It was announced Thursday that BROCKHAMPTON’s new highly anticipated album, Iridescence, will be released next Friday on the 21st night of September (as Earth, Wind, & Fire would say it). This may be news to some, but to the boy band’s loyal following, it has been long sought-after since BROCKHAMPTON’s plan to release Puppy, the group’s original album, was scrapped after a member of the group was kicked out following sexual misconduct allegations.
To give a little background, BROCKHAMPTON is a group of guys in their early 20s doing everything from rapping to producing to even managing the band. The 14 or so members of the band take a very unconventional approach to rap and hip-hop music. One of 6 vocalists, Kevin Abstract has verses where he openly talks about being homosexual and his experiences with it in this day and age. Additionally, Matt Champion, another vocalist, raps about feminism and Joba sings about his struggles with mental health and how he was diagnosed with having split personalities. These topics are not typically brought to light in the music industry- especially not in the rap genre; so the band is credited with breaking down some of the barriers that have held musicians back for decades.
Recapping, the group was on track to release their fifth full-length record, Puppy, in June, but in May, vocalist Ameer Vann was accused of sexual misconduct by more than one victim. Knowing the morals that the band prides themselves on, the controversy arose: What would BROCKHAMPTON do following the allegations? Some thought the group would split up and some predicted correctly that they would choose to distance themselves from Vann. Despite deciding to kick out Vann, the band still lost many followers that were angered over how the situation was handled. If a member being accused of sexual misconduct wasn’t a big enough scandal, Ameer Vann was also seen as one of the main vocalists of the group, and his face was the cover to the SATURATION Trilogy that gained the band fame in the first place.
As the #MeToo movement swept the country last spring, the newfound awareness people have for sexual abuse and assault is still empowering women today. Many politicians and movie stars finally had crimes uncovered and were no longer allowed to hide in the shadows. However, this movement seems to be hitting the music industry just now- with more and more cases popping up. Vann was not the only musician to be torn down this summer; Chicago band, The Orwells, made the decision to break up a few weeks ago as a result of similar allegations. They too, have lost respect for their music now that their audience knows of their actions.
Despite all of the drama swirling around the industry currently, BROCKHAMPTON has still managed to keep touring and producing music- coming back even stronger without Vann. The group released a trilogy of songs in June titled The Things We Lost In The Fire. These three songs ultimately served as something for fans to munch on till they get their full-course meal of a whole album later in this summer.
The new record, Iridescence, is expected to have fifteen tracks- one of which the band featured live on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon in June. I know I’m looking forward to reviewing each of them. Hopefully, the album will live up to its hype.
- Emily Bittman