BROCKHAMPTON is an enigma. A self proclaimed “boy-band” that met on the Kanye To The (KTT) forum online and sounds like a Frank Ocean led Odd Future made one of the best records of year so far. The sweet, south-central LA vibe emits light wherever you play the album, whether in the car, at the beach, or a late-August BBQ before summer wraps up.
Each and every single artist on the record brings something refreshing and adds to the group dynamic. You can tell they didn’t record this album separately in a high end studio. Rather, it was recorded in a bedroom with a bunch of close friends who wanted to create music that people could relate to. In fact, I know this is the case by watching their spectacular show on Viceland, American BoyBand.
Kevin Abstract, easily the most recognizable name in the group, handles the hook duties on this project with a blissful and boyish tone. Other rappers to take note of are Ameer Vann, whose deep voice and tales of underbelly hood activities pair weirdly well with the playful beats, Matt Champion, whose laidback flow carries the song into dream like territories, and Dom Mclennon, who has easily the funniest bars on the record.
When talking about the music on the album itself, the album is constructed incredibly loosely, acting like a collection of singles with a couple of skits to tie it together. The sound of the record is incredibly vast, with songs like “Heat”, with it’s loud, bassy instrumental and chorus “FUCK YOU!” preceding the chill and sticky “Gold” that has the most earwormy hook on the record paired with laid back verses. The album then switches back up with “Star” which is a song entirely about celebrities and money that acts as a banger and a hilarious highlight.
I could gush over each song on this record for days, with songs like “Swim” that start like an acoustic ballad before exploding into an emotional chorus with heartfelt choruses. Moments like these remind me why this record is so amazing. They are able to effortlessly balance these incredibly focused, emotional parts with pure fun and bliss, which can sound really cheesy, but they fucking pull it off.
This ballad “Swim” is placed before the loudest song on the album, “Bump” which reminds me of “Trashwang” off Tyler, The Creator’s Wolf. It’s harsh, loud, in your face and sounds like being shoved in a mosh pit while someone spits in your face. The verses sound like a group of people screaming at you while sirens blare in the background. While this is all going on in the song, they still manage to sneak in 10 seconds of an emotional chorus by Kevin with acoustic guitars before going back into chaos.
Closing with “Waste”, which showcases a breathtaking R&B slow jam that calls back to Frank Ocean’s brilliant Blonde LP. It ties the record in a bow and shoots in the air only to explode into fireworks. It is the perfect closer for a near perfect album, and I can’t wait to hear more from Brockhampton, even if it takes years to make an album as close to this in quality.