Album Review

JPEGMAFIA x Danny Brown - Scaring the Hoes

For a project that could have held unreasonable expectations, it overdelivers time and time again.

JPEGMAFIA x Danny Brown - Scaring the Hoes

“What kind of rapping is this?!” asks JPEGMAFIA early on in opening track ‘Lean Beef Patty’. Answers to that are varied and deep, from the pinnacle of fantasy rap duos to the genreless gnarling hybrid baby of two of the most post-whatever artists walking the planet. As fans of either would know, JPEGMAFIA and Danny Brown represent two of the hardest to pin down musicians around, formless liquid talents filling whatever bizarrely-shaped container they find themselves in. Perhaps the biggest surprise though is somehow when combined their enigmatic profiles interlock perfectly – Danny’s rapping shines over JPEGMAFIA’s unconventional beats while Peggy’s delivery and abstract but all-so perceptive lyricism shines alongside the bombast of Brown’s nasal snarl.

Searing talent finds absolute confidence and with the total absence of rules or constraint the stage is set for an unrelenting exhibition of the most contemporary and dense rap skill that anyone in 2023 might dare to wield. ‘Scaring the Hoes’ is built on an abrasive saxophone line that runs throughout in between the crashes of drums, ‘Fentanyl Tester’ uses chopped vocals from Kelis’ ‘Milkshake’ before Danny Brown arrives for an impossibly urgent drum and bass twist. The album likes hiding a new surprise around each corner and across its 14 tracks never once overstays its welcome. Despite the absolute chaos, the restlessness and the sheer orgy of ideas, it boasts a staggering amount of pure hooks, shoutout lyrics and bar raising wordplays. ‘Burfict!’ and ‘God Loves You’ are likely to get played to oblivion by the time of the end of year lists (which prematurely Danny and Peggy should be troubling).

For a project that could have held unreasonable expectations, it overdelivers time and time again. Both parts of the duo are on their A-game in equal parts and each keeps the other from some of their worse instincts. No meandering, no half-formed experimentalism. So many collaborations come off as charming novelties at best, but these two – they might have just changed the game.

Tags: JPEGMAFIA, Reviews, Album Reviews

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