Politics Through Music

JPEGMAFIA’s controversial political views expressed through his lyrics


Spencer Norman, Staff Writer

Your choice of music can reflect your political views, bringing a greater importance to what artists you support or listen to. Experimental hip-hop music artist JPEGMAFIA, legally named Barrington Hendricks, can appear to have contrasting political views within his lyrics. He often insults people of the republican party, yet critiques liberals and leftists. With his music pieces often being adorned by titles or covers of the extremes of the political spectrum, communism and confederacy, it’s difficult to assume his political alignment.

Hendricks often critiques liberals, with the belief that they make no greater attempt at change than declaring what they find unjust. Within both “Libtard Anthem” and “Once They Build A Starbucks It’s Ova,” he attacks the fact the view that the majority of the liberal party is white ‘hipsters’ that fall short in their attempts to make political change. This crique paired with a confederate flag on his third album Black Ben Carson would frame Hendricks to be more identified with the right-wing. 

On the opposing side of the argument, Hendricks appears to be a socialist or communist. Within the song “I Cannot F***ing Wait Til Morrissey Dies,” Hendricks claims himself a “left-wing Hades.” The purpose of the song is a diss of popular figures in media that are nationalists, support fascism, or racist, such as Steven Morrissey of The Smiths, Varg Vickernes of Burzum, and Tom Araya of Slayer. 

In an increasingly tense political climate, your choice of music or preferred news channel can reflect your own political values. This brings a greater importance in something like music taste than if you simply like the way a song sounds. While JPEGMAFIA’s views are confusing, it’s up to listeners to decide if they support or disagree with a music artist’s views.