JPEGMAFIA traveled to Philadelphia on Halloween night to perform old and new songs at Union Transfer. After the opener—Detroit–based rapper Zelooperz—got the crowd going, an audience of costumes and complimentary masks (featuring 8–bit art of JPEGMAFIA) awaited the rapper. When he finally arrived, he gifted the fans with a lively and aggressive performance.

JPEGMAFIA entered onto the bare stage, which only had a number of light bars and a technical table, and began to perform "Jesus Forgive Me, I Am a Thot," a 2019 fan favorite. As he started to scream the lyrics, the entire crowd jumped in unison, sometimes pushing each other over and then helping each other back up. 

The rapper released his newest album, LP!, just nine days before the concert—its release date coincided with his 32nd birthday on Oct. 22. The album notably came in two different versions: an “online” version supported by major streaming services such as Apple Music and Spotify, and an “offline” version that dropped on other services like SoundCloud, YouTube, and Bandcamp. The offline version came with a number of additional songs and light alterations of other tracks that were cut from streaming versions due to sample–related issues.

After opening with an older song, JPEGMAFIA brought the new material out, starting with "HAZARD DUTY PAY!," a popular and soulful tune from the offline version of LP!. Everyone thrashed their heads as they yelled every line, even though the song was only a month old. Throughout the song, JPEGMAFIA stomped and spun around the stage with as much excitement as his fans, at one point taking his water bottle and splashing it over the crowd.

Before the release of LP!, JPEGMAFIA explained on Twitter that he made the album to fulfill and then leave his contract with Republic Records. “After this I have no more obligation to anyone,” he wrote. He also said that he wanted the fans to "hear everything," which is why he decided on the multiple versions of the release. It gives the album and its tour an air of freedom, moving forward without a label to alter any artistic decisions.

The pervasive energy of the concert persisted track after track. Later in the set, during JPEGMAFIA’s performance of 2018’s "1539 N. Calvert," his most–streamed song on Spotify, someone threw their costume wig up on stage. Without hesitation, JPEGMAFIA picked it up and put it on, leaving it on for multiple songs. At one point later in the show, he even launched into an autotune–soaked, a capella version of Carly Rae Jepsen’s "Call Me Maybe."

In between songs, and even during them, he kept up the camaraderie with his fans. During some interludes, someone would bring JPEGMAFIA more water bottles—and eventually an entire case—on stage. After drinking his own, he would take extra bottles and toss them out to the crowd. Hilariously, the crowd booed him when the first bottle hit an overhead speaker and bounced back on stage. He  would often go down to the barricade to interact with the crowd at multiple spots in the show. During his performance of the Britney Spears–sampling "THOT’S PRAYER!," he even jumped over the barricade and waded with security into the middle of the crowd. 

After a thrilling setlist, JPEGMAFIA brought forth an emotional moment towards the end of the show. “This song means a lot to me,” he said before bringing out the song "Free the Frail." The track, a centerpiece on JPEGMAFIA’s 2019 album All My Heroes are Cornballs, saw him taking a vulnerable stance towards his quick path to success. “Don’t rely on the strength of my image,” he sang on the chorus, urging fans to never idolize or mythologize him. The song also featured a beautiful harmonic outro from singer Helena Deland, with which the entire crowd sang.

JPEGMAFIA brought the energy back with the final track on the set. After asking for the crowd’s choice between two different songs, he settled on the hard–hitting Veteran deep cut "Rainbow Six." The audience stirred and, when the song reached its visceral beat drop, exploded into thrashing heads and screaming voices. JPEGMAFIA, known for the unparalleled excitement in his concerts, had done it again.


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