Vinyl Review: "living single" by JPEGMAFIA


After his third studio album released in 2019, JPEGMAFIA took a break from fluid album production and turned toward the release of singles, on singles, on singles. Nine songs, to be exact, have been dropped by the musical mastermind, and god damn: this man cannot miss. My attention, however, turned heavily towards his second to last drop “living single.”



Peggy begins the track by interpolating Mariah Carey’s “Always Be My Baby.” I cannot lie, I was genuinely perplexed by this choice, but I was also delighted that this cover finally made it on an official song (Peggy originally posted this cover on his YouTube channel over the “BasicBitchTearGas” instrumental). The cover depicted a quick look into his mysterious love life. Prior to these singles, Peggy has always refrained from expressing his emotions toward a possible counterpart. However, some have even titled these nine singles as the “How to Build A Relationship EP.”


Onto the bulk of the song. While “Living Single” undoubtedly references his place in romantics, it was more so trying to purport his spot in the world of rap. Peggy has been the sole owner of his music since the day he entered the game; he referenced this in an interview with The Guardian back in 2019: “I don’t have a manager who’s secretly on Interscope. I’m the complete opposite of an industry plant.” He’s been creating music since he was 15, but he never really garnered the attention he deserved until he was 26, after the release of his debut studio album Black Ben Carson. Specifically, lyrics like, “Check my BMI [Broadcast Music Corp], lil' bitch, I am the sole owner,” and, “I need royalties, not loyalties, to fill my quota. They avoiding me, I’m poised to be a rap shogun,” fully portray his feelings on doing everything on his own.



Past the lyrics, Peggy utilizes hard-hitting bass, along with a smooth, almost organ-like synth throughout. Quick and erratic cutsa Peggy stapleflood the track and somehow seamlessly fit the slower-paced flow. The occasional xylophone-esque progression will have you feeling as if you’re about to jump into an episode of Arthur on PBS Kids. This song, although a single, is a wonderful addition to Peggy’s long list of songs featuring top-tier production value.


Enough on the actual song; this record is fully certified as BEAUTIFUL. You could not show me a cleaner, more simplistic 45”. This joint dropped in classic Peggy fashion: out of nowhere. The young man dropped a limited release vinyl at 11:30 P.M... on a Sunday? I got a call from my homie and fellow Burbs writer Marty Gross in an absolute panic urging me to “GO, GO, GO.” Considering I had missed the “BALD! / BALD! REMIX” a few weeks prior, my fingers looked like Usain Bolt as I copped this beauty.



The record itself is cleaner than anything I own. A white vinyl contrasted with a quiet, yet popping cream inner ring. “JPEGMAFIA,” “LIVING SINGLE,” and a small emblem of Peggy stunting in the middle of the street are depicted on the inner ring, as well. The 45” is accompanied by a lovely vinyl sleeve that, on the front, depicts another picture of Peggy stanced up in a cave, while the back has the lyrics to Peggy’s full verse.


VINYL RATING: 10/10


While this record is no longer on the regular market, you can find it on Discog’s resale site for around $50. While very steep, I fully believe that if you love Peggy as much as I do, this record is beyond a must-have for your collection. Regardless of it being one song, I have already had it looping for hours on end.


I hope you all have a wonderful week! As Peggy put it in his hit song “BBW,” “sometimes you just gotta keep it simple.” Thank you.