JPEGMAFIA @ O2 Academy, Birmingham, UK – 29th February 2020

Review and Photography by Robert Barrett

Never have I seen the staff of the O2 Academy look so worried before a show. “No support, and he’s only on for an hour. It’s going to be intense” said a concerned looking security guard. This is how you know your about to see JPEGMAFIA, one of the most exciting acts in modern hip hop.

Without any mention of the lack of a support, the crowd were getting restless. Even innocent roadies were getting cheered as they set up the stage. By 9ish the crowd had whipped themselves up into a frenzy, unsure of what was happening.

Out of the darkness emerged JPEGMAFIA, or “Peggy” as the fans affectionately called him. From the off this was a one man show, after a quick selection on his laptop he charged to the front barrier much to the hardcore fans delight.

Second song in and the hoodie was off. Third song in he was stage diving into the sea of phones. “Will you catch me?” he asked, the fans obliged. He pulled no punches, screaming the lyrics in their faces like a man possessed.

His latest single “BALD!” played like a classic, most of the fans already knew all the lyrics. The mixture of songs from “Veteran” and ….. made up the majority. “Baby I’m Bleeding” with it crunchy sample stabs was a highlight. So was an unusual cover of “Call Me Maybe”, Carly Rae Jepson would be proud.

Although the performance was intense and full of anger. Peggy made sure to thank the audience at at some points check they were okay. A classy guy, even when one over eager fan asked him to spit in his mouth he obliged. What a gent.

By the end of his verse from Denzel Curry collaboration “VENGANCE” the heat in the room was almost unbearable. Even though it was an hour’s set, everyone in the room needed a lie down after what they had witnessed. I advise you to go and see him for yourself, witness the power of JPEGMAFIA.

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