Lobsterfest 2018 Q&A: JPEGMAFIA

By Devon Hannan, Editorial Director

Photo by Harley Wince, Visual Media Director

Experimental rapper and producer, JPEGMAFIA, seems like he came out of nowhere. After a considerable amount of positive reception on his latest full-length album, Veteran, JPEGMAFIA is quickly grabbing everyone’s undivided attention. Peggy’s composition on Veteran is simply out of this world, being both aggressive and deliberate without being holier than thou. We aren’t sure how we got him here, but we’re sure glad we did. We caught up with Peggy and had a quick chat about his recent success, humble philosophy and of course, Morrissey.

How was your first Lobsterfest experience?

It was pretty incredible, to be honest. I really enjoyed it. I was extremely high the entire time, allegedly. I really liked the energy from everyone. I don’t know, I’ve been performing for very small crowds my entire career until very recently–maybe last year. To have a crowd this size and them to know the words, it was pretty incredible honestly. I loved it.

Yeah, you blew up almost overnight with Veteran.

Yeah, yeah! It’s pretty interesting!

Tell me about that! How do you think that happened?

I don’t know, man! I just like… made an album. And then I just put it out! And just the reception was different. I didn’t do anything different than I usually do when I release albums. It’s just that this one really resonated with people for some reason. I’m glad it did, honestly, because I wanted it to, so, it’s good.

What would you say is your favorite part about the new album?

My favorite part is the production. That’s the bread and butter for me. Production, and also how divisive it makes people. I like that there are some people that completely hate it. It’s good. That’s the mark of good art when some people really like it and some people are just like, “This is the WORST fucking thing.” It’s good. It’s my favorite.

Speaking of hating things, let’s talk about Morrissey.

Yeah, I just love him.

Well, a few people in ACRN are big Smiths fans. What was it like to play in front of a bunch of Smiths fans?

I’m used to it, to be honest. My first performances were, like, really hostile. I come prepared for a hostile crowd, every time. If it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen, but if it does, I’m not like, “Oooh I don’t know what to do now,” you know what I’m sayin’? I feel like people should know by now that Morrissey is just an asshole. People let it slide because he’s talented, but nah. He said Chinese people were a subhuman species. That should have been it right there, but for some reason, he’s still around.

If Morrissey dies, it’ll be better than my next birthday.

OH, MY GOD. YEAH. Like just GO. Just DROP. Why is it me to be the first person in 2018 to be really like, “Fuck Morrissey”? I haven’t heard anyone widespread say that.

Backed. So your new album is pretty politically charged all around. Tell me about that.

I’m just into politics, you know? I feel like when a lot of people talk about politics, they are very preachy. They’re corny sometimes, and some people don’t want that. But, politics is like water-cooler talk. People get high, and they talk about politics. It’s just a thing people do, so I wanted to present a different way to do political rap, kind of. It doesn’t have to be corny. It doesn’t have to be preachy. You can talk about it in the way I talk about it to my friends. It’s a political album in the way that we are a very political society. Like, we kind of have to be, because of who’s in office and shit, you know. Everybody is more engaged in politics than I have ever seen in my lifetime.

Well, that’s about all I have. Any final thoughts?

I just loved it here. Next year, I want to come back. Hopefully, I’ll be bigger. Hopefully, I’m like, Lil Uzi Vert-level by then. I’m gonna come right back here and play the same place. And hold me to it, because I will come back. This my first time in Ohio too. I fuck with it. I was just telling some people like, “Shit, y’all live here? This is crazy.” I feel like I’m on the set of The O.C., but like way cooler with hella drugs.

Listen to JPEGMAFIA’s latest album Veteran, here:

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