Brockhampton: America’s Favorite Boy Band
by Kimberly Grabiec
Brockhampton is a 14-person boy band that features mainly rap and hip hop music. Most people are shocked to hear that Brockhampton has 14 members, but that is because they include photographers, graphic designers, and producers. Their actual band has seven main performers, including Kevin Abstract, Matt Champion, Merlyn Wood, Ameer Vann, Dom McLennon, Joba, and Bearface. In the past year and a half, Brockhampton has already released three albums: “Saturation,” “Saturation II,” and “Saturation III,” all three of which have been widely praised and followed by their fanbase.
The term “boyband” carries a very specific connotation reminiscent of groups such as One Direction or Big Time Rush. Brockhampton strives to redefine this term in order to fit their personal vibe and style. They would love to see more and more boy bands emerge outside of the teenage fandom boundaries. According to The Verge, Dom McLennon says, “Who knows, maybe 15, 20 years down the line, you see boy bands doing open mics, getting their chops.”
Brockhampton is extremely diverse among their members, as well as in their songs’ underlying themes. Some of their songs are more for partying, while others have deeper lyrics that deal with issues regarding race, homosexuality, rape culture, and education. In their song “Milk,” Merlyn Wood says, “Walking through the pitfalls of a college student, crazy how you get them letters and they make you feel accepted 'til you walking 'round the campus and you the only African.”
The group’s core members met and began to work on music in Texas. However, as their group expanded and gained members from multiple states, they all moved in together into a house in Los Angeles. All 14 members still live there and continue to create beats and music in their bedrooms. As for now, they refuse to be represented by a large music label, even though they have received multiple offers.
Brockhampton’s “Love Your Parents” tour made its way to Chicago on Feb. 19. The group hosted an impromptu meet and greet before the concert where fans could take pictures with the boy band and buy some merch. The line spanned over multiple blocks, but the group spent hours there to make sure they could meet every fan who showed up.
The concert was at The House of Blues Chicago, an upscale venue in the downtown area. Upon entering, the theater was buzzing with excitement, as fans prepared for an exciting performance. Brockhampton had no opening performers, so they began right off the bat with one of their most popular and upbeat songs, “Boogie.” This song immediately pumped up the crowd as the group performed in their signature orange jumpsuits. Members of the group who did not have a part in a particular song were able to lounge on a couch that was set up on stage. Next, the group played their iconic, name-dropping song, “Star.” The audience knew all of the lyrics and belted them out along with Brockhampton. Later on in the show, the group decided to perform that song again, as they knew it was the fans wanted. After a few more fast-paced songs, Joba slowed it down with one of their more chill and melodic songs, “Face.”
Towards the middle of their performance, the group performed “Gold,” arguably their most catchy and popular song. One member that sat on the couch nearly the entire time, Bearface, finally made an appearance with his song “Summer.” Brockhampton made sure to get the audience involved by inserting moments where the crowd would sing acapella by themselves. On the ground level, ridiculous mosh pits formed, as well as lots of crowd surfing. While many of their songs involve yelling and intense energy, the group managed to keep up their liveliness throughout the entire two-hour set. At the end of the show, exhausted fans begged, to no avail, for an encore.
As Brockhampton’s “Love Your Parents” tour comes to a close, the group has announced dates for their upcoming tour in Europe titled “Stereo Spirit.”