Last Week in Music: "HAZARD DUTY PAY!" - JPEGMAFIA

Last week, fashion icon and musical wizard JPEGMAFIA dropped his most recent single — “HAZARD DUTY PAY!” — before his upcoming album LP!. In the eleventh edition of Last Week in Music, Marty Gross and Finn Askin of The Spins podcast discuss Peggy’s phenomenal track and excitement for the new album.

Did you like the track?

Marty: I have no idea if I am biased or not, but I just simply love everything that he comes in touch with. Everything he touches turns into a nuanced and unique way of displaying instruments or vocal manipulations. “HAZARD DUTY PAY!” is the definition of creative confidence and beautiful musical distortion. I mean, what is there not to like about this track? To start the track, Peggy carries the song’s momentum in such a smooth and powerful way that the climax’s heart-stopping roar becomes gorgeously deafening. What carries on after is a mass amount of passionate rhetoric and an onslaught of flow changes that encapsulate the listener at every twist and turn. These vocal performances on top of the chopped and masterfully mixed “Ain’t No Need to Worry” Anita Baker sample is just beautiful and a gnarly way to intermix old school hip-hop and new experimental rap.

Finn: As Marty discussed in his blurb, I can confidently say that I have thoroughly enjoyed every piece from JPEGMAFIA since I first heard him in September of 2020. Peggy’s sampling choices remain perfect as he perfectly pops off over an emphatic Anita Baker track. Baker discusses that, “sometimes we feel pain,” while Peggy’s usual choppy claps and chimes seamlessly mesh with Peggy’s unbelievable lyrical rendition. Peggy has never been someone to fake their way through the music industry, and he proves that when he screams, “PEGGY THE GOAT” and echoes, “I feel like The Dream, I keep scoring,” a few lines prior. This song was no exception to Peggy’s greatness.

What about the music video?

Marty: It seems like these two pieces of art were made simply to coexist with each other rather than to be two separate entities. I thoroughly enjoy when a music video and musical direction travel on the same path, and JPEGMAFIA and director Anthony Sylvester’s combined vision is a perfect representation of this idea. I adore the Speed Racer jumpsuit combined with a Mortal Kombat character intro aesthetic. I never thought that in my life I would have seen this crossover, but Peggy never ceases to amaze me. I think that ever since Peggy has referred to himself in the third-person and started using a VHS-style camera to record music videos and vlogs, his artistry has evolved immensely; slowly but surely creating its own luminous organism.

Finn: Aimless walking, galloping, and running around erratically like a broken helicopter — these actions in addition to the perfectly crafted montage of Peggy’s wildness kept me infatuated till the end of the video. JPEGMAFIA doing JPEGMAFIA things behind a yellow sepia tint made me feel like I was watching an early 2000s sitcom about a young man doing whatever the fuck he wants. What wasn’t there to love? I'm excited to see this video and others in Peggy’s non-streaming-platform version of the album; he said these songs will be put into a YouTube collection when the album comes out.

Are you excited for the album?

Marty: Is the Pope Catholic? I think he could drop a thirty-second snippet and I would be spamming my feed with irrational comments filled with recency bias. I really love the name LP! as well pretty much saying that he could drop anything with no title and it still will be great. EP! And EP2! have really grown on me over the past few months, and All My Heroes Are Cornballs and Veteran are some of my favorite projects of all-time. It will definitely take a few listens, but best believe that I will be bumping it until I see him live!

Finn: JPEGMAFIA’s LP! will be the first new album drop I’ve heard from the young legend, and god damnit, am I HYPE! It's been nearly two years since we've gotten a full-length Peggy project, and I am hungry to hear anything that starts with the coveted tagline: “you think you know me.” All My Heroes Are Cornballs was my most listened-to album in 2020. It contained three of my top five songs listened to in 2020, as well. Peggy will be on repeat until LP! drops — and then forever after that.