Original article written for The Copenhagen Post
Chaotic, frenetic, insane… manic even. There need not be an end to superlatives that best describe the show that Baltimore rapper, Jpegmafia delivered at Roskilde Festival´s Apollo stage yesterday.
Looking and sounding at times like an afrofuturistic Marvel hero that could easily have been part of the cast of The critically acclaimed film, Black Panther, Jpegmafia was excellent on the evening.
In fact, come to think of it, he does resemble a certain Chadwick Boseman, one of the stars of the aforementioned flick and his crisply-produced beats would certainly be at home in its Wakandan universe, but that´s a hypothesis for another day.
Bare-chested in the chilly afternoon wind, Peggy, as he is affectionately known by his fans, took to the stage with a point to prove, from the get-go. A staccato sequence of openers during which he flung himself into the crowd repeatedly, set the tone for what would be a show that left this reviewer wondering what the heck he´d just seen at the end of it.
But it was not all frenzied fanfare – Jpegmafia has a knack for kicking back and letting it all sink in momentarily, between his wordy renditions. While his pauses, emphasized with a chilling glare towards the crowd seemed awkward at first, they grew on the partisan crowd with time, as chants of “Peggy, Peggy, Peggy!” rang out.
“How to build a relationship.” Was one of the softer tracks to grace the stage after the blur of openers, though even this tune got a beefing up in its live version – sounding raunchier and more pronounced than its studio form.
Too chaotic at times?
The show then dipped somewhat as Jpegmafia spat out one seething stanza after another – the issue here being that there was seldom a minute or two to catch one´s breath amongst the cavalcade of vitriol that was flung from the stage.
This said, the front-row of the crowd loved every minute of it and gave Peggy a hero´s welcome every time he sprang upon them. Stoked, his confidence grew and with it came deeper, more contemplative moments within the furore – a welcome touch of quality to a show that sometimes felt like a closed metal container with a hissing cobra and a screaming man running around in it.
Nowhere were the aforementioned contemplative moments more pronounced than close to the end of the show, in which the Baltimore man managed to get the entire show to sit down ahead of the performance of his “Rainbow Six.” This had a even more of a soothing effect given it was shortly after one of the tracks he, by his own admission, has “retired in the U.S.” The explicative riddled “f*** Morrissey.”