BROCKHAMPTON: Rising Alt-Rap Boy Band

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Jaime Bangert, Staff Writer

BROCKHAMPTON– a rising hip-hop/rap group based in LA– released their debut album, Saturation, this past June, gaining critical acclaim for their unique style.


They followed with two more iterations of the same spirit embodied in their first album, but with better flow and a more elegant execution. One of the more unique additions to the pop-rap genre, the Saturation trilogy brings something that might have been seen as too fringe in the past into the spotlight.

BROCKHAMPTON owes its existence to an online Kanye West forum, where the founders, Kevin Abstract and Jalen Jones, collected some aspiring rappers and formed a band of over a dozen members. Their message is less than unified among all members, but for the most part, they’re about redefining society’s norms when it comes to being a man, a rapper, and even a boy band. They accomplish this through their diverse lineup with members who are black, white, gay and straight, and address this diversity in their lyrics. One of their biggest strengths lies in their self-assuredness and confidence in their unique style, while at the same time using self-deprecation and confession in their works to establish a more raw tone.
I hopped on the bandwagon a little after Saturation II came out and immediately saw the difference in quality between the first and second. No one rapper in BROCKHAMPTON is particularly exceptional, but their strength lies in their unity and unique presentation. This allows the clunkier lines to slide by unnoticed and keep that cool groove that’s a staple of their eclectic albums. In Saturation, many of those lines stick out, and the unity is broken by less interesting sample tracks and more standard beats. By the time Saturation III came out, those samples got more and more off beat,

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almost discordant, yet making the overall groove more funky and interesting. Their unity in the themes for each song also improved by the third album, toning down the frequency of the clunkier lines and showing an increased confidence in the lyrical skills of artists like Abstract. One can tell they really got the hang of what they we’re doing by the third album, and the quality shows. They’ve amassed a dedicated fan base with over 2.6 million listeners monthly, an impressive feat for a group that released its first album less than a year ago.

Despite their joking remarks on social media that Saturation III was their last studio album, (which was false, as they’ve never made a studio album,) I think that it’s a fitting end for the Saturation experiment, and I’m excited to see what this boldly unique and progressive group brings to the table next. If you aren’t sure if hip-hop or rap is really your style, I would give BROCKHAMPTON a chance; their collection is so diverse and out there that anyone is almost guaranteed to find at least one of their songs to be pleasing to the ear.