The so-called “American boy band” of rap, Brockhampton; has made it clear from the start that they aren’t like any other 20 year-olds in the genre at the moment. Lead by the very talented writer/producer Kevin Abstract, Brockhampton consists of around thirteen different members. While each artist comes from a distinct background, the way they mesh their styles within their music is really tremendous.
After a really strong start to their studio album career with Saturation, the anticipation was unreal for their next project. It’s safe to say that I was a really huge fan of that album. Just a couple of months later, Brockhampton not only lives up to my expectations, but even exceeds them onto a whole other level on Saturation II.
The level of maturity on display by guys like Abstract, Matt Champion, Dom McLennon, and Ameer Van is pretty incredible especially compared to their contemporaries. Yeah I don’t mind a little Lil Uzi or Lil Yachty once in awhile, but if your looking for some well-written and well-produced socially conscious rap, than Brockhampton is the hip hop bunch you should be tuning into.
In a world where rap groups are kind of having a resurgence especially with ASAP Mob releasing another mixtape recently, and Migos still killing it over the past couple of years, I think Brockhampton will eventually become the forerunner amongst the competition.
Much like on their previous album, Brockhampton brings versatility on every corner of Saturation II, and I think that they’ve even one-upped themselves. They become a lot more audacious throughout this project, especially on songs like “QUEER” and “JUNKY,” where Abstract reminds us of how many people in his life really misunderstood him due to the fact that he was gay. On the latter single, Abstract takes us on a journey and puts us in his shoes. What stands out on both of these tracks is the fact that Brockhampton was courageous enough to mention a topic that is so taboo (it seems like) in the hip hop community.
I’m surprised that with the amount of producers Brockhampton brings on board, the record never feels inconsistent or messy. Part of that is most likely their amazing chemistry and ability to compromise. It’s pretty extraordinary considering they’ve only been together technically for a few years.
Nonetheless, their production and mixing is beyond their years, and really dark as well. Abstract and Van start the project on the highest point possible on “Gummy,” as the beat and lyrics are reminiscent of 90s rap. That’s kind of the consensus for a majority of this record. You can see the influence a guy like Kid Cudi or Kanye had within some of the aesthetic, but it’s distinct enough where Brockhampton makes sure that their own sound jumps off the track.
Not only would you consider this alternative rap, but the group also incorporates a pop/R&B flavor on some parts as well, much like on Saturation. One of their main singers, BearFace really shines on “JESUS” and “SUMMER.” The latter is a tasteful subtle happier ending to an otherwise mature and serious album.
There are so many catchy and memorable hooks on every single song, it’s surprising how some have not had at least a little mainstream appeal. Many notable choruses were riddled throughout especially on “TOKYO,” “SWAMP,” and “SWEET.” The different melodies and notes that Abstract hits on these singles are probably the highlight of the entire record. Yes, you could make a viable argument that maybe because Brockhampton has so many members that it could feel like a bit much, but with these fantastic choruses mixed in, the product is that much more momentous.
There’s really not much else to say other than go listen. This may be one of the most important hip hop records of our generation. I think that what makes Brockhampton so impressive is how subtle they are going about trying to address certain situations within their community and in the world.
Sure, there is a lot to take in with so many different verses and people to remember but trust me, if you sit down and give this “boy band” the time that they deserve, you may just find exactly how incredibly talented they really are.