Brockhampton not what you picture boy band to be

First place, entertainment writing


America’s next self-proclaimed boy band, Brockhampson is not what you usually picture when the phrase “boy band” comes to mind.

Born out of a Kanye West fan forum, “KanyeToThe,” this ragtag pop-rap group is made up of 13 members who are described by Complex Magazine as “gay, black, white, DIY, ambitious, all-inclusive, and would-be pop stars.”

The first mixtape, “All American Trash” came out in 2016 followed by “Saturation I,” “Saturation II,” and “Saturation III,” all of which came out in a six-month period from June of 2017 through December.

Their next album to be released would be “Puppy” which became delayed and later canceled due to rapper Ameer Vann sexual abuse allegations leading him to depart the band in mid-2018.

Made in the wake of the sexual misconduct allegations came the “Iridescence” album in August of the same year. “Iridescence” felt different than any of the band’s music before; it was misplaced and no songs stand out in the way of the “Saturation” trilogy.

This July the band revealed their next album, “Ginger.” Over the course of the next month,four singles were released and the fan base prepared themselves for a new point of view Brockhampson had never taken before with their music.

The album begins with the track “No Halo” featuring haunting vocals from Deb Never and Ryan Beatty and offers the listener a sneak peek into the tone of the next 11 tracks. Going into topics usually not discussed in the typical rap album including mental health, addiction, relationships, and faith in God.

While some fans aren’t too keen on the albums serious tone, it opened a door of maturity is not previously reached by the group thus far. Using religion and the group’s faith (or lack thereof) in God, each member discusses the impact Vann’s scandal had on them and the rest of the group.

The albums fourth track “Heaven Belongs to You” utilizes the same beat as the seventh track on the album, “If You Pray Right,” demonstrating a narrative of this lack of faith throughout the songs.  With Ameer being the literal face for the “Saturation Trilogy,” the group feels as if a hole was left in his space which they aim to fill with this album.

“Dearly Departed,” arguably the most emotionally charged track opens with Kevin Abstract’s emotional monologue discussing his thoughts on the Ameer Van scandal and loss of the RCA Records deal due to it with the lyrics “RCA, that note wasn’t ’bout y’all / No lies, ’bout how me and my brothers been traumatized/ And I must keep creatin’ truths and hooks to get up outta this hell for myself” followed by vocalist Joba’s emotional cry to Vann, “Dearly departed/ Look what you’ve stole/I’ve been so heartless/ I try, I try, I try/ Why?/ Why?/ Why?/ Tryyy,” all in which he asks why it ever happened in the first place.

Overall, the haunting tone is something the group has never really done before but it can be hoped that this can open up more opportunities for raw and mature music as the group continues their journey in their musical evolution