Since the release of his breakout 2018 album Veteran, Baltimore rapper Jpegmafia, often called Peggy by his fans, quickly became one of the most exciting new artists of 2018. With his combination of a uniquely aggressive style, angsty and vulgar lyrics and impossibly polished production it is easy to see why All My Heroes Are Cornballs is one of the most anticipated albums of the year for many new fans. However, with big shoes to fill and a market saturated with stylistically similar rappers, can it live up to the hype?
The album starts with a strange, immersive and grandiose track in Jesus Forgive me, I am A Thot which, despite it’s distasteful title, ends up being one of the best tracks on the album. The beat sounds like Peggy just threw the whole sampler into the washing machine and gave us the rough n tumble, and it sounds great. This discombobulated production, along with some of the most focused and concise rapping on the album, mingle to create a great start to the album. This momentum follows through to the second track Kenan Vs Kel, which is reminiscent of the wacky, industrialized sound we have come to love Peggy for. However, the greatness of these two tracks is a harbinger for bad things to come, as they excel where other songs crash and fail.Despite the immaculate production, this album’s greatness is tainted by a downright neglectful approach to rapping in most of the songs. As I stated previously, this problem isn’t as apparent at the beginning of the album, but it continues to fester and spread slowly to a large portion of the track list. Some songs like Beta Male Strategies and have twinkles of greatness, others like Grimy Waifu, Papi I Missed You and Life’s Hard, Here’s a Song About Sorrel have little at all, but they all are smothered equally under the boot of mediocre to sub-par rapping. In fact, as listeners may have noticed, many of the songs with the most odd and risqué titles are, in fact, the most underdeveloped and unfocused. These tracks seem to fall flat when compared to their shock-factor-leveraging titles.
It’s not all bad though, and it isn’t even mostly bad. There are some MAJOR highlights like the title track, which is a fantastic example of what Peggy can do with a more radio friendly sound. Post Verified Lifestyle has a slow start but ends up being one of the best songs on the album with its sultry, dissonant strings and distorted vocals. There is also Free The Frail, which is reminiscent of more sensitive and introspective rap popularized by artists like Childish Gambino; and seems like the most focused, themed song on the album. Finally, PRONE!, Which is probably my personal favorite track, is pretty much exactly what I wanted from this album. It delivers a hard hitting, out of left field sound that seems like the next logical step from what I loved so much about Veteran.
With many tracks that prove at least satisfactory and many great second verses to prop up long introductions, the overall quality of the tracks on this album is solid. However, Peggy also made the puzzling choice to start half of the songs thirty seconds early in the previous track. This seems like a cool artistic choice at first, but turns irritating, as listeners have to sit through part of an entirely different song before or after the one you actually wanted to hear. This can be particularly dreadful when listening to the album out of order. With all of these ups and downs considered, and proper deductions made for having the word Waifu in the track list, I give it a solid 7/10.
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