SCARING THE HOES, Killing Your Chances With the Ladies in Style

Written by Gordon Beck 

It’s no mystery that music taste plays a big role in attracting the opposite sex. Two potential partners have the same favorite artist, and boom, it’s conversation starter heaven. But what happens when one of those bright-eyed lovers decides to play Bish Bosch by Scott Walker on the first date? Lying in the underground’s underground - the sewer if you will - is a whole realm of music sounding so left field that most people are put off by it. Enjoying songs that sound borderline deranged, especially in public, is what the internet terms “scaring the hoes” for its complete lack of sex appeal. But looking like a weirdo when manning the aux cord is exactly what experimental hip-hop artists Barrington DeVaughn Hendricks, aka JPEGMafia,  and Danny Brown are all about. Their new collab album, titled after the internet deemed phenomenon, is one centered around being unapologetically unsexy and maybe a little unhinged. 

SCARING THE HOES is a collaboration many fans in the know have heavily anticipated. Both Hendricks and Brown are separately responsible for multiple critically acclaimed yet divisive albums through the late 2010s. Both artists have garnered a reputation for being at the forefront of the weirder side of hip-hop with Brown’s nasally and outlandish delivery and Hendrick’s off kilter production. Fans of the rappers delight in their idiosyncratic styles, but many bystanders are left scratching their heads at what they are hearing. Hendricks is notorious for producing everything he releases himself, this album included, as other producers have understandably not seemed to understand his vision. This is dialed to 11 on their collaborative album, as any caution toward welcoming in new fans has been thrown to the wind. 

However, if one can get past the unabashed rejection to the norm across the tracklist, there is a wealth of strange delights in store here. Hendrick’s and Brown’s wild energy play off each other effortlessly on the vocal front, and Hendrick’s production is a constant barrage of unexpected ideas. Everything from glistening synth arpeggios to distorted horn sections are on display as well as a myriad of samples that couldn’t be more out there. What sounds like wet meat slapping is even used on the beat of the title track. Yes, wet meat slapping. Every song is a jumbled mess of glitches and stutters interrupting themselves with unpredictable samples and passages, some of which could constitute as jumpscares, yet there is an undeniable bounce and playfulness present throughout that keeps things moving and grooving. 

Hendricks and Brown have certainly succeeded in creating something of a gatekeeper for the less musically explorative. Yet SCARING THE HOES is rife with complex and artful ideas that keep open minded listeners dug in. The weird rap giants know exactly what they are doing here and audibly revel in it, a treat for anyone looking for a listening experience very unlike anything else. Just avoid playing it on date night. 


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