Brockhampton is the brainchild of Texas-born rapper Ian Simpson better known by his stage name Kevin Abstract. The self-described “boy band” consists of numerous rappers, producers, designers etc. , the majority of them finding each other online through the Kanye West forum “Kanyetothe”.
Each member of the collective brings their own unique style and flair to Brockhampton, with producers like Belfast's very own Ciarán McDonald shining through on tracks like “WASTE” whilst rappers like Matt Champion and Ameer Vann, whose smooth and confident styles compliment Merlyn Woods erratic and aggressive bars on tracks like “SWEET” and “GOLD”.
An important thing to note is that each artist is given room to breathe, resulting in each verse complimenting the next and no single person taking up too much of the spotlight on any given song, especially Kevin Abstract who can be argued as the main attraction.
Kevin’s star quality can be down to a number of factors. As well as being the main architect and visionary behind Brockhampton, Kevin is perhaps the most well -known member of the group with two solo full-length projects already in 2014’s “MTV1987” and 2016’s “American Boyfriend”.
Kevin’s solo material showcases a dreamier pop side whilst his work with Brockhampton invokes a more aggressive style similar to that of the early days of Oddfuture.
Perhaps the most noticeable aspect of Kevin’s Style is his openness to rapping about his sexuality, a topic not addressed enough in the Hip-Hop community, which Kevin makes a point out of on his verse in “JUNKY”, “Cause not enough n****s rap and be gay”.
Kevin also cites his homosexuality growing up during his song “Miserable America” with noticeable lines such as “My boyfriend saved me, My mothers homophobic, I'm stuck in the closet, I'm so claustrophobic”.
It’s evident that Kevin & Brockhampton are about breaking the mold and redefining what is meant by “normal”, in a way that reflects the current state of youth. It was this attitude that in turn helped them capture the attention of Spike Jonze’s “VICELAND”, which commissioned Brockhampton for an eight-part series that focused on the Kevin and Co. as they embarked on their first headlining tour.
This sudden success can be owed to the fact that whilst other current artists like Lil Uzi Vert are standing out for being different, Brockhampton are remaining true to themselves whilst doing the exact same thing.