BROCKHAMPTON was a hip hop “boy band” that originated in San Marcos, Texas in 2010 via the “KanyeToTheForum under the original name AliveSinceForever. But when things started to look good for them after they released the SATURATION trilogy to universal acclaim in 2017, one of their founding members Ameer Vann was kicked out midway through the following year due to sexual misconduct resulting in the boys’ next 2 albums following iridescence & GINGER were both released to moderate reception. ROADRUNNER: NEW LIGHT, NEW MACHINE however became their best post-Ameer album a year & a half ago at this point but after announcing their disbandment following their Coachella performances this past April & only a day after their de facto leader Kevin Abstract dropped his new solo effort The Family, the boys are getting back together one last time for their 7th & final album.
“F.M.G. (Fuck My Gang)” is an aggressive trap opener produced by Kiko Merley & JOBA with Dom McLennon & Matt Champion accompanying Kevin to quit being humble whereas “Animal” finds Jabari Manwa, Kevin & Matt talking about turning into beasts over a cloudy Romil Hemnani instrumental. “Listerine” though returns to trap territory as Dom & Jabari addressing a bitch that’s tripping ’cause it’s less on them prior to the playful sounding “New Shoes” with Kevin, Dom, Matt & Merlyn Wood assuring everyone that the group is still on good terms with one another even though they’re disbanding.
However on “Keep It Southern”, we have Kevin & Merlyn over a trap beat with some synths paying tribute to their Texas roots just before “Man on the Moon” dives into more melancholic territory with a cool dance break at the end for Kevin & Matt to talk about wanting to make out with their lover on the actual moon itself & the hook is probably the catchiest on the album. “Better Things” is pretty much a moody Kevin Abstract solo cut with Matt on the hook & an outro from JOBA to speak on the next chapter of their lives just before “Crucify Me” works in some live drums & pianos for Kevin & Matt express their desire to rewind & pretend that they knew what they were in for with a crazy instrumental outro pulling from jazz music.
The song “Duct Tape” has a more booming quality to the instrumental as Jabari, Matt & Kevin admitting that they don’t have anything to talk about anymore as a unit while the penultimate track “Always Something” shoots for a more melodic approach as Dom, JOBA & Kevin sing about letting motherfuckers in something they should know. But then, “GOODBYE” serves as a bittersweet EDM-influenced coda with JOBA & Matt talking about not the “best time of our lives” for granted.
I’ll never forget seeing the SATURATION artwork everywhere when that album was first released when I was 20 & it prompting me to check out their music because it was good enough to make me to stick around for the whole ride, to which I’m happy I did because this was great swan song from them. I like how they fuse elements of trap, alternative R&B, cloud rap & even neo-psychedelia with their west coast pop rap style as everyone braces themselves for the next chapter. And before I end this review, I just wanna thank BROCKHAMPTON for all the dope music they’ve given us in the last 5 years & I wish them all nothing but the best going forward.
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