If we all got a dollar every time a rapper said “Yuh” or “Aye” nowadays we wouldn’t be able to refer to ourselves as broke college students anymore. No more sadness whenever we open our banking app and no more debating if we really need to buy food when there’s Ramen in the dorm. This is because these two simple words have become more common in rap than procrastination among college students. Now I understand EVERY ARTIST IS NOT A WORDSMITH. And, that is perfectly fine. My only issue is the focus is put onto these less talented guys and they are given attention they don’t deserve. Think of the disappointment (with a few exceptions) of this and last year’s XXL Freshman Classes. And, we see these people on the Snapchat Discover page almost daily. Why? Let me put y’all on to some people making real art out here and are just as young and hungry as their less creative counterparts.
When you think of the term “boy band” what do you think of? Do you think of a 15-man group of rappers, singers, art directors, producers and videographers? Probably not. This is exactly who BROCKHAMPTON is. After they released their debut mixtape last year titled ALL-AMERICAN TRASH, they dropped two albums this year with a third on the way in December. These albums are part of a trilogy called the SATURATION trilogy with each album appropriately named SATURATION I, II and III. Not many artists work this hard…I can name two who do (Bones and Curren$y). They also got their own TV show and went on tour this year with another tour planned for next year.
If I were to describe BROCKHAMPTON’s music I’d say…the early days of Odd Future but less shock value and more artistry. The diversity of flows among this group is incredible. From the wild antics of Merlyn Wood to the subdued seriousness of Ameer Vahn to the braggadocios homosexuality (yes, you read that right) of the group’s leader Kevin Abstract, there’s not many out here who sound like these guys. And, their sound is unique in general. From aggressive trap anthems laced with rock to acoustic love ballads to a song that has punchline after punchline about a different celebrity, they literally have music for all your moods.
Perhaps the strength of BROCKHAMPTON lies in their sense of unity and brotherhood. Everything is done within the group and everyone is on the same page about continuing to push the group into more success. Oh and sidenote: all the members met on a forum on kanyetothe.com. Makes you reconsider how strong internet friendships can really be huh?
Newsflash: Migos isn’t the only rap trio in the game. Enter, Injury Reserve, the Phoenix based rap trio bringing bars and production that sounds like something you think you’ve heard before but then you realize you haven’t. Members Steppa J Groggs and Ritchie with a T with Parker Corey on production bring elements and genres together in a way that bends so well, it sounds like it’s own genre.
Injury Reserve like BROCKHAMPTON have dropped three projects thus far with the first two being recorded in Corey’s grandfather’s dentist office after hours (once again, yes you read that right). These are fittingly titled Live From the Dentist’s Office and Floss. But not to worry, these themes do not go past the title and album cover artwork. Injury Reserve ranges from them discussing being unknown to realizing they are known now to how people treat them differently. Production is usually on the jazzier side but like most creatives, their influences are unlimited as elements of rock, blues and even k-pop have been woven into the seams of instrumentation.
Rap/Hip-Hop is not dead. It’s evolving.