Thursday 13 April 2023

Review of 'Scaring The Hoes' by JPEGmafia and Danny Brown

Scaring The Hoes sees rappers JPEGmafia and Danny Brown celebrating their mutual weirdness. If you want to get kicked out of a house party for ‘scaring the hoes’, play this album (although I can think of much worse examples if you really want to cause utter chaos. Imagine putting Trout Mask Replica on the aux. Or maybe some Merzbow? That’s how you scare the hoes.)

Play something for the bitches/ how the fuck you s’posed to make money off this shit’ raps Peggy on the title track of this album. This is the criticism many normies throw at experimental artists like JPEGmafia and Danny Brown.  The irony is of course that despite Peggy’s unhinged noisy production and Danny’s deranged squawking delivery, both artists have over 2 million monthly Spotify listeners. They’ve amassed an admirable fanbase by deliberately not trying to fit in, and this collaborative album is an exciting celebration of this. You don’t have to Drake it to make it.

Peggy produces all the beats on Scaring the Hoes, and in usual Peggy fashion, each beat is completely bonkers. There are samples from old Japanese adverts and 80s gospel songs and even Kelis’s ‘Milkshake’. Peggy throws each sample into his cauldron and then mixes the remnants with synth bass riffs,  roughly recorded clap sounds and whatever else he can get his hands on. Peggy’s bars meanwhile are comical and confrontational, attacking everyone from Hulk Hogan for being a racist to Shia LeBouef for being a woman-beater.  He even lashes out at Jack Harlow for his sponsor partnership with KFC (the track title ‘Jack Harlow Combo Meal’ is also hilarious).

Danny is meanwhile in full squawk mode. His bars are equally comical and confrontational, dropping an equal amount of wild references from Canibus’s suspect anilingus lyric to Slick Rick’s eyepatch. He doesn’t get quite as much mic time as Peggy and there are moments where his voice feels a little too buried in the mix. However, when he is present and audible, he’s the perfect tag team partner for Peggy.

I’m not sure if these guys are planning to become the next Run the Jewels (who also get a reference on this album) or if this is a one-off collaboration. Redveil, who is the only guest on this album, has already since dropped another collaborative track with fellow Maryland rapper Peggy, which could suggest Peggy already has plans of divorcing Danny and hooking up with Redveil. But if Peggy does decide to stick it out with Danny for another album (which I'm hoping will be the case), we could be in for some fun future albums. Were Danny to be given more prominence, they could be one of hip hop's greatest double acts. Their music is very experimental and it's definitely an acquired taste, but personally I’ll take it any day over a Jack Harlow Combo Meal.