Often, art is considered the safe space for dangerous ideas. JPEGMAFIA is a reminder that in a dangerous world, sometimes nowhere is safe. Operating out of Baltimore Maryland but born in New York to Jamaican parents, JPEG spent the bulk of his childhood in East Flatbush, Brooklyn – a neighborhood deeply rooted in West Indian culture and black pride – & the majority of his mid teens in deep south rural Alabama – bouncing from place to place due to rough circumstances at home & after a short stint in prison due to a racially-charged altercation in his late teens, JPEG joined the military where he’d be deployed to different parts of the world, meeting fellow artists and adding new elements to his producing and rapping repertoire.
If trap music is the sound of the street, then JPEGMAFIA is trap’s subconscious; dark but not without a humor that makes things even more uncomfortable. His role as villain or satirist, hood protector or nihilist is intentionally hard to put one’s finger on. What more appropriate way to embody the frightening and confusing reality of America today?
JPEGMAFIA’s lo-fi approach, political lyrics, ethereal noisy beats and genuine roots in the underground scene are refreshingly visceral & have made him one of the hottest, relevant & important rappers in the country. His work has been covered by Pitchfork, MTV, AfroPunk, Noisey/Vice, Impose Magazine, Pigeons and Planes, Mass Appeal, The Wire and many more.
In an era of industry-obsessed MCs, interchangeable hashtag raps, and “viral” everything, it has become increasingly difficult to find a true original in the rap game. Yet ask anyone who’s been paying attention and they’ll tell you: Danny Brown is that dude. In 2011 the Motor City MC teamed up with Fool's Gold Records and released XXX, a tour-de-force concept record about hedonism, growing up, andDetroit, which took listeners on a profane and psychedelic journey through his own uncensored id. After a year of universal critical acclaim - from Spin naming XXX Rap Album Of The Year to Danny covering the Metro Times and Real Detroit in the same week as their Artist Of The Year - Danny continues to spread his irreverent gospel worldwide with extensive touring and even more unrestrained, unstoppable rhymes.