Best boy band since One Direction

Amanda Kroll '19, Page Designer

Back in 2015 in San Marcos, Texas, the so-called “boy-band” BROCKHAMPTON was formed. The group is formed of 13 plus members: Kevin Abstract, Matt Champion, Jobari Manwa, Kiko Merley, Ashlan Grey, Henock “HK” Sileshi, Merlyn Wood, Ciaran Ruaridh McDonald (also known as Bearface), Robert Ontinient, Romil Hemnani, Dominic Michael Simpson (Dom Mclennon), Russell Boring (better known as Joba), Kevin Doan, and former members Ameer Vann and Rodney Tenor.

“I’ve never heard of a hip-hop based group having that many members while also not having all of them on their tracks,” senior Devin Murray stated.

While not all are voices in the collaboration, the group views its photographers, VFX engineers, producers, graphic designers, web designers as part of the band even if their voice isn’t on any of the records. They include them because, in an interview, the leader of the group Kevin Abstract stated that they all have a part in the process and should be included as a member. The group originally got together off of the website “KanyeToThe” which is a fanbase website about rapper Kanye West.

“I think that it was really cool that a band was created using social media,” junior Hailey Coleman stated. “I mean we know that bands like One Direction and Fifth Harmony were both created on TV shows so I don’t see why a band couldn’t be created online.”

Through the past three years the group has released the multi-genre  “All American Trash” in 2016, in 2017 a trilogy called “Saturation”, and recently released the album “Iridescence” in September of 2018. The success of the “Saturation” trilogy led them to a record deal with RCA. Months later they found themselves to be the talk around when news hit that they kicked out member Ameer Vann for amid allegations of sexual misconduct and their album in the works, PUPPY, was then scrapped completely. Iridescence does not disappoint and also includes many artists like Tyler the Creator and Jaden Smith featured on the tracks.

“When I heard their new album was going to drop, I got really excited and listened to it at school at 6 am when I got there,” Murray stated. “My girlfriend and other friend got really excited too.”

Many of their songs, even though they are all labeled explicit content, have important topics and messages that other rap artists or “boy bands” don’t cover. One of their many songs, “JUNKY”, talks about stereotypes and taboos within the hip-hop community. Abstract calls out the rap industry’s homophobia and how they don’t treat the subject lightly. The group in the song also talk about topics of drug abuse, the uselessness of education, suicidal thoughts and rape culture. This song is an honest portrayal of what a diverse group of guys goes through in their lives. “QUEER” is a song that could sound misleading but while the word “queer” has become a popular term for all LQBTQ+ identities.

The group takes the word back to the original meaning and each member raps about being outcasts and weird. Another song of theirs, “STAR”, lets fans know during Abstract’s verse that he is a real person going through real issues. He talks about not being accepted by his family and friends but making it sound less depressing and that being gay and black isn’t revolutionary, but this track serves as a reminder that it is hard.

“‘STAR’ is one of my favorite songs and the video is so cool and Ammer’s verse is something that I sing all the time,” Coleman stated. “I would totally recommend this group to anyone if given the opportunity. The group is so diverse and different than anything ever done before.”