ALBUM: SATURATION III
GENRE: Hip Hop/Alternative Hip Hop
If you went through all of 2017 without ever hearing the name BROCKHAMPTON, then congratulations, you’ve been living under a rock. Maybe this rock is being pressed down on you by mumble rappers or Soundcloud Trap rappers holding their cups of lean, but like anything else in the music world, you can push this rock off of you and discover genuine creativity. Hip Hop collective (or boy band, sorry guys) BROCKHAMPTON are by far the most genuine and exciting acts at the moment. These guys emerged out of nowhere and gave us 3 albums worth of quality material, and for some reason each album just gets better and better. Their third and final installment in what they call the SATURATION trilogy is their best album by far. You can sense the drive to outdo their previous album which outdid the album before that, and the group sounds hungrier than ever. Opening with BOOGIE, this album has an abrupt start with danceable production littered with police sirens and squawking synths and whatever the Hell else they worked into this manic beat. Each member provides a short verse that matches the aggressive energy of the production. “Break necks i’m the chiropractor” yells Joba, the group’s wildcard with multiple personalities. Sounding like a demented Jack White, Joba‘s verse proves to us that we can never assume that we have this group and each member’s style all figured out. Following this track the album never takes a break. Elements from a track are carried onto the next like sirens, rewind scratches, and muted trumpets. JOHNNY is at it’s core a very Hip Hop-centric track with some members providing very personal and melancholy verses that can make you feel while you dance, and that’s pretty much the atmosphere that this album contains throughout the record. It’s a dark and very Winter sounding album that tones down much of the flexing SATURATION II contained in favor of sincere introspection. Members that have gotten criticism in the past for being under utilized like Matt Champion, Joba, or Merlyn Wood all bring their A game proving they’re just as essential to the group as fan favorites Ameer Vann, Dom McLennon, and Kevin Abstract. This album can get aggressive like the track SISTER/NATION which features an Industrial heavy beat very reminiscent of Death Grips, and it also has it’s melodic moments like RENTAL which features beautiful vocals with auto-tune done the right way. Everything these guys do is done the right way. They take their large number of influences and build from them creating a sound that is their own. They prove that you can be both a musician and a music fan, and that it’s okay for the both to intertwine. While many tend to emulate their inspirations, BROCKHAMPTON utilizes them to form their own signature sound, and even after that they remain unpredictable. That’s an impossible achievement for most artists. This group should be changing the landscape of Hip Hop, but many are still unaware of these guys. Hopefully that will change next year. Until then, those of us who are familiar with the group are experiencing some of the best music to come out of the 2010’s.
Written By: Steven Sandoval