No Child Left Behind; All My Heroes Are Cornballs; Prone!; Free The Frail; Dots Freestyle Remix

LEAST FAV TRACKS: Grimy Waifu, Thot Tactics
5 Comments
Sep 13, 2019
I love your explanations on the similarity to Veteran!
Sep 13, 2019
I like this review a lot, very well worded. Your review for 1000 gecs is how I feel about this album personally though.
Sep 13, 2019
A very well thought out review, as always.
Sep 14, 2019
Good review. Grimy Waifu least Fav. track though???????
Sep 14, 2019
@marmaladejacket Yeah, I get why this album is probably not your cup of tea. It is admittedly a mess.

@ShawWow I really didn't like Grimy Waifu. Thought it was a painfully forgettable, redundant track. :/
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