New Age Hip-Hop: Catch Brockhampton in Philly
A hip-hop friendly boy band that formed as a result of discussion on an internet forum dedicated to fandom for Kanye West. It all sounds like an inception story that was generated by super-computer intending to create the most ridiculous digital age path from rags to riches. Yet this is literally the method through which Brockhampton went from anonymity to verified stars of the music industry.
The novelty of their beginning was not an aberration as they have proved every step of the way that their approach, if nothing else, is unique. Brockhampton, an art collective that strives to expand even beyond music, currently rosters a full nine members who are involved in their music creation. Although their creative direction is a shared responsibility, the man at the helm of Brockhmapton is Kevin Abstract who started releasing music even before being a founding member of Brockhampton.
A primary mission of the group in its early days was saturating the market with content. Throughout 2017, this strategy was executed in the most literal sense. That year saw the upstart band release not one, not two, but three entire albums. They were fittingly named Saturation, Saturation II, and Saturation III. The power of these releases proved not be the quantity, but rather the quality of each project.
The songs across all three albums are meticulously produced and incredibly varied in their specific sound. It was obvious from the start for Brockhampton that different members had distinct aspects of musical prowess to bring to the table. Some were better at rapping. Some were better at singing. Some were better at injecting tracks with energy-fueled ad libs. Brockhampton managed these discrepant talents expertly. While some songs were traditional rap-heavy bangers, others were slower more melodic tracks that were more akin to emo-rock.
The success of these 2017 projects led Brockhampton to a multi-million record deal with RCA the following year. Since that deal, life has been more turbulent for the collective. In May of 2018, controversy swept over the group as one of their members, Ameer Van, was accused of sexual misconduct and abuse. A statement was issued by the group later that month announcing his departure and an entire album, intended to be named Puppy, was shelved.
However, Brockhampton remained active and released their followup to the Saturation series, a studio album named Iridescence, in September of 2018. That album didn’t quite live up to the massive hype Brockhampton had generated in the previous year, but still proved the group had interesting new sounds to explore.
These new sounds have translated into their latest release, Ginger. This record is filled to the brim with emotion, much of it somber and despondent. Ginger has a more acoustic sound than any work Brockhampton has released yet. There are still aggressive moments to be found, but they departure moments, rather than the focus of the project.
Brockhampton have been on their North American Heaven Belongs To You Tour since late October. Their performance in Philadelphia will take place at The Fillmore on Wednesday, November 27th. Purchase tickets here!