In this episode of People’s Party, Talib Kweli and Jasmin Leigh sit down with rapper, singer and record producer JPEGMAFIA. As one of the most brazen, uncompromising, and unpredictable figures in hip hop today, with this interview JPEGMAFIA keeps it 💯, true to form. The wide-ranging conversation includes his early years growing up in Flatbush, Brooklyn, and his move to Alabama at age 13, where he experienced prevalent racism. They also tackle gentrification, Ice Cube’s profound influence on both his and Talib’s unflinching approach to racism, the punk/hip hop connection, artist’s empowerment to control their public image once they’ve paid dues, and JPEG gives his take on Kanye’s support of Trump.
Later the trio discusses JPEG’s hometown of Baltimore, pacifism vs. violence to promote social change, how he handles online racists, and the concept of “righteous anger”. He also speaks on his years in the military, joining at a time when he saw no other viable options, the black men crying stigma, white fans trading the n-word for “cracker” at his shows, and in closing JPEG offers up words of encouragement to aspiring emcees on the steep uphill climb to success.