Just a couple weeks ago, JPEGMafia (or Peggy, if you like) said this year, his fans will eat. It seems he’s following through on that promise.
“Covered in Money!” is Peggy’s latest, a previously unreleased track he’s played during previous shows. It follows February’s “BALD!,” another surprise track currently unconnected to any longer project. The track opens with Peggy’s usual aggressive, confrontational delivery and crunchy, lo-fi production. In the track’s accompanying self-directed music video, he shouts to a go-pro “Fuck the underground, I’m going pop!” The track itself wouldn’t seem to indicate that if the beat didn’t change halfway through, morphing the track into a somber R&B come-down.
2020 is the year Peggy plans to take control of his own musical output. In the third part of his ongoing YouTube documentary How to Build a Relationship, he tells the Cambridge Union “I’m just gonna be doing whatever the fuck I want this year. I tried to do the ‘release the album the proper way,’ the little music industry shit. It’s stupid and it’s annoying and it doesn’t lend itself to artists.” His 2019 album All My Heroes Are Cornballs, released by EQT Recordings, was one of our favorite albums last year and continued to show Peggy made hip-hop that eschewed traditional influences.
Given the rest of the documentary, that might mean playing Nintendo Switch with Orville Peck, chilling with Swedish pop legend Lykke Li or covering pophead favorites like Mariah Carey’s “Always Be My Baby” and Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” (which appeared on his 2013 The Ghost Pop Tape—it’s his first time performing it live). We can assume dropping songs at his own pace is also part of his new 2020 ethos.
You can check out the video for “Covered in Money!” below as well as the first three parts of his illuminating, smart documentary How to Build a Relationship.