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JPEGMAFIA x Danny Brown – Scaring the Hoes Review

Collaborative chaos from JPEGMAFIA and Danny Brown to soothe the migraine-clad mind, what a choice. Boasting a wild showcase of ideas, from its Blacksploitation-era cover to its stylish opening track, Lean Beef Patty, there is fun to be had on this release. Noisy delirium with plenty of heavy pangs of reverb, JPEGMAFIA and Brown know what they’re doing here, thankfully. Scaring the Hoes is a fascinating collaboration which has some smart lyrics on its opening track paired with an absorbing electronic style. Radio chatter and Elon Musk bashing soon fades into a glitch-hop treat. Barely two minutes before hitting through to Steppa Pig, the tremendous pace of Scaring the Hoes keeps it chugging along nicely. Legacy is what an artist makes of it, and there is a sense of pride throughout this collaborative effort. 

Soon the attention turns to the mixing rather than the lyrics. Dick-riding wonders on Steppa Pig, with all its Conan and Frozen hooks, is interesting more for its electronic beat and record-scratch teases than its cultural reference points. Plenty of moments to dive deep into some other artist or moment which sticks with the duo throwing ideas back and forth. A slick guitar crunch is added onto Garbage Pale Kids and sticks out as one of the many staggering, fascinating moments found in these brief and sudden pockets. Scaring the Hoes does not scare, it brings around creative stunners, dropping them occasionally and out of the blue. It elevates this beyond a collaborative bit of fun and brings it through into a hard-hitting, blinding light. Still, not every musician can bring in Milkshake by Kelis and make it enjoyable. 

Glitch it out, as Fentanyl Tester does. Listening to Kelis is only worth it if an ample supply of narcotics is at hand or, in this case, JPEGMAFIA and Brown have cut it up into pieces. Orange Juice Jones features a neat little jump scare for those WWE fans out there. Who’d have thought music relating to Edge would make an appearance in the ever-moving, busy pot of musical range pulled and mashed together? Some of the heavier pop culture references, the Tom Holland to The Truman Show swing are impressive in their hook but lacking in their impact. Is the impact of those references to hook an audience with a realisation they hear something they know? No. But it works that way anyway, a little extra layer for those needing to be reminded of what they know, frequently. 

Take a track like Kingdom Hearts Key and feel the warmth which flows in its latter half. Part of this comes from redveil’s inclusion, part from the easy-going flow of collaboration. But the party soon ends, Grandpa, as the pair note. Far from it. Following on from that are the best tracks of Scaring the Hoes, from the jolts of fury found on God Loves You to the Jack Harlow bashing work on Jack Harlow Combo Meal. Wonderful stuff throughout the whole album and a lightness to it in the moments preceding the heavy end which brings about the feeling of free-flowing collaboration. Sharp lyricisms in the latter portion bring Scaring the Hoes to the forefront of fine writing. Its words are as important as the rhythm found deep within, the creativity on display through sampling is always an impressive feature for JPEGMAFIA and Brown. 

Ewan Gleadow
Ewan Gleadow
Editor in Chief at Cult Following | News and culture journalist at Clapper, Daily Star, NewcastleWorld, Daily Mirror | Podcast host of (Don't) Listen to This | Disaster magnet

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