Binghamton Underground Music Presents (BUMP) will be bringing L.A.-based rapper and producer JPEGMAFIA to campus on Sept. 20 for the first concert of the fall semester.
Last year, hip-hop artist Topaz Jones kicked off the first show of the semester with opening band Crumb. Mika Itkin-Weinstein, the BUMP chair and a senior majoring in English, is looking forward to having another rapper headline the upcoming show.
“I am so excited to have a rapper again, but this time, something more hardcore, experimental and political,” Itkin-Weinstein said. “I think it’s so important to book artists of a variety of genres and expose people to new music.”
JPEGMAFIA, born Barrington Hendricks, is a native New Yorker who lived in both Queens and East Flatbush, Brooklyn before moving to Alabama at the age of 13. At age 14, he started producing his own beats and eventually, his own raps. Hendricks said his rap style is in part influenced by former N.W.A member Ice Cube, who is known for his unapologetic lyrics that address local political issues.
Hendricks later moved to Louisiana to join the Air Force, where he spent a total of four years in countries including Iraq, Kuwait, Afghanistan and Japan. During his military stay in Japan, he began to experiment with music and formed a group called Ghost Pop, when he gained local buzz in Tokyo. In 2015, he was honorably discharged from the Air Force and moved to Baltimore to produce music under the name JPEGMAFIA.
Hendricks is known for his politically packed lyrics that deal with current issues including racism and homophobia. His 22-track album, “Black Ben Carson,” received national publicity for its songs discussing the political climate of the 2016 presidential primaries.
In a 2017 interview with The Baltimore Sun, Hendricks said he takes pride in his hard-hitting lyrics.
“Everything I say is true and from the heart,” he said. “I exaggerate some things, but the core base of it is just facts. I’m going to shock you with the truth. I’m just going to give it to you raw, and however you take it, I’m just going to watch your reaction.”
His most recent album, “Veteran,” debuted in January of this year and received critical and commercial acclaim. In the album, Hendricks shares his personal experiences about the difficulties he faced while serving in the Air Force.
Itkin-Weinstein said she has high expectations for the show and hopes students are equally as enthusiastic.
“This is going to be so different than any BUMP show we’ve ever had,” Itkin-Weinstein said. “Expect an intense dancing, mosh-filled time … his intensity and power on stage are going to be a wild experience.”
JPEGMAFIA will perform on Thursday, Sept. 20 in the University Union Undergrounds. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and the show will begin at 8 p.m. Admission is free for students.