This is the surprise 2nd EP from San Marcos, Texas hip hop boyband BROCKHAMPTON. Originally emerging under the name AliveSinceForever in 2010, they put out a self-titled EP in 2013 under the radar before catching some attention off their debut mixtape ALL-AMERICAN TRASH back in 2016. However, it wouldn’t be until the following year that we saw them completely reinventing themselves by dropping the near-perfectly creative SATURATION trilogy. Then there’s the infamous sexual misconduct scandal revolving around the boyband’s most popular lyricist at the time Ameer Vann halfway through 2018, which resulted in him being kicked out of BROCKHAMPTON. A decision that to this very day resulted in many people to fall off with the boys. Their next 2 albums iridescence & GINGER were both released to moderate reception, but they eventually took 2020 off & returned to form a couple months back off ROADRUNNER: NEW LIGHT, NEW MACHINE. However after being initially released with the box set as CD exclusive bonus tracks, Kevin Abstract & company have finally decided to make them available for streaming.
“PRESSURE” is pretty much Merlyn Wood & Dom McLennon on top of a generic trap beat showing off, but then the 2nd half “BOW WOW” is pretty much a brief ssgkobe solo cut with a summery instrumental & Kevin Abstract on the hook taking it back to the fashion style of the early 2000’s.
The next song “SEX” finds the whole gang together on top of some hi-hats & synthesizers to rap about fucking, but then the EP finishes off with the remix & original version of “JEREMIAH”. The lyrics on both versions are the same proclaiming themselves as profits, but the difference between them is that the remix has a guitar intro, the vocals are pitched up & there’s a shorter beat outro. The original is the other away around.
I’ve said before that ROADRUNNER is the most consistent BROCKHAMPTON album I’ve heard since SATURATION III & that still stands. However, I’m kinda torn on this EP. None of these joints are necessarily amazing or horrible, they just feel like mediocre throwaways to me.
BROCKHAMPTON is 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. The boys’ next 2 albums following iridescence & GINGER were both released to moderate reception & after taking 2020 off, Kevin Abstract & the gang are returning from the shadows by dropping their 6th & allegedly penultimate album.
“BUZZCUT” is a off-the-wall opener as Kevin & Danny Brown come through with some conscious undertones through their lyrics backed by a psychedelic instrumental from Jabari Manwa. The next song “Chain On” goes into a more cloud rap direction as Kevin connects with JPEGMAFIA to speak out against police brutality whereas “Count on Me” is a summery anthem about how everything will be ok regardless of what they say & even though I think Matt Champion & A$AP Rocky both kill their verses, I can’t say the same for SoGoneSoFlexy.
The track “Bankroll” is a hazy trap banger with Merlyn Wood, Jabari & A$AP Ferg to show off their wealth while “The Light” is pretty much JOBA & Kevin venting about something being missing deep inside them over an ominous boom bap instrumental. The song “Windows” everyone reuniting with SoGoneSoFlexy to talk about how crazy they are with an icier instrumental than the previous cut & then “I’ll Take You On” finds Charlie Wilson joining Matt & bearface to cook up an gorgeous alternative R&B joint.
The instrumental on “Old News” kinda reminds me of Baby Bash’s “Suga Suga” for some odd reason as the boys tap in Baird to address the games their lovers put them through, but then Matt & JOBA get together on “What’s the Occasion?” to vent about how “a million little pieces all add up to nothing lately” on top of an acoustic/boom bap instrumental with some occasional synths. Chad Hugo laces the piano ballad “When I Ball” that sees Matt & Dom McLennon looking back on their younger days whereas the chaotically-produced “Don’t Shoot Up the Party” finds Kevin & Matt speaking against the bigotry in America. The track “Dear Lord” is a short, a capella bearface solo cut about his brother needing help & then “The Light, Pt. II” is an optimistic, almost gospel-flavored closer from Kevin & JOBA.
If anyone’s been turned off by these guys given the moderate reception of their last 2 albums, then I highly recommend giving this a shot because this is their most consistent effort since SATURATION III. I really dig how they started to incorporate more outside collaborators even though not all of them stick the landing & the boys do a great job at showing listeners what’s been going on in their world ever since GINGER came out.
This is the 5th full-length album from San Marcos, Texas hip hop boyband BROCKHAMPTON. They first came together with an average debut mixtape in 2016 called ALL-AMERICAN TRASH, but it wouldn’t be until the following year that we saw them completely reinventing themselves by dropping the near-perfectly creative SATURATION trilogy. Then there’s the infamous sexual misconduct scandal revolving around the boyband’s most popular lyricist Ameer Vann last May, which resulted in him being kicked out of BROCKHAMPTON. A decision that to this very day is still polarizing by many. However, I think they managed to pull through shortly after with their last full-length album iridescence. Fast forward 11 months later, here we are with GINGER.
The album kicks off with “NO HALO”, where the boys sans de facto leader Kevin Abstract venting about personal issues over an acoustic instrumental from Jabari Manwa. The next song “SUGAR” gets romantic over another acoustic instrumental while the track “BOY BYE” talks about each member’s highs & lows over a quirky beat from Romil Hemnani & Q3. The short “HEAVEN BELONGS TO YOU” is a completely random slowthai song while the track “ST. PERCY” finds the boys charismatically bragging over a bassy instrumental & I absolutely love the Missy Elliott/Timbaland vibes during the hook. The track “IF YOU PRAY RIGHT” gets spiritual over a prominent tuba with Dom McLennon starting it off in a charming fashion while the song “DEARLY DEPARTED” addresses Ameer Vann’s dismissal over a cavernously melodic beat.
The track “I BEEN BORN AGAIN” talk about their newfound fame over a minimalist beat while the titular song finds Kevin teaming with Matt Champion & bearface to get a bit darker on the topical end over an inebriating beat. The track “BIG BOY” sees Kevin, bearface & JOBA recalling their childhood experiences over a dream-like instrumental while the penultimate song “LOVE ME FOR LIFE” finds everyone from then previous joint getting with Merlyn Wood over a lively yet subdued instrumental. The album then finishes with “VICTOR ROBERTS”, which is an introduction to a rapper with the same name over a bare piano instrumental.
This is the boys’ weakest album so far, but it’s still solid. Of course each song stands out in it’s own way, but it kinda lacks in catchiness both rapping-wise & instrumentally. Hopefully, they’ll step it up on the next effort.
With 2017 drawing to a close, California based hip hop boyband BROCKHAMPTON is giving us their 3rd full-length album & the final installment of their highly acclaimed SATURATION trilogy. The album starts off with “BOOGIE”, where they’re talking about how they’re taking over the game & the instrumental from Romil Hemnani & Jabari Manwa will make you wanna throw a party. The next track “ZIPPER” talks about their continuing rise to fame & the beat is infectious as Hell. The song “JOHNNY” is basically the group going back & forth reflecting about them during their adolescence up until now & the jazzy horn sample is super dope. The track “LIQUID” talks about their individual rags to riches stories & the beat is super murky.
After the “CINEMA 1” skit, we then go into the next song “STUPID”. Here, they talk about not wanting boys to see what’s in their phones & the last 2 verses from Dom McLennon along with his brother & BROCKHAMPTON de facto leader Kevin Abstract fits it perfectly. The track “BLEACH” talks about their demons over a druggy instrumental (with the deepest verse coming from Ameer Vann) & then the song “ALASKA” talks about feelin’ brand new over some strings. The synths during the hook are great as well. The track “HOTTIE” sees the group talking their consciouses & I absolutely love how JOBA goes back & forth with both Merlyn Wood & Matt Champion on here.
After the “CINEMA 2” skit, we then get into the next song “SISTER / NATION”. Where they talk about finding themselves & their days are coming to rubble over a beat that starts off abrasive yet noisy, but then transitions into something spacey. The track “RENTAL” essentially tackles the idea of the collective losing it all & the beat from Romil alongside Q3 is pretty spacey. The penultimate song “STAINS” expresses their gratefulness of where they are now over a Neptunes-esque instrumental. After the “CINEMA 3” skit, we then go into the closer “TEAM”. It starts off with bearface. singing over a guitar, but then it changes into something more funky as the other members go back & forth with each other as they get semi-political.
As expected, BROCKHAMPTON finished the SATURATION trilogy the way they started it: near perfectly. The production is more experimental & it’s a bit more introspective. Can’t wait to see what they’re gonna do on their 4th album Team Effort in 2018
Almost 3 months after their breakout debut SATURATION, San Marcos hip hop boyband BROCKHAMPTON is now delivering a follow-up. The opener “GUMMY” addresses their haters along with how they’ll ride with each other until the end over an amazingly eerie g-funk instrumental from in-house producers Romil Hemnani & Q3. The next song “QUEER” starts off even more abrasive both sonically & with the first 2 verses that’re delivered by Matt Champion & Merlyn Wood, but then it sounds more relaxing & the way they express & transition into each mood are just flawless. The track “JELLO” talks about their newfound success over an suspicious sounding instrumental & while the hook from the collective’s de facto leader Kevin Abstract is high-pitched, it is catchy. The short Ameer Vann solo cut “TEETH” vents about going from getting in trouble all his life to tanning on an island over some beautiful female soul vocals in the background. The track “SWAMP” talks about them going from rags to riches & while Jabari Manwa’s production does sound Neptunes inspired, it doesn’t come off as generic whatsoever. After a 40-second skit of Robert Ontenient sending a message to a lover, things then transition into the next song “TOKYO” where the group vents about internal conflict along with finding yourself over a jazzy instrumental. However, the Trick Daddy inspired hook from Kevin is just meh to me. The track “JESUS” solely has these somber keys throughout & it sees Kevin Abstract rapping a verse directed towards his ex-lover for the first half, but then we get a beautifully sung outro from bearface. on the other half. The track “CHICK” pretty much tells the internet gangsters to relax & that they’re only gonna become more popular over an ominous yet galactic-sounding instrumental. The song “JUNKY” has a hardcore beat & the way that they vent about their individual problems was very passionate. Especially with the first verse, where Kevin Abstract fires back at all the people who criticize him for being bisexual. After a skit where Robert’s praying in Spanish, we are then treated to the next song “FIGHT”. Here, Ameer & Dom McLennon talking about being bigger than just a target & not letting their worlds be attempted over an instrumental with a creepy Middle Eastern vibe to it. Funny enough, Kiko Merley’s production on the next track “SWEET” sounds kinda reminiscent to Madlib’s Beat Konducta in India album & out of all the verses, the last one from JOBA really stood out to me. Mainly because of the way he continuously changes the pitch of his voice throughout the duration of it à la Kendrick Lamar. The song “GAMBA” sees the group singing about being happy with their lovers over a spacey instrumental that sounds just as beautiful & mood-enlightening. The penultimate track “SUNNY” talks about not wanting to see bad days along with smoking after talking to Ameer’s parole officer over a twangy guitar with a Southern tone to it. The closer “SUMMER” is pretty much bearface. is singing about how his male crush should be his over some somber piano keys, but then comes in a guitar that sounds reminiscent to the psychedelic rock era from the 60’s & you can’t help but just slowly groove along to it. Not a lot of sequel albums live up to the hype of their predecessors, but this is one of those rare occasions where it actually does. It’s similar to the first one in a few ways (i.e. the letters of the song titles along with the Ameer solo cut & the bearface. closer) but it sounds so much different & it’s just as consistent, creative & passionate than before. This definitely makes me anticipate SATURATION III to drop by the end of the year, because they’re really continuing to be a breath of fresh air in today’s hip hop scene