One Last Look At BROCKHAMPTON Amid Break-Up


©The Talon News | Stacy Short

Fans of the group BROCKHAMPTON revisit their old music amid their break-up which was announced on Jan. 14.

Sam Mykel, Editor

Hip-hop group BROCKHAMPTON has been making music ever since they were founded in 2010 by their leader Kevin Abstract. Named after a street in San Marcos, Texas, the group was made up of 13 members. They gained traction following the release of their debut mixtape “ALL-AMERICAN TRASH” on March 24, 2016 which started their lengthy career in music. 

Following “ALL-AMERICAN TRASH,” the group released their first studio album titled “SATURATION” on June 9, 2017. The album was made up of 16 tracks and was met with mixed responses from fans and critics, many praising the group for their chemistry together while many others criticized the albums “sappy” and “less aggressive” moments. Abstract and the rest of the group noticed the growth in popularity and on Aug. 25, of the same year, they released their second album titled “SATURATION II.” Much like the original “SATURATION,” it was met with mixed reactions but was considered by many to be superior to its predecessor. 

Containing a multitude of the group’s highest revered tracks to this date, “GUMMY,” “QUEER,” and “SWEET,” “SATURATION II” has become not only an iconic album in hip-hop but a personal favorite of mine. Shortly after the release of the video for “SWEET,” Abstract took to Twitter to announce the final installment of the SATURATION trilogy with their third studio album “SATURATION III.” The album was released on Dec. 15, 2017 and at the time of its release was critically acclaimed, even being called the strongest record in the trilogy. It debuted at number 15 on the Billboard 200 charts, the highest of all their previous albums, and went on to sell over 36,000 copies in its first week. The SATURATION trilogy was a huge success for BROCKHAMPTON and the first step in their young and promising career. However, their newfound success would not be without controversy.

In 2018, the group announced they would be signing with Sony Records on a $15 million deal. On May 27, not long after announcing the deal, the group announced on Twitter that vocalist, Ameer Vann, would no longer be apart of the group following sexual misconduct allegations against him. After the release of their first songs without Vann in the group, Abstract tweeted that their next album “iridescene” would be released in September of 2018. 

The album was released on Sept. 21 and debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 charts. Despite this impressive debut, the album fell to number 88 the following week and by Oct. 20, it was off the charts altogether, but still remained in my rotation. “Iridescene” is seen as the groups most experimental album with critics and myself citing that as reason as why they revere it so highly, however some view the loss of Vann and the new sound as a negative. Standout tracks such as “NEW ORLEANS” and “J’OUVERT” helped to earn the group a nomination for best international group at the BRIT awards the following year. Abstract followed up the release with his second solo record titled “ARIZONA BABY,” the critically acclaimed album in which he discusses his life prior to BROCKHAMPTON as well as his love life as a member of the LGBTQ+ community. The release gave fans a look into the sound for the group’s next release titled “GINGER,” which was released on Aug. 23, 2019. 

The record covers themes such as mental health and religion, with tracks like the opener “NO HALO” and one of the group’s most popular tracks “SUGAR.” “GINGER,” much like it’s predecessor, showed a different sound from the group and it was well received by fans and critics alike, even debuting at number 3 on the Billboard 200 chart. More success came from the album in 2020 when it became the group’s first album to go platinum and left fans wanting more.

No new music came in 2020, but the following year brought fans what they had been waiting for. The group would routinely livestream new music during the COVID-19 pandemic and on April 9, 2021, their most recent album “ROADRUNNER: NEW LIGHT, NEW MACHINE” was released. The album was greatly received by critics and fans, such as myself, with many calling it the group’s best album yet. With songs ranging from the energetic “BUZZCUT” to the heart wrenching “THE LIGHT PT. II,” to my personal favorite “WHEN I BALL,” “ROADRUNNER” had it all. Later in the year, a deluxe version of the album was released with four new songs added to the tracklist. Tensions within the group finally began to start showing, as in May of 2021 Abstract tweeted that BROCKHAMPTON would release one final album together as a group before they go their separate ways.

The end of BROCKHAMPTON came quicker than fans had thought as on Jan. 14, the group announced on Instagram that after their next four performances, they would be going on an indefinite break. Their eight years together have shown that music and the artists making the music can be out of the norm and still be successful. In what is one of the most diverse groups in musical history, BROCKHAMPTON has left a longing impact on their fans and their music is sure to live on, even if the group is not.