Brockhampton's Road to Redefining Boy Band Culture
    • WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 09, 2017

    • Posted by: Larisha Paul

    Traditionally, the mention of boy bands brings to mind the days of the Backstreet Boys and Justin Timberlake's ramen noodle-resembling hair when he was in NSYNC. In a more modern context, the boy band of our time is One Direction, hands down. They redefined certain boy band standards including being able to dance, because they can't do that to save their lives, and this revolutionizing of the concept led to acts like Union J and Emblem 3 trying to do the same thing–which was the problem. If you don't know who either of those groups are, it's most likely because their flame went out pretty quickly after it was lit. They weren't necessarily bringing anything new to the table, and people grew bored of that. It was just another group of fairly mediocre boys trying to fit a mold and recreate something that could never be replicated. In order for us to see another revolutionary change in the concept of boy bands, we need a group unlike anything we've seen before–and rising internet collective Brockhampton is here to deliver.

    Brockhampton is a 15 part project founded and led by multi genre musician Kevin Abstract. The group, presenting themselves to the world as an all American boy band, is overflowing with talent as the 15 members fall under the categories of vocalists, managers, producers, engineers, and photographers. It's nearly impossible to stick Brockhampton into any one category of anything, because at the end of the day they'll somehow end up in every category you could imagine. People may argue that there's no way this collective can be considered a boy band but get this, they're a band for all intents and purposes, and they're all male–thus, they are a boyband, and you'd have to be pretty closed minded to try to argue that. Their music, however, does not follow the traditional bubblegum pop boy band sound that you might be expecting.

    Brockhampton's newest track "SWAMP" is the second to be released from their upcoming project SATURATION II, the near immediate follow up to their debut 17 track album SATURATION released earlier this year in May. Clearly, the group is wasting no time in getting as much of their music out to the world as possible, and no one is complaining. They make music that leaves you wanting more, from the skits featured in SATURATION to the constant surprise of direction they take with certain tracks. Visually, "SWAMP" gets straight into the wild aspects of the track, as the video begins with someone being waterboarded on what looks like someone's kitchen floor. Moving forward, I'm not even going to pretend like I know what's going on in the video, but the artistic direction taken is strangely intriguing. Everyone featured brings something to the track and video that couldn't be delivered by anyone else, which just goes to show you why Brockhampton works so well.

    Their diversity in membership and the sound of their music can't be placed next to any other acts for comparison. This is next level originality, so it's needless to say that they're going to face some major criticism in their career together. As much as critics hate to admit it, Brockhampton is gaining more and more popularity every day, and trying to write them off as an "internet boy band" is a waste of time when we all know very well that the internet can make or break careers at this point. We see mediocre acts blow up based solely off of online presence all the time, and no one says anything–so, now that we have a multitalented and multifaceted group of young boys from multiple races and backgrounds changing the game, I don't want to hear anyone saying anything about how they aren't a "real boy band" or they're this and they're that. They're whatever the hell they want to be and they're killing it.

    should be arriving soon, and Brockhampton is set to head out on a 20 date tour this upcoming fall.

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