While Brockhampton themselves were the ones who first claimed their boyband title, the ravenous fanbase they’ve amassed – particular over the past year – have been instrumental in cementing that label.
brockhampton ginger album – Las Vegas Luxury Hotel
Ameer Vann is a rapper from the alternative hip-hop collective Brockhampton. Recently Abstract has become preoccupied with endings. In a recent i-D interview , Abstract answered honestly about his uncertainty for the future of Brockhampton. How long does it last?” he said, meaning not only the band but also his friendships—Brockhampton’s 2017 album Iridescence mourns the loss of former member and Abstract’s longtime friend Ameer Vann, who was booted from the group after sexual assault allegations. Abstract, who doesn’t want to make another solo album, has foreseen the ending of the group; the boys have talked about it, he admitted. But it will not be surprising if, when the Brockhampton site goes cold and their social media accounts start to grow stale, a new boy band forms out of the ashes of the Brockhampton forums online and takes up the mantle, ready to move even faster.
The oldest rapper of the bunch, Dom McLennon bolsters Ameer Vann’s aggression with some added cynical sarcasm. McLennon’s maturity and previous solo endeavors lend greatly to his technical proficiency, most notably in his verses on SWAMP” and HEAT.” McLennon is also quite vocal about mental health on and off his verses, a refreshing take in an industry and overall society that tends to overlook the grave consequences of mental illness.
The guys attribute their newfound confidence to finally taking a break from music, as well as the experience of watching Kevin Abstract create an intensely personal solo album, ARIZONA BABY, released in April 2019.
One of the biggest surprises of 2018 has been the meteoric rise of self‑declared ‘boy band’ Brockhampton. The group’s first three albums Saturation, Saturation II and Saturation III were all released in 2017, each album charting higher than its predecessor, and this year’s Iridescence reached the top spot in the USA.
With Ginger,” their fifth record in just over two years, they’ve presented their tightest and potentially most memorable album yet. Across twelve tracks, the rap collective is noticeably more controlled and concise. Not coincidentally, the group’s two wild card voices, Joba and Merlyn Wood, typically providing the group with surges of rage or playfully wild energy, have largely quieted their typically outlandish voices and yelping bars. The undercurrent of anxiety — a hallmark of the group’s identity — is still present but holds new weight here, more mature and weary, and less a mark of their youth.
The colorless motif sprayed across Ginger becomes even more apparent in the video for I BEEN BORN AGAIN,” which the group filmed in black and white. Bearface whispers his intro, Abstract opts for a monotonous flow, and Joba’s verse has been pitched down to oblivion. The eerie instrumental makes for a creepy listening experience. Think abandoned circus in the middle of a forest.
Establishing an expansive repertoire of music spanning a multitude of genres between them, the final footnote in the era preceding Brockhampton’s explosive 2017 came in the form of ‘All-American Trash’. The equivalent of a handpicked mixtape you might gift a crush after a few dates in the hope that they’ll understand you better, it serves to put the spotlight on the talents and quirks of the group’s individual members, above demonstrating their prowess as a cohesive unit. For anybody wanting to quickly familiarise themselves with the who’s who of the group, it’s the ideal starting point – especially since ‘Flip Mo’ gives the charismatic Merlyn Wood his first starring role on a track and ‘Lost In Love’ puts full focus on the delightful singing chops of vocal powerhouse Joba.
Ginger is far less experimental than its predecessor but also much bleaker. As soon as the ominous strings begin on opening track NO HALO,” it’s apparent BROCKHAMPTON isn’t interested in creating party jams or bangers. Matt Champion’s verse about his ex-girlfriend raiding his apartment for belongings sets the tone early, while Merlyn sings No one help me when my eyes go red” in the chorus alongside Deb Never. These brief moments of darker themes foreshadow a much heavier album; one that is seeming without hope.
The track focuses on the topics of loss and the trauma that comes with it, whether it be a friend or relative, the band speaks on ex-member Ameer Vann , and explores the impact that his actions had on the group. A notable anecdote appears in Dom’s verse, detailing how Ameer had set up one of his friends to be robbed. The song also touches on the loss of loved ones with Matt Champion and Joba both speaking on the loss of their grandparents.
From fan forum beginnings, to becoming the best boyband since One Direction – get to know this game-changing Texan collective. Brockhampton hasn’t been the group’s only moniker, though: an early and much looser version of the collective went by the name AliveSinceForever.
Even when the group settles into slower jams, like Saturation II’s SUNNY,” color still plays a large part in the overall feeling of the track. A single guitar string leads the song’s instrumental. It feels like a drive home under an open roof as the sun sets; a feeling that would then be reciprocated on the bearface-led outro SUMMER.” These songs, released in August 2017, sound like the end of the brightest season as the dark, lonely days of winter approached.
The remaining members may not sing or rap, but are just as equal in the band, appearing alongside the rest of the Brockhampton crew in public appearances. Jabari Manwa and Kiko Merley collectively call themselves Q3 and run production. Robert Ontinient started as the band’s web developer and later added production work. Ashlan Grey is the group’s photographer and cinematographer, while Henock Sileshi (a.k.a. HK) is the creative director and graphic designer. Finally, Romil Hemnani is Brockhampton’s lead producer and one of the more outspoken members during interviews. Oh, and don’t forget tour manager Jon Nunes.
Led by solo artist Kevin Abstract, they all moved into a house in South Central Los Angeles, doused themselves in blue paint, and shot DIY music videos and short films. Their youthful, wild abandon came across impressively well.
Vann’s departure held a particular weight at this juncture, off the cusp of the third and final Saturation album. After all, Vann was literally the face of Brockhampton; his picture featured on the cover art of all three records. His aggressive vocals and violent lyrics played a satisfying foil to the otherwise emotionally intimate and heartfelt tones of his former bandmates. The stylistic vacuum his removal left is felt profoundly on the two Brockhampton albums released after his departure. Their fanbase, once relatively docile and united, fractured into taking sides on every nuance of the issue. Many agreed that assuming the allegations were true, removal from the group was more than appropriate. Others remained loyal to Vann in hopes that he would eventually release more material.
BOY BYE” was the first song conceived for the album. That was a session that Jabari and I were just running after one of our first conversations as a group and with Shia Labeouf. After that, Jabari and I just locked in for five or six hours and made a couple of tracks, and Boy Bye” was the first one.
A year later, the group decided to release its own documentary, The Longest Summer Ever, directed by Abstract. Billboard reports that the film focuses on a hectic few months for the band, including the allegations against Ameer Vann. The boys emotionally describe watching the situation unfold, wondering if it was “the end of everything they had worked so hard for.” Cue Ansel Elgort to the rescue! The Baby Driver actor invited the band to Hawaii for a much-needed rejuvenating vacation. The documentary — or, maybe Brockumentary — ends with the band returning to form and recording its fourth album, Iridescence, at the famed London recording space, Abbey Road Studios.
In only a few short years, Brockhampton’s ascent has given rise to an origin story seemingly engineered to concoct a new set of cliché teen fantasies for the 2010s. A group of outcasts find each other on a Kanye West fan forum and drop everything to move in together in Texas, before picking up and moving to Los Angeles. They start making R&B-inflected rap music, and movies, and merch; release three intensely personal and occasionally beautiful albums, each called Saturation; attract an obsessive fanbase, filled with young people who flock to the anarchic energy of the collective. They start touring, and their shows take on a mythic quality. Eventually, they get a record deal; in this case, it was for $15 million with RCA.
There’s something about Texas and its ability to produce highly talented rap groups. Pronounced Pantheon, the 10-man rap collective from San Marcos is building off groups like Wu-Tang Klan, A$AP Mob, Odd Future and of course Brockhampto n. Although those groups opened the gates, PNTHN only further widens them. They have hit the ground running since forming in March 2017. The collective has already released two EPs and has toured with acts like Vince Staples and Freddie Gibbs. Their diversity and ability to produce both chill and hype beats has put them on the radar. Recently, the group showcased their live performance abilities at SXSW. If you want to say I told you so” to your friends in the future, peep these dudes.
Kevin Abstract, Matt Champion and Dom McLennon all take a step back on Dearly Departed” for a plain-spoken song. They openly share their fears, regrets, and struggles in the past few years. The split with former group member and childhood friend Ameer Vann (after sexual misconduct allegations) runs like a common thread through all three verses. Most notably in the last verse, in which Dom McLennon comes clean about Ameer setting up one of his friends to be robbed.
Their music may be diverse, but grunge isn’t really a genre you would usually associate with Brockhampton. Believe it or not, four of the group’s members (Kevin, Bearface, Romil and HK) once formed a reverb-heavy side-project called NOWIFIII.
Taking to their social media account earlier today BROCKHAMPTON shared a snippet of new music, which also seemingly teases the arrival of their forthcoming album rumored to be titled, GINGER. Check out the clip below starring Matt Champion.
As he searches for the best words to describe the current era of Brockhampton, Kevin Abstract jokes, All Grown Up! Like that cartoon show with the Rugrats.” Having battled through a traumatic period marked by Vann’s departure and the weight of expectations that come with a massive record deal, they emerged with a deeply personal album they all agree is their best work yet. Reenergized, they now have their sights set on the future, squarely focused on reaching as many people as possible and becoming the biggest artists in the world.
One of the most versatile singles leading up to Iridescence, 1998 Truman” includes an intro of Jim Jones screaming about the evils of capitalism (You’re not free with your Cadillac!”) while Merlyn, Joba, Matt, and Dom spit lightning-fast verses about proving the doubters wrong — all while relaxing in a pool or on top of an abandoned car.
As for his stage name, Abstract (real name Ian Simpson) came up with the moniker at the age of 12 after borrowing the name of someone he thought was cool (Kevin) and combining that with the description offered by a friend when he asked them to describe his style of music (Abstract). It may have been 10 years since then, but the name has lasted the test of time.
If you can believe it, there actually used to be more boys in Brockhampton. The first group iteration was a band called AliveSinceForever, which consisted of 40 (!!) members, according to Complex Though Kevin Abstract was a main part of the original band, he explained in an interview with The Fader that he wanted more creative power. With his own vision of a band, Abstract reached out to other AliveSinceForever members to branch off and try something new.
Hip‑hop collective Brockhampton abandoned their home studios for Abbey Road — and left with a number one album. BROCKHAMPTON is an LA-based boyband formed in San Marcos, Texas in 2015. Kevin Abstract helped form the current group in 2015, after posting on popular Kanye West forum that he wanted to start a band.
The original and first ‘Saturation’ release marks the first time that the members of Brockhampton all wrote and recorded together in the same living space. Their newfound sense of intimacy immediately translates to their output. There’s a burning desire to bring out the best in each other that bubbles to the surface on songs like ‘STAR’, the album’s de-facto banger that sees McLennon, Vann and Abstract bouncing pop culture references off one another in quick succession. There’s also a collective outpouring of bottled-up thoughts and emotions that spill over tracks like ‘MILK’ – a special moment that sees Wood opening up about feeling ostracised by college despite being formally accepted, and McLennon delivering a deeply introspective monologue at its tail-end.
Abstract has also been busy this year with a solo release , Arizona Baby. However he’s publicly commented that he mostly made the album as a filler because Brockhampton weren’t in a place to release one collectively, and doesn’t plan to do it again.
The rest of the Top 5 features albums that have performed consistently on streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music. Eminem’s Kamikaze” is No. 3, with 65,000 units (57 million streams); Drake’s Scorpion,” in its 13th week, is No. 4, adding another 63,000 units (81 million streams); and No. 5 is Travis Scott’s Astroworld,” eight weeks on, with 57,000 units (76 million streams).
Overall, this album is very good. The mood is wildly different from their debut trilogy, but they transitioned very well following iridescence,” successfully retaining the BROCKHAMPTON sound while still creating an entirely unique album.
It is followed by the titular song GINGER,” a moody song that features a slow beat that gradually increases in tempo and integrates hi-hats until reaching a heavily autotuned finish. GINGER” fades out into the next song BIG BOY,” a more emotional song with animated vocals that bring the mood back to a more somber tone.
However, quickly following the accusations — and notably amid the #MeToo movement — Brockhampton announced that Vann had been kicked out of the group via Twitter Meanwhile, the remaining members canceled the rest of their U.S. tour. In a follow-up piece, Pitchfork further detailed the original allegations and reported on additional stories from other women who had come forward against Vann. While speaking with Billboard that July, Kevin Abstract explained how he and the band spoke internally with Vann immediately following the allegations because a “family’s built on trust.” Explaining that Vann “broke that trust,” Abstract revealed that this is what led to the decision to no longer welcome the accused rapper as a member of Brockhampton.
junkie, I was eager to dive into their latest collection and rediscover their sound. The album is the first to be released since the departure of founding band member Ameer Vann earlier in 2018. Brockhampton fans had been eagerly awaiting new music after several projects were prematurely announced and canceled (R.I.P. Puppy). At the end of my first listen, however, something felt… off.
But GINGER strips away most of that energy. It’s the sound of those teenagers growing up, but not in the way that, say, Tyler, the Creator did on Flower Boy in 2017. It’s BROCKHAMPTON angling for the mature album, approaching adulthood with slicker beats while they rap about being social outcasts dealing with an enduring depression.
It’s that group attitude that made BROCKHAMPTON so much fun in the first place: Their 2017 TRL performance of BOOGIE” in Times Square proved their collaborative energy was what made them so engaging, perhaps even delivering the lasting image of the boy band.” It was chaotic, messy and thrilling, thanks in no small part to Joba’s batshit-crazy screams. It was the sound of a handful of teenagers losing their minds, not at all concerned with music industry rhetoric. They were doing their thing.
Brockhampton producer Romil Hemnani just won two stuffed bears from a crane game, and fellow beatmaker Kiko Merley is running through the concessions area, yelling in celebration. Twenty feet away, rapper Merlyn Wood is blasting their new song Sugar” through his backpack speakers while group leader Kevin Abstract scrolls through the Brockhampton subreddit and shares fan-created memes with fellow MC Matt Champion.
Iridescence is the first part of a new trilogy (titled The Best Years Of Our Lives) and, judging by their previous work ethic, fans should expect even more music in the coming months. We’re pumped already.
Many musicians spend the first part of their career putting everything into their debut album, which often creates that “sophomore slump” effect for their follow-up effort. According to LA Weekly , this is when an artist is forced to start the songwriting process all over again with time constraints based on the first album’s popularity. Yikes.
Founded by Kevin Abstract, BROCKHAMPTON consists of fourteen kids, all filling different roles to create a self sufficient creative enterprise. Made of rappers, directors, photographers, engineers, producers, graphic designers, and DJs the group is able to execute a fully unified and realized artistic vision.