After Justin Timberlake performed one of the most unmemorable Super Bowl Halftime show’s of all time, the Eagles had a sizable lead, and I was standing in the rain for forty-five minutes so that I could see Brockhampton. Putting out three albums in just one year, Roseandblog’s Best New Artist of 2017 became the most famous rap group since Odd Future, and the most famous boy band (as they brand themselves), since One Direction.
Kevin Abstract, the leading member, brought his rag-tag group of Ameer Vann, Matt Champion, Dom McLennon, JOBA, Bearface, and Merlyn (self-mocked as the next Lil Wayne), to Irving Plaza, New York, NY, for three nights in a row. By the time I got into the venue, standing in a line that went all the way around the block, it was completely full, pretty much all the way back to the bar.
When Brockhampton came out in their orange jumpsuits, the hordes of high school students and college freshman went absolutely nuts, with Abstract often stopping the show to encourage a safe space in the middle, referred to as “the pit,” where kids could mosh and wild out. Hell, even a kid who looked eight years old was having a blast on stage for one of the encores.
As the floor shook, it was almost surreal hearing the crowd scream along every word. Since it’s a part of the job to consume a massive amount of music every month, I often forget what it’s like to be a super-fan and put all of your energy and love into an artist like the crown had for Kevin Abstract and Brockhampton. Not only do his proudly gay and powerful lyrics speak to the younger generation of rap/pop listeners, but each member has their own strong personality as well, evident the second their portion of the track takes over.
The group also functions just like any boy band would, with matching outfits, choreographed movements, and enough moments to highlight each specific member. It’s the golden age of the group, before anything horrible could imaginably happen to tear them apart, and they made three of the best albums in contemporary rap in just last year alone. They’re all just kids having the best time of their life.
The magic of their success isn’t lost on them either, as they were cheered on for an encore not once, but three times, performing their song “STAR” maybe four times that night. Calling themselves the “best boy band since One Direction” might seem like a joke, and it partly is, but as far as music critics and fans alike are concerned, they really are.
Watch Brockhampton perform the song “BOOGIE” off of their third album of 2017, Saturation III, on MTV’s TRL in Times Square below:
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