Beats: produced. Raps: spit. Hoes: scared. Danny Brown and JPEGMAFIA are the best duo in hip-hop in quite a while.

Release date: March 24, 2023 | Independent | Danny Brown Twitter | JPEGMAFIA Twitter | Bandcamp

Danny Brown and JPEGMAFIA are the Run The Jewels of hip-hop. Hell, me and Dan are the Run The Jewels of Everything Is Noise – oddball silly geese that love rap so you know we had to team up and talk about this new project, hotly anticipated by fans of both artists. Now that I think of it, the Venn diagram of fans for each rapper is probably nearly a solid circle, which is why this duo makes so much sense to begin with. Anyway, does it pay off? Yeah, we think so. Check out our conversational review below and also the SCARING THE HOES documentary that I just realized came out hours before we did this.

David: Hey pal, how are you doing?

Dan: Oh, you know. Rad shit only. Glad to finally have a soundtrack to accompany my aura. Scaring hoes is something I do naturally. How about you, pal?

David: Lol, same. March has some awesome releases here on the backend (really the whole month has been great) and this is just one of them. It’s funny because usually when one is accused of ‘scaring the hoes‘, that’s a cue to rein things in a bit, but our two artists here today are known for doing anything but with their eclectic styles. Tell me briefly, what’s your history with Danny Brown and JPEGMAFIA?

Dan: Peggy is a little newer to me, but I’ve been following his efforts for a few years. Danny I’ve known since he jumped on the scene with XXX. The dude is a prime example of never losing creative spirit, and not allowing age to define you. He’s developed one of the most chaotic flows I’ve ever heard, and that shit’s just absolutely rad.  Peggy and Danny show that when they cross paths it’s always going to be a wild, weird, and chaotic fun time.  Danny’s “3 Tearz” track is a good example of that, even though Peggy is only on the production. His samples are the zaniness Danny needs to springboard off into his volcanic carnival barker flow.  The samples on this thing are all over the place, but the loose cohesion adds such amazing texture, gritty street stuff. What did you think about the project?

David: Wow, you and I have pretty much identical thoughts and histories with these two dudes. Peggy’s always been someone I like from afar – his Veteran album was cool, but I don’t connect with much of his stuff outside of some features he has. Danny though, ever since XXX, which is one of my favorite tapes ever, I’ve been a fan.

This project, I knew it was gonna be good. Even though I’m not the biggest fan of Peggy, I know enough about him and his style that he’d go VERY well with Danny, and the proof is right here with SCARING THE HOES. This album almost reached mythical status too as it’s been rumored and/or teased for years, I wanna say since around 2019 when Peggy was starting to get some real recognition. Did it exist? Was it gonna ever drop? Every hunch I had about this album was deserved, and I still got some neat surprises here. What about you?

Dan: I was completely in the dark altogether about it. It has such Run The Jewels energy about it, and their trajectories are similar. Peggy could be considered a force of a rapper/producer in the underground, and his raucous still carries such a gritty city alley way sleeze like El-P. I love how these predominant rappers are getting a new life force in teaming up together, and becoming a group later in their careers after their personalities and sounds have fully grown, and much like Killer Mike, Danny is arguably one of the more obnoxiously ferocious on the mic. I’m hoping along with these comparisons we get multiple projects out of the duo, and not just a one off, because I wholly enjoyed every track on this thing.

“Lean Beef Patty,” “Garbage Pail Kids,” and “SCARING THE HOES” are the top of the litter for me. But all of them come across like two dudes on a bender playing videogames in between doing lines and producing and rapping. Just an absolute grimy city junkyard thrill ride.  The production has a ton of bright spots all in all. Anything in particular stand out to you?

David: Well, luckily for you (and me, and everyone), Danny’s been verbally calling this SCARING THE HOES ‘volume one’ implying more’s on the way, and he’s also said he has three albums in the chamber including this one so there very well may be more on the way, and based off this project I certainly hope so.

You know what’s funny? While good, I found “Lean Beef Patty” and the title track among the weaker joints on here which should tell you something about the overall quality. I do feel you on “Garbage Pail Kids” though. I love me some “Steppa Pig” with its glittery production, speaking of bright spots. This is very, very specific, but I got visions of Danny rapping on a stage made of ice with lights reflecting everywhere like he did a show in Zora’s Domain or some shit. I love some of Peggy’s lines here too – ‘My Kimber like my emotions, I keep ’em both up my sleeve’ and the absurd double entendre of ‘They tried to get me to ghost/Boy, you ain’t Kai, one twitch and you banned’. Peggy raps like a perpetually online dude who makes references that aren’t wack, are funny, and that somehow makes me feel seen.

Dan: ‘I’m on the internet net cuz I’m an Internet thug‘ shit. Peggy’s entire persona is wild ass glitch thug, and Danny is very much that same caliber of dude. The reverential self awareness is magnificently weaponized all over this project. Going back to the title track, definitely up for debate considering there’s too many tracks on here that are molten fire, but something about Peggy and Danny going back and forth about knowing how weird, and fucked up they are in such a celebratory way over that fucking clap sample that takes off running like an ADHD thought just warms my hoe scaring heart. These dudes are scavenging through a rap trash heap and making folk art that rests in the shadows of skyscrapers. “Fentanyl Tester” is another example. That track takes such a R&B gem and glitches it the fuck out to house party on fire proportions while they trade lines about why they’re and this is the shit. They’re making Streets of Rage rap, I can’t stop gushing, and I haven’t even gotten to “Burfict!” yet.

David: Yes, LOVE “Fentanyl Tester”, love how they flipped that Kelis sample of “Milkshake”. That’s a song that’s such a meme in and of itself and yet Peggy finds a way to get it into this almost grime rap foundation for them to go HAM on. “Burfict!” slams ass as well – very triumphant beat with the horn samples while Danny says Danny shit like ‘It’s hard like Sudoku/So I put it in her dook chute/Netflix and chill on a jailbroken Roku’. The bass also nukes my tiny-ass speakers in the best way. Production on this whole album is the true MVP.

Dan: Yet another nod to RTJ ethos. I’m wholly ignoring the track in reference to them to point out the other elements. Another thing that I adored was finding a feature artist that’s lesser known, and giving them a platform. redveil is a youngster that caught my attention with his Niagara tape, and he makes the most of the feature on “Kingdom Hearts Key”.  His junkyard kid brother flow fits so nicely on here, like he’s finally able to chill with his older brothers doing rad shit: ‘We got next ho, clear the front / Been throwin’ my elbow in this shit / They on me like velcro, all I need is a cellphone / I’ma get what I want‘.

His cadence is perfect and smooth, but not out of sort, providing quality contrast to the grime empire these two are building.

David: Won’t lie, I thought redveil was Denzel Curry or some shit when I first heard him. They have somewhat similar cadences and it threw me off. Impressive feature though, and the only one on the album. Young dude at only 18 so interested to see what he does with all that time and talent he has. Also, I just wanna be a nerd and shout out how on “Kingdom Hearts Key”, which is already a great title, Peggy sampled the announcer from Capcom vs. SNK 2, which is one of the best fighting games of all time, for the ‘KO’ soundbite at the end of his verse. I recognized that instantly. Love little things like that.

We’ve talked a bit about them already, but I just wanna really hammer home how wild the sampling is on this motherfucker. They make the backbone of pretty much all tracks. I had to look up that gospel sample on “God Loves You” and I wasn’t disappointed at all. Love how these two flipped it into a debaucherous, ass-shaking fuck song because that’s very on brand. And “Orange Juice Jones” with that Michael Jackson sample? Wooooooo. Very well utilized, very flavorful and soulful. Beats are just so vivid here.

Dan: As you previously said, the production is the MVP here, as the overall vibe is completely indebted to it. The samples on “HOE (Heaven On Earth)” is so dismantled, yet flows with ease, like some FromSoft field boss, or randomly coming across a hidden inner city creek. The chill down tempo production late in the catalog provides a nice shift of pace, as well. Midway through these tracks I feel overwhelmed, but “God Loves You” and “Orange Juice Jones” gives those much needed stop for air tracks to balance it out before they close out with ” Where Ya Get Ya Coke From?” which does a decent job bringing the spirit of the project to a close. The ending of that song cracks me up with its abruptness. Like these dudes just ran out of shit to rap about, and gave no fucks about the ending because it was only about the violent attention deficit journey. Hyperfixation transitions at its finest.

David: It’s no wonder our generation fell in love with Peggy and Danny because they both play to our more ADHD, hedonistic sensibilities with their music while highlighting certain hells that also plague us. It’s not an act though, for better or worse – Peggy fucking spits into women’s mouths during concerts (consensually) and Danny’s been known as a hanging-by-a-thread party dude for over a decade now. That said, it recently came out that Danny’s actually going to rehab real soon, if he’s not already there by the time this review publishes. I’m frankly proud of him. He deserves a good, safer, healthier life to enjoy what he’s sewn artistically – he’s inspired a lot of dudes throughout the years and his Bruiser Brigade pals continue to do great things (listen to ZelooperZ!). I hope the absolute best for him.

Dan: Both of these artists capture the spirit of what it means to be a millennial in the post-modern age. We’re all geeked out, playing with broken toys as shit comes unglued around us. Just a total mix of coping mechanisms loosely strung together as we all seek some semblance of peace, but party hard in the meantime while never forgetting how fucking weird we all truly are. There’s a lot to process around us all the time, and these two really capture that spirit. I hope Danny the best in his recovery, and he’s so deserving of the peace he seeks. I’m looking forward to him getting his shit aligned, linking up with his wild ass counterpart again, so they can both keep scaring the hoes.

David: Oh yeah, allegedly his label is also sitting on an album that’s been done since 2021 or something, so stop being a fucking herb and drop that shit. Anyway, I think you summed it up perfectly. This is such a good spring album and one that I think will go down as one of the best for each artist. It’s definitely sold me more on JPEGMAFIA as well. Danny endures as always and it shows off his freak flag in new ways.

David Rodriguez

David Rodriguez

"I came up and so could you, and fuck the boys in blue" - RMR

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