Tracks: “TONYA,” “HONEY,” “J’OUVERT”
A lot of people said rap group Brockhampton wouldn’t be the same after founding member Ameer Vann was kicked out of the band.
And they were right. Brockhampton isn’t the same.
If anything, they’re better, and the self-proclaimed boy band really shows that on their fourth studio album “iridescence,” which came out Sept. 21.
Brockhampton gained a good deal of attention in 2017 after releasing three albums in a matter of months (“Saturation” in June, “Saturation II” in August, and “Saturation III” in December).
The group came back in 2018 with “iridescence,” but only after a series of controversies involving Vann, who was accused of sexual misconduct.
At the time of the allegations, Brockhampton was working on an album called “Puppy,” which was scrapped when Vann was removed from the band. The album was reworked and renamed “The Best Years of Our Lives,” and eventually “iridescence.”
With the departure of Vann, who was a major member of the group, other members have more of a chance to shine on the new album.
This is shown through contributions from new comer bearface, whos melodic voice shines on “THUG LIFE” and “TONYA,” but takes a harder edge on songs like “BERLIN” and “J’OUVERT.” Bearface is just one example of how versatile the members of Brockhampton are.
More contributions can also be seen from long-time member Joba, who definitely has my favorite verses on this album, especially in “J’OUVERT.” Joba, like bearface, is versatile; his verses wildly range from sweet, melodic singing to unhinged, deranged rapping.
Group leader Kevin Abstract, as well as long-time members Merlyn Wood, Dom McLennon, and Matt Champion also all have their shining moments, but Joba stole the show for me.
One of my favorite songs on the album is “TONYA,” named after figure skater Tonya Harding. This song has been one of my favorites since it premiered live on June 20 on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.”
If you watch the performance, you can see all the raw emotion that comes with this song, which deals with the subject of fame and feeling unstable because of it. Just thinking about the song and performance gives me chills.
I’ll be honest with you guys. I’m not a huge fan of rap. But there’s just something about Brockhampton and “iridescence” that really pulled me in, and I bet it will with you, too.