Self-proclaimed 15 member “boy band,” BROCKHAMPTON, has exploded in exposure and popularity over the course of just one year. The project is headed up by alternative hip-hop personality Kevin Abstract and features a wide berth of young emerging talent, both in terms of lyrical prowess and gripping production. Despite releasing their debut mixtape “All-American Scum” in March of 2016, 2017 is the year where BROCKHAMPTON really began to shine. In just one calendar year the troupe released a ridiculous amount of content in the form of their SATURATION trilogy, a collection of three full length studio albums. The ultimate record in the trilogy, “SATURATION III,” released to critical acclaim on Dec. 15. Not only has each SATURATION album marked the general improvements that the group has made in their musical consistency and theming, but they also mark the improving confidence and talent of each of its stars. SATURATION III is a shining gem in the alternative hip-hop genre and represents the boys of BROCKHAMPTON giving the world the best representation of their potential yet.
The record has a perfectly handled start with the explosive and energetic intro track BOOGIE. The track wastes no time with any form of buildup and instead instantly bombards the listener with funky saxophone fills, high pitched police sirens and a deep growling synth bassline that perfectly backs up the energetic lyrical flows. While the actual lyrical content here doesn’t necessarily make any big points, its not necessary for it to do so as this intro track serves to introduce the main rappers of the group and their individual styles. The hooks presented by Kevin Abstract paint a clear picture of his pride in who he is and dismisses all the challenges thrown at him because of his personal interests and sexual orientation. Matt Champion brings his usual charismatic and confrontational flair. The smooth flows of Ameer and Dom have short and sweet appearances at just the right points. Merlyn brings his goofy and over the top vocal inflections. And Joba, well, Joba just goes crazy as usual.
What follows this introduction to the record is a collection of extremely solid tracks that all bring some pretty gripping production and lyrical quality. A good example of this is the cut “JOHNNY” which is a more somber, introspective track that delves into the personal struggles of each of the vocalists. The instrumental is emotional and densely layered with lots of interesting, little components. The tracks begin with slightly synthesized strings and some dull and hollow percussion. This then blossoms into the main melody driven by some solemn piano chords, noir-like trumpet fills, wood block percussion and some very subtle record scratches. The bittersweet tone this instrumental creates perfectly backs up the lyrical content from each of the rappers ranging from Joba’s self-depreciation over his history as an ungrateful son and a drug addict to Matt Champion’s restrospective look at how his life could have gone so much worse for him if he didn’t have the support of his family to get him back on the right path.
A Stellar cut off the second half of the record is “BLEACH.” The instrumental on this track is deep, punchy, distorted and strange. It uses some heavily modulated electronic synth chords, a rattling bassline and some wavy and ethereal guitar notes. The flows from each of the boys on this track are equally otherworldly with each one of them somberly delivering lines about their own personal demons that are holding them back or otherwise causing them to have conflicting emotions about their lives. As one of the most emotional tracks on the record, it is also one of the most memorable and the hook has some of the most staying power out of all of BORCKHAMPTON’s discography.
BROCKHAMPTON is a brand-new name on the scene, even if the release of their third studio project might suggest otherwise. In just a year the group has managed to consistently pump out high quality projects that just keep improving and “SATURATION III” is a testament to just how much potential these young men have. With the group already making plans to release their fourth studio album “TEAM EFFORT” in 2018, it is evident that they have no intentions of slowing their roll. It remains to be seen whether they can continue to build steam, but with the SATURATION trilogy under their belts, it is very highly likely that they will continue to release quality content throughout 2018 as well.
OTHER GREAT CUTS
STUPID; HOTTIE; ZIPPER