Goodbye, Brockhampton: The 15 Best Hip-Hop Boy Band Songs

A collection of rappers, singers, producers and designers, Brockhampton became more than just a “boy band” during their short but prolific career.

After forming an online community dedicated to Kanye West fans, Kevin Abstract, Matt Champion, Merlyn Wood, Dom McLennon, Joba, Ameer Vann, and Bearface went on to release their debut mixtape, “All-American Trash,” in 2016 before it was released. rock their looks. -Shopped the World the following year with the critically acclaimed “Saturation” album trilogy. Brockhampton has been known for its quirky characters, energetic live performances, music videos, and stylized merchandise. Plus, in the pre-Lil Nas X era, Kevin’s band’s casual, humorous, and sometimes graphic lyrics about being gay were a refreshing novelty in hip-hop.

In 2018, Amir, whose face graces all three album covers of “Saturation,” was accused by multiple women of sexual misconduct and was subsequently fired from the band. In the wake of Aamir’s removal from the group, Brockhampton went on to release 2018’s “Iridescence” and 2019’s “Ginger”, with “Dearly Departed” centered on the loss of a friend and band member.

Over the course of eight studio albums and a showing on Viceland and a number of documentaries, Brockhampton has created its own ecosystem and fostered a rich community of fans obsessed with the band’s lore.

In October, Brockhampton announced their final record as a group, The Family, which was released on Thursday along with another surprise album, “TM” on Friday. In celebration of the band’s farewell trip, diverse ranked Brockhampton’s 15 best songs, from “Saturation” to “Sugar”.

Honorable Mentions: “Queer,” “San Marcos,” “No Halo,” “Infatuation,” “Dearly Departed,” “Sweet”

15. I’m opening up

Joba can unleash plenty of frenzied energy on a track strategically sprinkled by Brockhampton. In “J’Ouvert”, he is released and goes berserk, his tea kettle building steam until it explodes. We’ve never heard him explode in this way, spitting — no, yelling — deeply personal bars about his mental health and substance abuse issues. The climax, “misunderstood from birth,” strains his voice and raises chills. The other verses aren’t memorable, but the synthesizers, sirens and reverb effectively build tension on this quirky, powerful track.

14. Genki

“Junky” deals with huge topics, with Kevin addressing homophobia, Prince getting real about drug addiction, Merlin reflecting on family ties, and Matt speaking out against misogyny. This results in what is arguably Matt’s best verse of all time – a lyrical stress pot that finally explodes with “Where’s the respect? Is your ass human? / I look you in the eye, and you say, ‘Damn you, are you a fucking idiot?’ / Respect mom, “The kindest my sister, the kindest of these women, boy.” All this is offset by a maddening jab by Rommel, delivering a sense of impending doom with wobbly synths and backfires.

13. Johnny

“I could have had a job at McDonald’s, but I like French fries,” Kevin says in “Johnny,” and in case you don’t have it — “that’s a metaphor for my life, and I like taller guys.” When trading bars with Dom, Kevin was the funniest and hilarious, once retrieving the microphone by asking, “Did anyone get Harry Styles’ phone number?” Towards the end of the song, Juba is given ample space to deliver one of his most powerful and sectarian verses. With a chaotic intro and crowded beats featuring jazz guitar, drum samples and saxophone licks, “Johnny” shouldn’t work, but instead snaps effortlessly into place like a jigsaw puzzle.

12. The face

Brockhampton in feel, “Face” is the group’s most experienced and honest love song. It’s Juba’s moment of glory, as he flaunts a false whisper over both the song’s catchy chorus (“Tell me what you’re waiting for / I just want to love you”) and the soaring bridge. Dom, Matt, and Amir deliver some of their sweetest verses over Keiko’s simple yet effective beat, each coming up with standout lines like Dom’s “They don’t know how to ride the tidal waves crashing against your thighs,” Matt’s subtly sexy “What’s your motive with me, baby?” Amir: “I love when you come / I still feel lonely.”

11. 1999’s Wildfire

1999’s Wildfire features one of Brockhampton’s catchiest choruses, but the highlight of the song is Joba’s “medieval flow,” which conjures up imagery of hip-hop’s “Lord of the Rings.” “I heard a call from the top of the mountain (Juba)” begins to set off the story of the witches, peasants, and castles in the province. Brockhampton may have started “as just a bunch of outcasts with a gift of hope” but “now we eat grapes, and the finest cheese”, he said. Matt and Dom bookend Juba with solid verses, but Purvis wraps up with one of his signature angelic tunes that puts you in a front seat at Brockhampton Church. Although it did not appear on the album, ‘1999 Wildfire’, which was released just two months after Aamir’s departure as fans were uncertain about the future of Brockhampton, it is one of the band’s best songs.

10. Rent

Brockhampton proves that R&B is in their arsenal, too, on “Rental,” a downtempo jam from “Saturation III.” Showing off his melodic prowess, Dom glides on a simple electronic beat like a seasoned pop heartbeat (“I want a love that makes me feel like I ain’t gonna break your heart”), while Matt glides on a smooth, falsetto pre-chorus (“Throw me in the fire, baby, I’ll stay Alive”) is the perfect activator for Kevin’s grittier hook (“Ridin’ on the roof with a dollar sign hanging over my head”).

9. Tokyo

Joba delivers his best impression of Justin Timberlake on “Tokyo,” a weightless, ever-changing cocktail of wobbly bass, wobbly synths, and soaring woodwinds. “You hit me with ‘what if’ and ‘what happens’ and ‘what next’ / I wonder where my life went, living in the moment,” he spits with twisted ease. Plus, Amir looks sleeker than ever atop a built-in trap clip. While most beats sound like a canvas, the strumming on “Tokyo” sounds like an energetic Brockhampton organ, tackling the rapper with an intricate and subtle flow all on its own.

8. Boogie

Is Brockhampton the best boy band since One Direction? Maybe outside of K-pop, they have a real shot at being honored, and “Boogie” is the main reason for that. Not only does he open “Saturation III” with a bang, he drops a bombshell. Within seconds, the track blasts off with a blaring brass part that jumps over adrenaline and red bull, along with sirens every two seconds. Everyone brings it up to 11 here. “Who made me angry?” Matt belts normally reserved mid-song, followed by Juba’s comical mayhem of “Break necks, I’m a chiropractor!” After the first two “Saturation” albums, Boogie immediately set the tone for “Saturation III” to further push the envelope.

7. Summer

In this dreamy story that culminates in “Saturation II,” Bearface is a hopeless, guitar-shredding romance. “In the heat of summer, you’re so different from the rest,” he sings over and over, yearning to admire a shimmering piano disc and distorted guitar. “You know you must be my son.” A staple of the festival setlist, “Summer” is also a left-field indie tune that proves it’s impossible to box Brockhampton.

6. Bleach

The onset of “bleaching,” the signature track of “Saturation III,” can only be described as an immediate rush of dopamine. “Who has that feeling? Tell me why I cry when I feel like it,” guest Ryan Petty falters in his automatic falsetto before the tape return is switched to a soft clip from Matt. A true team effort, everyone takes a home on this track, with Kevin taking a rare step back and only showing indifference. Indeed, Brockhampton is best when everyone gets a chance to shine, and they all deliver thought-provoking, catchy verses over the nostalgic beat of Rommel and Jabari, including one of Merlyn’s best (“I wanna die during sex or religion/God and camel only know my intentions”) “). Juba takes the track into angelic heights with the bridge, its upper register blending with itself in stunning harmony, and Bearface joining Betty to finish the track.

5. Heat

As the track off Brockhampton’s debut album “Saturation,” “Heat” comes hot with something to prove. The track plays like a confession, with each member giving verses detailing their sins and their deepest, darkest secrets. While this makes for a compelling and intense listen, Aamir’s part — in which he says he “loves when bitches bleed” — now takes on an even more haunting effect after he left the group following allegations of sexual assault in 2018. The song has reached a fever pitch. At the bridge, where Juba delivers a heated “Fuck you!” As Rommel’s industrial pace becomes increasingly frantic. Matt Champion finishes the track off with one of his best runs, imagining “Pissing on the Yacht with My Bitch” with his trademark swagger.

4. Tonya

After Amir left the group, Brockhampton needed to find a way forward. This resulted in “Iridescence” and its signature song “Tonya”, a song about their catapult to fame and picking themselves up after a prince drama. A heart-wrenching piano note opens the mournful song, and the hook (“I’ve been feeling like I didn’t care how I used to”) sounds as the men deal with their emotions. Clearly still missing their ex-boyfriend Amir — “It probably means nothing but I have to say I think of you a lot,” Juba delivers — as they pour out their hearts and frustrations on the track named after disgraced figure skater Tonya Harding. 2017’s “I, Tonya” gets a shout out in this deep, sad, and endlessly catchy song.

3. Sugar

In “Boogie,” Kevin declares Brockhampton to be “the best boy band since One Direction,” but it wasn’t until two years later that the group achieved their first true pop hit. An auto-retuned Dom and a quiet Matt deliver the first two verses of “Sugar,” while Kevin and Bearface weave easy riffs between a squishing acoustic guitar loop. Everyone’s in their rightful place, but in the end, “Sugar” belongs to guest vocalist Ryan Petty, whose orchestrated hook is so insane, irresistibly sweet, and it doesn’t matter how good the rest of the song is.

2. a star

The third track from “Saturation,” “Star” showcases Brockhampton’s singing prowess at its best, dropping names from the likes of Beyoncé, Barack Obama, Matthew McConaughey and Anthony Hopkins at a blistering pace. Featuring just Dom, Amir, and Kevin, each rapper showcases their signature flair to Jabari’s buzzing beat – thus underlining their star power. Despite mentioning 40 names and cultural hotspots in the space of two minutes and forty seconds (yes, that’s one reference about every four seconds), each one connects seamlessly to the next. For example, take Prince “John Travolta when I take off, Brad Pitt, start a fight club / Turn the trap into a nightclub, I’m like Prince with the white doves.” And who could forget Shawn Mendes’ famous Kevin streak?

1. Gold

“Gold” is Brockhampton at its best: a hypnotic, catchy hook paired with some of the best professional verses from each member (minus Juba, unfortunately) over an intoxicating beat. Like the mission statement that began in the “Saturation” trilogy, Kevin reads “Keep a gold chain around my neck / Fly like a pilot, boy, better treat me with respect” as a warning to the hip-hop world: a new powerhouse was on the rise. Meanwhile, each verse highlights the rapper’s strengths: Matt drips understated bravado. A prince and Merlin bounce off each other with smutty bars that are pure fun; And Dom ends powerfully with clever lines, like the memorable line “I feel like ratatouille when I whip up that cheddar.” It’s impossible for one song to completely encompass everything Brockhampton has – with its smooth setlist and dynamic, genre-defying sounds – but “Gold” is a classic of the early days and a great primer on what they’ve planned.

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