N.W.A, Wu-Tang Clan, Odd Future and Migos — the idea of a hip-hop group isn’t anything new. In fact, hip-hop groups like the ones previously mentioned have given us some of the most influential and popular songs in the genre’s history.
However, in a genre mainly dominated by solo acts and big names like Drake and Kendrick Lamar, one group is using its impressive work ethic, large internet following and underrated talent to take the hip-hop industry by storm. They aren’t quite household names just yet, but with multiple music videos hitting over one million views on YouTube already, Brockhampton is off to a great start.
Often described as “the internet’s first boyband,” the 15 man Brockhampton crew currently includes rappers/vocalists Kevin Abstract, Ameer Vann, Merlyn Wood, Dom McLennon, Matt Champion, JOBA and bearface as well as a talented crew of producers, creative directors and photographers.
Started in San Marcos, Texas, by high school friends Ameer Vann and Ian Simpson, also known as Kevin Abstract, in 2012, the band has grown since then, with Vann and Simpson finding many other members of Brockhampton through popular internet forum “KanyeToThe,” which has led to their “internet boyband” moniker.
Releasing their first single “BET I” in January 2015, the group followed it up with a couple more singles before dropping their debut mixtape “All-American Trash” in March 2016. The mixtape was praised by the indie hip scene for it’s ability to dive into many different genres of Hip-Hop and R&B.
However, the real hype for the now California-based Hip-Hop boyband didn’t start to build until the release of their first studio album “SATURATION” in June of 2017. Widely claimed by most fans and music experts alike, the groups tremendous chemistry, well produced beats and exhilarating flow were all on display.
After a successful debut album, Brockhampton fans wanted more, and the group delivered. A mere two months after “SATURATION” released, Kevin Abstract and company released a sequel to their album, aptly entitled “SATURATION II.” With both albums eclipsing 15 tracks, fans and critics were amazed with the sheer production and work ethic of the group.
Many feared releasing a sequel album that quick would suffer in quality. However, “SATURATION II” was quickly praised as an improvement to its predecessor both sonically and lyrically. With two successful albums in a matter of months, Brockhampton put the Hip-Hop industry on notice.
Brockhampton’s sound is hard to pinpoint. On one hand, their genre of Hip-Hop is comparable to fellow hip-hip collective “Odd Future,” but at the same time they break many molds in both their music and style.
The confidence and passion oozes out when you listen to their music. Each member offers their own unique style of flow and clever lyrics while the instrumentals and beats, on “SATURATION II” in particular, offer some of the most well produced and exciting that the genre currently has to offer.
The band has been pushing the boundaries of hip-hop and rap music with their experimental and alternative sound, and is definitely something that is hard to explain unless you listen yourself. However, with all members of the group in their early 20s and an obvious passion and tremendous work ethic, it’s clear that Brockhampton may very well be the future of hip-hop.
On Dec. 1 Brockhampton announced on Twitter, to fan’s delight, that “SATURATION III” will be released on Dec. 15.
Wide grins quickly turned to worried frowns as the boyband also announced that while the new album will complete the trilogy, it will also be the last studio album from Brockhampton.
Since then, fans — myself included — have been in denial. A rapidly growing group like Brockhampton was a breath of fresh air for the hip-hop genre, and an avid fan base and consistently great music seemed like a perfect recipe for future superstardom.
Many fans believe that the group may go back to releasing mixtapes as opposed to official studio albums, or possibly new albums under a different name.
“SATURATION II” is my choice for album of the year, and it would be a shame if the third installment of the trilogy is the group’s last project.
However, if the group continues to release new music in any shape or form, look out for the “the internet’s first boyband” to continue their climb into mainstream popularity as the hip-hop genre’s next big thing.