BROCKHAMPTON emerged out of the woodwork. Looking at past rap crews it’s not difficult to see how an idea like this manifested. But it’s being presented in a way I frankly have never seen before, and in this day and age - that’s awesome.
The term rap crew wouldn’t even do the collective justice. They are a group of 13 young men who aim to take the entertainer world by storm. The collective has the vision to turn BROCKHAMPTON into a label, production company, and all around visual media production enterprise. They’ve released 3 unique projects. First was “All American Trash”, followed up by the provocative “Saturation” and its sequel “Saturation II”, with a third coming Saturation tape before the year wraps up. In a hip-hop genre of trap music and artists aiming to make the next club banger, BROCKHAMPTON is a wave of refreshing music drawing inspiration from a number of artists ranging from Kanye West to David Bowie to Prince. The open-minded production reflects in the hard-hitting bass beats to the afternoon picnic melodies.
The collective began with Kevin Abstract who comes from Corpus Christi, Texas - he met the other members at his high school an online Kanye West forum where like-minded people would discuss literally anything they felt the need to talk about. Which actually says a lot about the group as a whole. Watching their “American Boy Band” show featured on ViceLand is flat out inspiring, these guys moved out to L.A. filling a house in South Central with the kind of music neighbors don’t ever really know what to make of. They live a day at a time experiencing whatever there is in life. The series offers a personal insight that almost forces you to root for the kids and their aspirations. The show brings to light the making of their tapes and the themes they seem to consistently rap about in their works. They like to discuss the dimensions of masculinity, the self-isolation that comes when you don’t fit in, and the struggles of a “weirdo” in modern society. All very relevant for their fan base of gen X’ers growing up in the modern world.
The group has a similar goal in everybody’s mind. They have set out to redefine not only what a boy band is to the world, but what masculinity is to a new generation. They are trying to redefine every toxic tradition our society holds dear and might resist losing. That’s the spark within every single member that drives them to make the best music they can. This is one of the takes I interpret from a lot of their lyrics.
If you look at all the songs on the “Saturation” tapes they seem very different from the music on “All American Trash”. This goes to show how dynamic the collective can be following the talented producing from their producers Jabari Manwa and Kiko Merley. The mix trap drums with hearty silhouettes that create an atmosphere of beautiful chaos in your headphones.
If you wish to dive deeper in this upcoming boy band I recommend you check out ViceLand’s series on them or find Fader’s article who did a description on each member.