Saturation Album Review
Question Everything, Inc.
Released June 9, 2017
Genre: Hip Hop, Experimental Hip Hop
Originating from Texas, the Kevin Abstract led boy-band Brockhampton burst onto the music scene as a breath of fresh air. With numerous trap and cloud rap acts popping up left and right, it’s relieving to hear young and upcoming talent simply pumping on all cylinders, ripe with originality. Following the promising 2016 mixtape All -American Trash and Abstract’s American Boyfriend last fall, Brockhampton have finally delivered a debut that defines a generation of ready-to-go artists – musicians, producers, graphic designers, photographers, and videographers – to prove their worth to the world; and SATURATION doesn’t disappoint.
The blissfully chaotic “HEAT” is a jolt of raw energy from the group of 20-somethings that aren’t afraid of getting a little noisy from the get-go; “GOLD” encapsulates the gleeful indulgence and swagger within the group’s most accessible tune on the project. “STAR” playfully name drops celebrities names and respective films, playfully highlighting the individual members’ flows and lyrical strengths. “BUMP” shows a vacillating sweet and dirty dichotomy, with Abstract crooning on the song’s chorus before the track dives back into dark and noisy bars. “MILK” offers a reflective lyrical side to the group, while also sticking to the album’s consistent hallmark of fresh production and youthful messages. Album closer “WASTE” showcases member bearface.’s lush vocals and smooth production.
Rapper Dom McLennon’s fast and verbose flow is a major highlight; rapper Matt Champion’s laid back (with attitude) flow is a welcome alternative to the fast and vehement cohorts, as does rapper Ameer Vann’s laid back yet assertive demeanor. Kevin Abstract’s lyrical content offers a hip-hop lensed perspective, alternative from his more R&B- influenced style that he so proudly exposed on American Boyfriend. Group audio engineer Russell “JOBA” Boring is a total wild card, ranging from violent screams to sorrowful crooning (“FACE” ) displaying a wide range of styles for anyone to pick through. Merlyn Wood’s absolute balls-to-the-wall delivery is another favorite that keeps the amount of talent varied on this project. The group’s collective contributions offer a mindset of ingenuity, confidence, and a straight-up cool way of approaching hip-hop, music, and making media in an internet-saturated society.
As a whole, the group have much more to offer than ridiculously varied flows and clever lyrics. The group includes their management and graphic design members as part of the group, stating that this subverts the notion of boyband entirely. Videographer Ashlan Grey shoots promotional photos and the home-made music videos; Henock “HK” Sileshi handles the group’s graphic design needs – ranging from color grading of the music videos to designing the group’s album artwork and single promotional material.
Manager Jon Nunes works behind the scenes; webmaster Robert Ontenient handles the group’s website and comedically introduces each video and speaks on the album’s “SKIT 1”, “SKIT 2”, & “SKIT 3”. In the producing department, Romil Hemnani, Q3 (a group producing duo composed of Kiko Merley and Jabari Manwa), and bearface. that craft the fun, inventive, and impressive beats that Brockhampton effortlessly rides on As a whole, Brockhampton are a self-sustaining and independent production collective, with the tag of boyband plaqued in gold on themselves.
When one uses the word “defines” in a descriptive term, it usually indicates a change of pace in a certain way of going about a process. Brockhampton, in their own way, are defining a generation of artists self-creating from their laptops – using the power of the internet to their advantage and quickly rising to fame while still being independent, saying what’s on their mind, and working on their own terms. What’s even more impressive, is that every single member is below the age of 25; that sort of talent doesn’t come often.
PRETTY NEAT MUSIC
FAV TRACKS: HEAT, GOLD, STAR, BOYS, FAKE, TRIP, SWIM, BUMP, CASH, MILK, FACE, WASTE
LEAST FAV TRACK: BANK