Arts

Pop Goes Hip Hop? A Fresh Take on Boy Bands

Brockhampton Goes on a “Love Your Parents” Tour

By: Dominick Wojtas

The members of Brockhampton, the self proclaimed “internet’s first boy band.” (Credit: miaminewtimes.com)

Founded by a young creative from Texas that goes by the name of Kevin Abstract in 2015, Brockhampton is changing the dynamic of what most millenials dub as an American boy band.

The crew consists of 14 young men, in their early 20’s, and it is finding its form as a creative agency with its members ranging from rappers to art directors.

They have grown exponentially since there humble beginnings over the web; currently having over a million monthly listeners on Spotify, and sold out shows in the U.S.  

This creative powerhouse, dubbed “the internet’s first boy band” was conceived while Kevin Abstract was in high school.

He met four of the future band members while the rest were spawned from a post reading, “Anybody want to make a band?”, on a Kanye West fan forum back in 2011.

The name “Brockhampton” is directly taken out of the street that Abstract grew up on.

The entire crew moved out and bought a house in North Hollywood, where their debut mixtape, “All American Trash” was formulated and then released, preceded by “Saturation I”, “Saturation II”, and “Saturation III”; three full feature albums all dropped within the course of 2017.

With that type of output, it is no surprise that they refer to their home as, “The Factory”.  

And what is it that makes Brockhampton so eccentrically tasteful? Perhaps it’s the fact that their music is so genre weaving, including elements of down to earth, sometimes crude hip-hop, and sappy R&B, all the while maintaining a vivacious, adolescent feel.

Although not so evident, one may even notice a “One Direction gone rogue” type of vibe in both their work and performances.

This connection is not without merit as they are extremely insistent on having the title of “boy band” and have even released merchandise with the quote “Best boy band since One Direction” plastered on it.

The importance of being known as a boy band is significant for the members, and for a few reasons.

They seek to redefine the term, the style and dynamic of their shows, and the genre merging music culture of today.

Instead of a group of polished performers who don’t play “real” instruments and are more known for their matching outfits and choreography, the archetype for boy bands in the past, Brockhampton has set out to incorporate some of these classic elements, such as the matching outfits, while altering others, such as the level of refinement, and genre staticness.

In a sense they’re altering the pop music genre all-together.

“I don’t look like Justin Timberlake, and I don’t look like Harry Styles,”said one of the group’s members, rapper, Ameer Vann.

“But I would love to be them. We do the numbers you know what I mean? We sell out shows. We make pop music. What is pop music right now? It’s hip-hop.”

Despite this creative powerhouses exponential rise to fame, their future is still young based on the notion of their past ambition defined by three successful full length albums released last year.

With that amount of work being put in, it is hard to believe that the clans flame will weaken just yet. And when they are not working on their next album, the clan is touring North America, for their “Love Your Parents” tour, set to end on the March 7.

The show will take you on an emotional rollercoaster, erupting feelings of both “blow the roof off” type of wildness and sticky-sweet, relatable melancholia.

Brockhampton’s music would surely evoke emotion in even the most apathetic individual.

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