The current rap music scene can be divided into two “factions.” One is saturated (no pun intended) with larger than life figures who glorify drugs and epitomize a superficial, care-free attitude to their listeners. These “artists” aggressively rap thinly veiled lyrics over fat beats behind heavy rumble kick bass. This emergence of belligerently fueled rap is nothing more than a new genre; and therefore, cannot necessarily be compared to the other “faction” where legends like Kendrick, Jay-Z, and Kanye prevail. These artists create interesting, thought provoking, and emotionally moving music. Don’t get me wrong – I do enjoy the ignorance of Lil Pump, Key Glock, and Migos while raging – but, past these drug and alcohol induced party states this music only fulfills a niche of dumbed-down bangers within the hip-hop genre. However, these two “factions” of rap will continue to flourish since they each hold some value within their respective fan-bases. Alternatively, a third division of rap/hip-hop, or as I like to think, a paradigm shift in music is being spearheaded by the “All-American Boy Band,” BROCKHAMPTON.
BROCKHAMPTON is not your usual rap collective. I wouldn’t compare them to Odd Future, A$AP Mob, ____, etc. They are a group of 14 friends who share a vision. In only 1 year, BROCKHAMPTON recorded and produced three genre-swirling albums which they call the “SATURATION TRILOGY” within their home – over 50 tracks and 2 hours of straight bangers. If this isn’t impressive enough, they’ve also released over a dozen viral music videos, a 22-minute short film, and a self-funded, feature length movie – all without the help of a record label. BROCKHAMPTON takes DIY art and raw energy to another level, with the ultimate vision of re-defining the term “boy band.”
BROCKHAMPTON was founded by twenty-one-year-old Ian Simpson, better known as Kevin Abstract. He met Joba, Champion, Wood, and Vann in his high school in Texas and all other members on a Kanye West fan forum. Ian simply posted “Anybody wanna make a band?” and just like that, BROCKHAMPTON entered its embryonic stage.
The 14 members are a mix of black, white, gay and straight 20-something year olds, all with their own personalities and styles that prevail through their music and videos. The group is comprised of rappers, directors, producers, designers, and creators. Boy bands like One Direction and NSYNC are defined by undeniable good looks, desire, and charm. BROCKHAMPTON is clearly an untraditional boy band.
What I love most about BROCKHAMPTON is that they aren’t just a group – they are a family. They look out for and genuinely care for each other. This shows through their lyrics, and amazing ability to constantly, consistently produce sick music. Through their music and, even more so their videos, each member’s personality and the dynamic between members is evident. They make some of the dopest music videos of anyone out there. They film all their videos with a tape camcorder. So, most of their videos are a one-take long shot. As they switch from verse to verse, the camera organically pans to each member. Every BROCKHAMPTON video has a special aesthetic that can only be described as unique. Do yourself a favor and listen to BROCKHAMPTON.
Personally, my favorite albums in order are SATURATION 2,3,1. If you listen to the albums in order you can clearly hear how they develop over time. But, these are my personal favorite songs off of each album. Don’t sleep on BH. Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed!
SAT I: GOLD, STAR, FAKE, FACE
SAT II: GUMMY (arguably my favorite BH song), QUEER, GUMMY, JELLO, SWAMP, TOKYO, CHICK, FIGHT, SWEET. Just listen to the whole album it’s a banger.
SAT III: BOOGIE (pretty hard at first give it a couple listens), ZIPPER, JOHNNY, BLEACH (second favorite?), STUPID, RENTAL.