By: Sean Lynch
What is a boy band?
Is it the frosted tips of Justin Timberlake, Lance Bass and the boys of NSYNC? The dreamy looks of the Backstreet Boys? How about the smooth tunes of Boyz II Men?
Nope, today, a self-described boyband rolling 15 deep is changing the way we’ve viewed the definition of the term.
Brockhampton has taken 2017 by storm, and are slated for a strong 2018 with their Love Your Parents Tour, festival stops at Governors Ball, Coachella, ØyaFestival and Haven Festival and a fourth studio album Team Effort already planned for 2018, the sky is the limit for Brockhampton.
What started on a Kanye West fan forum sparkled a creative unlike anything we have seen before. The drive is unparalleled, with the group taking an “all hands-on deck” approach to each project. Each member serves as an integral part to the creative process that is Brockhampton.
To have three albums come out within a year and have them be consistently good is unheard of, but the Saturation Series proved that it is possible to not give up consistency for sheer numbers. Ironically, they saturated the market with three projects within a short period of time, but it shows the drive of the group.
Each album has its own elements that make it stand out from the others.
Saturation is the starting point that began the year of Brockhampton. With singles “GOLD,” “HEAT” and “FACE” still gaining spins, the band’s first venture into the mainstream after ALL-AMERICAN TRASH came out in 2016.
Saturation II comes as the fine tuning of previous projects. Every member brings the heat on the album and some of the best verses come through. The album was the first to chart for the group in the Billboard Top 200 at number 57.
Saturation III stands in the experimental realm. With rough textures, autotuned and a DIY attitude – the album stands as one of the most unique in the discography in terms of branching out from what is expected.
The work comes in on the artistic side as well. Over the course of their VICE show American Boyband, we saw the group filming for pieces of HELMET BOY while out on tour. The series focuses on Helmet Boy, a character created by Kevin Abstract, whose sheer silence speaks volumes.
A similar approach came through in the creation of Billy Star, a short film created by the group about the same character, but in a different setting; opting for a love story instead. The film also featured unreleased music from the group.
The impact has been important as well. The group connects with members of the LGBTQ community, as well as people who have dealt with loneliness as Kevin Abstract dealt with in high school. A part of society that has been viewed as “outsiders” is gaining another voice with Brockhampton.
This year will be an interesting point in Brockhampton’s history. Following up three solid releases will be difficult and we will see what Team Effort brings to the table when it’s released. While you may not have been paying attention to the movement, now is the time to take note. Music history has the potential to be made this year with Brockhampton and you won’t want to miss out on the opportunity to see it happen in real time.