When I first heard about this collaboration between Danny Brown and JPEGMAFIA, I became super intrigued and excited. Danny Brown and JPEGMAFIA have been two of the most interesting and exciting alternative Hip Hop artists to emerge in the last 10-15 years. They are not the kind of Hip Hop artists that casual Hip Hop fans or people who are mainly fans of Trap music would necessarily know. Hip Hop heads and other Hip Hop artists tend to adore these two, but neither has ever been considered mainstream. Danny Brown and JPEGMAFIA have always been very eccentric and innovative in their music. Everything about their respective sounds has always stood out. From their off-the-wall instrumentals to their intense lyricism to their wild and ever-fluctuating vocal styles, there is no one that either of these two Hip Hop artists can be compared to. Considering how unordinary these two are when they rap on their solo projects, it is safe to assume there will be nothing like this new project from these two together(and I mean that in the best way). Here is how I feel about JPEGMAFIA & Danny Brown’s new record SCARING THE HOES. Please let me know in the comments below how you feel about this record, and also comment on what your favorite songs from the record are.
As one would imagine, Danny Brown and JPEGMAFIA get this record started on a wild note with the song ‘Lean Beef Patty.’ This song samples the classic track ‘I Need A Girl Pt. 2’ by Diddy and friends. This sample is so pitched up, though, that it is hard to tell that ‘I Need A Girl Pt. 2’ is the track that is sampled. The beat and melody for this track is constantly changing. It is amazing how such a short song can have so many tempos and tones. On this track, JPEGMAFIA and Danny Brown both match the intensity of the instrumental with their rapping styles. They both rap with a great amount of eccentricity which adds to the feeling of the track. On his verse, JPEGMAFIA is rapping about the downfall of Twitter since Elon Musk took over and how easy it is to get cancelled online. Danny Brown raps about getting high and how he can steal your girl when he wants to. ‘Steppa Pig’ is like Hyperpop meets Alt-Metal Hip Hop. The instrumental for this song is like if Death Grips and and 100 Gecs produced a song together. This song takes a sample from the song ‘Gone’ by *NSync. This sample is put over and abrasive Industrial Beat. Normally, I would think this kind of instrumental would b ridiculous if someone just told me about it. It is honestly mixed very well, though, and sounds as natural as it possibly can. The vocals from ‘Gone’ sound pretty cool over the weird distorted synths that make up the songs melody and the bold drums that make up the beat. The beat loses intensity as it fades out in the end, giving the song a nice outro. Danny Brown’s vocal performance is high-pitched and eccentric on this track, ad JPEGMAFIA’s performance is calmer and more reserved. On this track, Danny Brown is rapping about how he came up on his own and can feel lonely in the industry, and JPEGMAFIA is calling out all of the posers in the Hip Hop industry. ‘SCARING THE HOES’ has one of the craziest Jazz Hip Hop beats anyone will ever make. This track is driven by a melody provided by an out-of-tune saxophone. This melody is put over a buzzing bassline and some audacious Drums that almost have a Punk feeling to them. The vocal delivery on this song from both Danny Brown and JPEGMAFIA is a bit subdued compared to the instrumental(until JPEGMAFIA yells the outro). I enjoy this kind of delivery on this track, because if the vocals were overly fierce I feel like it would make the song a bit too harsh. On ‘SCARING THE HOES,’ Danny Brown and JPEGMAFIA are singing about how they prefer to make experimental and weird music that they enjoy as opposed to making music specifically for women and for clubs like a lot of other artists do. ‘GARBAGE PALE KIDS’ is the most abrasive and intense song on the album to this point. This is the first track on the record that truly incorporates Rock music. There are sections of the song where it is driven by the melody of a Hard Rock guitar riff. There are other sections of the song, however, where the instrumental is driven by weird chanting that is editing to almost sound like a door squeaking. Both Danny Brown and JPEGMAFIA basically yell their verses on this track, which does match up with the energy of the track. On this track, Danny Brown and JPEGMAFIA are calling out other people in the Hip Hop industry for not being about what they say they are about and for not taking Rap seriously.
‘Fentanyl Tester’ is probably the calmest song on the record to this point. This song samples ‘Milkshake’ by Kelis and interpolates ‘It Takes Two’ by Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock. The beat for this track is not nearly as brash and intense as the first tracks were. The melody of this track is driven by that ‘Milkshake’ sample, and the beat fluctuates back and forth from having an underground Trap sound and a Garage music sound. I like how the beat keeps changing tempos, as it gives the song life. Danny Brown and JPEGMAFIA’s vocal performances on this track are somewhat subdued. They toned down the aggressiveness for this one. On ‘Fentanyl Tester,’ JPEGMAFIA Danny Brown rap about how they feel about their haters. Following the “calmest song on the record to this point is the one that has the most “normal” Hip Hop sound, ‘Burfict!’ is driven by a distorted Trap instrumental and a melody made up of blaring and glorious-sounding horns. The energy that this instrumental has reminds me a lot of some of the Trap that was popular in the early 2010s. When I hear this track, I think of some of the older tracks from Rick Ross, Meek Mill, or Birdman. Danny Brown and JPEGMAFIA both rap in a ferocious and triumphant manner that matches the instrumental perfectly. On ‘Burfict!,’ these two are rapping about fighting for what you deserve and coming out on top. ‘Shut Yo Bitch Ass Up / Muddy Waters’ is a two-part track, with the first half being performed by Danny Brown and the second half being performed by JPEGMAFIA. ‘Shut Yo Bitch Ass Up’ has an Industrial Hip Hop sound that has a bit of a Hyperpop feeling to it as well. It is driven by coarse drums that have a sound that reminds me of the kind of horns that play during some sort of horrific emergency in a nuclear facility. It is not the most pleasant sound, but it does get the blood flowing and induce energy in the listener. The track has a weird melody provided by synths that once again has a sound that is reminiscent of 100 gecs’ music. Danny Brown’s performance is not as eccentric as usual on this one, but that is okay because the instrumental provides the energy the song needs. On ‘Shut Yo Bitch Ass Up,’ Danny Brown raps about how he came from the trenches and is now on top. The second half of the song, ‘Muddy Waters,’ has a completely different sound from the first half. The best way I can describe this instrumental is that it sounds like a futuristic Hyperpop version of 90s West Coast Hip Hop music. The melody and beat have G-Funk feeling, but the instrumental is so distorted that it sounds like it comes from a different world. JPEGMAFIA raps with an old-school West-Coast flow that feels inspired by artists like Tupac or Snoop Dogg. His vocal performance is perfect for this instrumental. On ‘Muddy Waters,’ JPEGMAFIA is rapping about how speaking the truth can end up getting you in trouble because people do not always want to hear it.
If someone were to play me one of the first seven tracks on this record and then play me ‘Orange Juice Jones,’ I would never be able to guess that they are from the same project. This song sounds nothing like anything on this record before it. Even the more tame songs like ‘Fentanyl Tester’ or ‘Burfict!’ have a lot more intense and harsh sounds than this track does. This track samples ‘Dear Michael’ by Michael Jackson and ‘Just Dance’ by Lady Gaga. The result is a sexy and sultry classic-sounding R&B track that makes me think of the 90s. I could literally see someone like Ginuwine or Mario singing on this instrumental. Apart from some random sound effects sprinkled into the mix, this track is very vanilla. After how crazy has been before this, the break up in intensity we get from ‘Orange Juice Jones’ is nice. Both Danny Brown and JPEGMAFIA rap with a subdued and smooth flow and vocal style that goes well with the instrumental. On ‘Orange Juice Jones,’ these two are rapping about getting fucked up and making love to a lucky woman. ‘Kingdom Hearts Key,’ which features redveil, once again has a lot more of a calm sound than the first several tracks of the record. It is not exactly as serene as the song that precedes it, but ‘Kingdom Hearts Key’ is still a relatively tranquil Cloud-Trap track. ‘Kingdom Hearts Key’ is driven by its melody, which is provided by a sample from Japanese singer Maaya Sakamoto’s 1996 single “Yakusoku wa iranai.’ The way the drums are arranged on this track does have a bit of an awkward and harsh sound, which I appreciate because they give the song texture. Danny Brown and JPEGMAFIA rap with a vocal style and tone that go well with the instrumental, but the real stand-out performance is from redveil. He raps with a lower tone and a gruff nature that provides a stellar contrast to the vocals from Danny Brown and JPEGMAFIA. On ‘Kingdom Hearts Key,’ Danny Brown and JPEGMAFIA rap about their climbs to the top of the game and how they are starting to get old, and redveil raps about how he is one of the next ones up. Based on the sound of the track, ‘God Loves You’ is an aptly named song. The melody for this one is driven by a hymn sung by a Gospel choir which is put over a distorted Trap beat. The juxtaposition between the melody and the beat is pretty funny, and oddly enough it works out well; the song does not sound as weird or silly as one might expect it to sound based on this description. I actually relly enjoy how the drums are mixed over this melody, as they give the song so much liveliness. Danny Brown and JPEGMAFIA lay back on the intensity of their deliveries on this one; the softer nature that they are rapping with sound very nice on this instrumental. On ‘God Loves You,’ Danny Brown are singing about sex so good that it feels Godly. ‘Run The Jewels’ is a brief song that packs a hell of a punch. It is amazing how a song is only one minute long can be so impactful and complex. In the first half the song, JPEGMAFIA raps over an experimental Jazz instrumental. JPEGMAFIA raps with a brutality and aggression that is great for the first part of this song. In the second half of the song, Danny Brown over a fast-paced Funk instrumental that has a distortion element to the mix that makes it pop. Danny Brown raps with a silky smooth quality that sounds awesome over his section of the track. On ‘Run The Jewels,’ these two are rapping about how they know they are two of the top rappers in the game today.
‘Jack Harlow Combo Meal’ is one of the weirdest sounding songs on the record, which is obviously saying alot. To say this instrumental is complex is an understatement. The track starts out with Danny Brown rapping over and off-kilter Jazzy Piano Riff that is put over a coarse and highly distorted Garage beat. About halfway through the song, the beat changes, taking on a slow Trap sound; this is where JPEGMAFIA starts rapping. After about 20 secs, the beat fades out and JPEGMAFIA starts singing over the melody with heavy autotune. About 20 seconds later, the Trap beat comes back in, and JPEGMAFIA starts shout-rapping over the instrumental for the rest of the song. On this track, Danny Brown and JPEGMAFIA rapping about how they got rich without losing their integrity or selling out. ‘HOE(Heaven On Earth’ tones the intensity back down about one hundred notches. This is another one of the more “normal” sounding songs on the album. ‘HOE(Heaven On Earth’ takes a highly edited Gospel vocal and melody and puts them over an old-school and subdued Hip Hop beat. About 60% of the way throught the song, the Danny Brown and JPEGMAFIA stop rapping, and a woman’s sweet and lovely vocals sing a Gospel hymn over the instrumental. When they do rap in this song, Danny Brown and JPEGMAFIA rap in a toned down nature that is good for this instrumental. On ‘HOE(Heaven On Earth), JPEGMAFIA raps about his how much he adores his girl, and Danny Brown raps about how God is not always there when you need him the most. I assumed that Danny Brown and JPEGMAFIA would end this record with a bang, and they definitely did that with the song ‘Where Ya Get Ya Coke From?’ This instrumental keeps switching back and forth from an enormous and fierce experimental Jazzy Hip Hop instrumental and a sparse Hip Hop beat solely provided by some drums. To be honest, this does make the vocal performances sound kind of strange, because they get drowned out during the Jazz Hip Hop parts of the instrumental and sound extra intense over the sparse parts of the instrumental. On ‘Where Ya Get Ya Coke From?,’ Danny Brown and JPEGMAFIA are singing about getting fucked up and getting money in any way possible. I am going to be totally honest, I do not know how I feel about this track; all I can really say is that it is strange. It does end the album with and intense crescendo, which I am guessing was the goal of the song.
On SCARING THE HOES, JPEGMAFIA & Danny Brown did exaclty what I think most fans of them would have them expected to do. I will say, this record is definitely not for everyone. If you are not into strange, radical music, I do not know if there is much for you on this album. There are a couple of more traditional sounding songs, but for the most part, this record bounces off the walls and is all over the place. The rapping performances from both Danny Brown and JPEGMAFIA on this song are excellent. Their verses are full of wit and expression; if you are a fan of lyrics that are full of incredible metaphors, you should love the rap performances on this record(regardless on how you feel about the instrumentals). SCARING THE HOES is a crazy record that pushes the boundaries of Hip Hop in ways that most people would never expect them to be pushed. SCARING THE HOES proves that JPEGMAFIA & Danny Brown are two of the most talented and interesting Hip Hop artists in the game right now.