The album “iridescence” is a weird, but good time.
“The world’s greatest boy band”. This is how rap group Brockhampton describes themselves. This past weekend, they dropped their newest and most experimental album, “iridescence” and they once again prove they deserve their self-ascribed status of the greatest.
Created in 2016, the group has some interesting routes. Founding members, such as Kevin Abstract and Ameer Van, met each other on an online forum dedicated to the music stylings of Kanye West. After long talks with each other, they decided to start a group together, in which they would be able to rap and sing about anything the wanted to.
Filling out the group with key members like JOBA and Merlyn Wood, they dropped their debut album “All-American Trash”. It was met with lukewarm reception by the few who listened to it. Amongst the few reviews made about the album, there were a few clear points being made.
One, the group had unbelievable potential, and secondly, they needed to hone in their ideas into a more concise experience if they wanted to achieve that potential.
After hearing the feedback, the boys got back to work. Spending the majority of the next year working on their album, they made little in the ways of public statements. That is, until they dropped their first single for their newest album, “Saturation”.
“HEAT” was released in early 2017, and the wonderful track was accompanied by a very fresh music video filmed in a retro style. This would become a trait of the group over the coming months, as each single had its own music video filmed in its own style.
Shortly after the single, they released “Saturation” to the public, and the reaction was nothing but positive. The album showed them living up to their potential while adding a distinct new sound into the hip-hop atmosphere.
A month after the album dropped, a new single was released by the group, in which they announced a new album titled “Saturation 2”. As Singles came out, hype increased, due to the group’s’ newly found fanbase. Eventually, the album dropped, and it was again universally acclaimed. Being described as more explosive than the first “Saturation”, people found it was more listenable than the first.
The group wasn’t done, however, as shortly after “Saturation 2” they posted another single video announcing a third album titled “Saturation 3”. Hype for the group had never been higher, so the group released fewer single before the album released this time around. Once it did, it was again beloved, but a new complaint had arisen.
Some thought that the group had, ironically, oversaturated the market with their sound. In addition to this, rapper Ameer Vann had been caught up in numerous allegations, and was cut out of the group because of all this, the group took some time to regroup before they released their newest album.
That brings us to this weekend, with the release of “iridescence”. The album sounds completely different than the “Saturation” trilogy, while not different at the same time.
Firstly, the production is top notch, and maybe the best on any rap album this year. The rapping sounds different now that Ameer is gone, but it isn’t’ necessarily worse. The lyrics are noticeably worse, but that is due to the album being reworked ten days before release.
Falling somewhere between “Big Fish Theory” by Vince Staples and “Yeezus” by Kanye West, “iridescence” is a small fall for the group in terms of writing quality, a side step in terms of ability, and a jump ahead in terms of production and beats. I think it is worse overall than the Saturation records, but it might be my favorite album by them yet. Expect a weird time, but not necessarily a bad one.
Feature photo courtesy of the Associated Press.