JPEGMAFIA’s gigs not for the faint of heart

Tadgh McNally

Months after the release of his latest album, “All My Heroes are Cornballs”, JPEGMAFIA arrives at The Academy to thunderous chants of “Peggy”. The sold out gig was packed to the gills, with JPEGMAFIA emerging from the back clad in muay thai shorts and a hoodie, which was quickly taken off.

The Baltimore based rapper, who has seen a surge in popularity in recent years, kicked off the show with “Jesus Forgive Me, I Am A Thot”. The slow start to the tune built to an intense end, with JPEGMAFIA flying across the stage as the song ended.

His latest single, “BALD!”, was dedicated to anyone at the show who was bald. He scanned the crowd searching, and rubbed the heads of anyone he could find. The quick tempo of the song had the crowd surging and pits opened up .

There was plenty of interaction with the crowd throughout the gig, taking photos with people in between songs, and he even appeared to have signed a vinyl copy of his latest record “All My Heroes are Cornballs”.

Most of the interaction was JPEGMAFIA responding to the chants of the audience, and even taking requests for what song he should finish the gig on. The most requested song however, was “I Cannot Fucking Wait Until Morrrissey Dies”, with the crowd going berzerk when he finally did play it.

Stage diving was a staple of the entire show, with JPEGMAFIA firing himself into the crowd on multiple occasions. Without fail, each time he managed to keep the song going, with “Thot Tactics” almost entirely performed in the arms of the crowd before he was tossed back up on stage.

The floating synths and less aggressive performance of “Grimy Waifu”, gave a bit of a break to the show, especially coming immediately after the intense “JPEGMAFIA TYPE BEAT”.

Just before he began to play “Keenan Vs Kel”, he took a yellow flannel shirt and wrapped it around himself, while chants of “Melon” echoed the venue. Strutting up and down the stage, he shook his head saying, “eight out of 10 huh?”, referring to Anthony Fantano’s score on his latest record. He laughed as boo’s erupted from the crowd before returning to his Mac to start the next song.

A brand new song, “Covered in Money”, was played by JPEGMAFIA at the gig, with distorted backing beats that weren’t unlike something Earl Sweatshirt would use.

The gig concluded with the much requested “Rainbow Six”, one of the last tracks on his album “Veteran”. The distorted vocal samples and trap beats cut through the crowd, ending the gig with a bang.

With legions of fans crying out for him to cover Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call me maybe”, JPEGMAFIA just laughs and promises that he’ll play it the next time he returns to Ireland.

While he was set to continue the tour across Europe, due to unforeseen circumstances it was postponed until later on in the year. His last show was in Paris, and JPEGMAFIA has confirmed that he will play all the shows, just at a later date.

Tadgh McNally

Image Credit: Emily Whyte