15 Songs, 48 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

“We were so inspired last year,” Kevin Abstract told Beats 1 host Julie Adenuga about the making of the sprawling LA mega-group BROCKHAMPTON’s fourth album. “I can’t really explain where the inspiration was coming from. Success messes with the way artists create at times.”

So does adversity: Ameer Vann, who was literally the face of the self-styled boy band’s three previous projects, was ousted in 2018 amid allegations of domestic abuse. While he was regarded as one of the group’s best rappers, BROCKHAMPTON has a particularly deep bench; rhyming skill is hardly the only draw. Assembled in part via a Kanye West fan-club message board, the group’s 14 members hail from different corners of the United States, save one from Belfast. The evolving musicality, divergent perspectives and inspirations, and emotional honesty that sent the collective into orbit are all present, if not elevated, on their major-label debut Iridescence. An abundance of vocal distortion that sometimes makes it difficult to identify individual contributors lends a sense of cohesion, and underneath it, the album plays as a beautiful hodgepodge of genres. There’s the traditional gangsta rap bounce of “NEW ORLEANS,” the UK grime-inspired charge of “WHERE THE CASH AT,” and an acoustic guitar ballad in “SAN MARCOS,” all emblematic of a group whose ambition is commensurate with its head count. “We’re nowhere near where we wanna be,” said Abstract. “I’m tryna do Travis Scott numbers.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

“We were so inspired last year,” Kevin Abstract told Beats 1 host Julie Adenuga about the making of the sprawling LA mega-group BROCKHAMPTON’s fourth album. “I can’t really explain where the inspiration was coming from. Success messes with the way artists create at times.”

So does adversity: Ameer Vann, who was literally the face of the self-styled boy band’s three previous projects, was ousted in 2018 amid allegations of domestic abuse. While he was regarded as one of the group’s best rappers, BROCKHAMPTON has a particularly deep bench; rhyming skill is hardly the only draw. Assembled in part via a Kanye West fan-club message board, the group’s 14 members hail from different corners of the United States, save one from Belfast. The evolving musicality, divergent perspectives and inspirations, and emotional honesty that sent the collective into orbit are all present, if not elevated, on their major-label debut Iridescence. An abundance of vocal distortion that sometimes makes it difficult to identify individual contributors lends a sense of cohesion, and underneath it, the album plays as a beautiful hodgepodge of genres. There’s the traditional gangsta rap bounce of “NEW ORLEANS,” the UK grime-inspired charge of “WHERE THE CASH AT,” and an acoustic guitar ballad in “SAN MARCOS,” all emblematic of a group whose ambition is commensurate with its head count. “We’re nowhere near where we wanna be,” said Abstract. “I’m tryna do Travis Scott numbers.”

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