Music by VICE

JPEGMAFIA's "Real Nega" Video Is a Calming Contrast to His Hectic Output

The Baltimore rapper wanders around the desert for the latest visual from 'Veteran.'

by Lawrence Burney
May 18 2018, 5:15pm

Though he'd already been making music that equally incorporated political commentary, sheer absurdity, and effortlessly quirky production over the past few years of living in Baltimore, rapper and producer JPEGMAFIA's January-released Veteran quickly placed him on the national stage. The album, like his earlier work, is just as much informed by late 2000's lo-fi Trapaholics mixtapes as it is punk and horrorcore. Those nostalgic elements persist in his music, but a good deal of his output is directed to contemporary views on race relations in America, whether that be denouncing the alt-right or calling out people who lean far-right while still being afraid of their black neighbors. One of the album's standouts, "Real Nega," is a culmination of those elements.

Today, we're premiering the song's video which finds Peggy stumbling across a bare desert-like area before switching to an empty mall where a woman dances around, completely unbothered. "In my opinion, the most dangerous thing an artist can do in this day and age is not embrace the present. Either people cling to the past and refuse to advance their ways, or they’re always looking to future and not appreciating what’s in front of them right now," JPEGMAFIA says. "'Real Nega' is a full on embrace of today. There are no fancy cuts, there are no special effects. There is nothing in this video but two black bodies and a hat. Because we don’t need it. All these pop stars spend millions of dollars to make videos that look 'raw' or 'authentic' but we don’t need a budget for that because we are that." Watch the video above.

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