Album review: BROCKHAMPTON’s ‘Saturation II’

BROCKHAMPTON is the boy band your little sister doesn’t have posters of on her wall. With the release of their second album, Saturation II, BROCKHAMPTON is saturating the music world with their off-brand hip-hop one song at a time.

Following the lead of founder Kevin Abstract, the self-proclaimed “All-American Boyband”consists of over 10 members. Originally founded in Texas in 2015, BROCKHAMPTON is more than just a musical group. They are self-titled as an independent “collective” and each member takes on different tasks as a creator, musician or both.

Besides being talented lyrically, BROCKHAMPTON produces music videos far from the ordinary. From scenes of the group covered in blue paint, to others dressed in drag and covered in blood, their originality stands out in an internet driven world that sees new hip-hop releases every week.

Saturation II boasts 16 tracks ranging in style, lyricism and message. Songs such as “JELLO,” feature remarkable lyricism and a catchy unique orchestral beat, while the song “SUMMER” bears a more mellow, acoustic style. Such a variety of ideas only further proves that BROCKHAMPTON is doing something unique in the industry .

The album starts off strong with the track “GUMMY,” which begins with a swelling orchestra sample similar to those you’d find in the beginning of a Disney movie. However, after the Disney moment, Abstract leads into a lyrical-heavy rap verse and a bridge reminiscent of early 2000s hip-hop.

Along with a unique style, the diverse group addresses a variety of social issues in their songs. Abstract is not only a creative lyricist but an out gay rapper as well. This is often an anomaly in the hyper-masculine hip-hop culture, adding to the uniqueness of the group.

In the song “JUNKY,” Abstract discusses the stigma surrounding gay men in hip-hop. He raps, “Why you always rap about bein’ gay?/‘Cause not enough niggas rap and be gay.” BROCKHAMPTON discusses difficult issues with poignant lyrics that resemble modern artists such as Kendrick Lamar to a beat that resembles early hip-hop legends.

Member Robert Ontenient references his Spanish heritage with two interludes on the album titled “SCENE” and “SCENE 2,” spoken completely in Spanish. In addition to these interludes, the group’s diversity is celebrated with Ontenient’s infamous line, “Me llamo Roberto” spoken at the beginning of every music video.

The albums shortcomings come towards the middle of the album, where the impressive 16-track list becomes a little less impressive and the album begins to drag out. While each track is unique and could stand on its own, as a whole the beats and aggressive lyrics lose the consistency that could be found at the beginning of the album.

Saturation II and BROCKHAMPTON aren’t for everybody. However, any true hip-hop lovers or those who simply appreciate new unique art will welcome this album as a collection of ideas, styles and people.

Contact CU Independent Arts staff writer Charlotte Spaeth at charlotte.spaeth@colorado.edu.

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