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Concert Experience

Brockhampton Goes Interstellar

February 7, 2018

My generation has grown up on the internet. It’s served as our main educational resource, means of communication and source of entertainment for as long as we can remember. One of my earliest memories is turning on our family computer one morning to play games on the Playhouse Disney website. As I grew older, I used the internet to cultivate my love for music by discovering artists on music websites, blogs and online forums. The members of Brockhampton, a rap group out of Los Angeles by way of Houston, have grown up in exactly the same way. In fact, the group owes its very existence to the online music community. Brockhampton was formed when Ian “Kevin Abstract” Simpson posted on the hip-hop discussion board KanyeToThe asking if anyone wanted to form a band. The group quickly grew to over a dozen members who moved in together in LA, constantly working on songs and music videos and posting their work to YouTube and streaming services to little initial success. Last year, however, their popularity skyrocketed with the release of the Saturation trilogy: three great albums released within just a few months of each other. Brockhampton’s sound is a melodic, playful style of hip-hop clearly influenced by Kanye West, Pharrell Williams, Odd Future and Childish Gambino. The group also considers themselves to be a boy-band, which I had previously gone along with assuming it was a joke. But after seeing them live and observing how they interact and take turns rapping verses and singing hooks, all while fans scream for their favorite members, I think there might actually be some validity to that description.

I caught Brockhampton in Houston last month for one of the first shows of the “Love Your Parents” tour. This tour is their first set of shows since the release of Saturation III, so the set list featured a lot of cuts off of that album. But thankfully they played plenty of tracks from each Saturation project. They also physically exhausted the crowd more than any other concert I’ve been to. Towards the end of their set they were trying extra hard to hype up the crowd, not because we were enjoying the concert any less, but because we were all so tired that we couldn’t jump for more than five seconds at a time. Brockhampton delivered a performance that was less than two hours but left fans in their hometown city with more than their money’s worth.

The meteoric rise of Brockhampton is part of what makes them such an interesting group to me. Just a few years ago they were unassuming teenagers at suburban high schools, but through the internet they were connected by their love of music and desire to create, and through the internet they released music that garnered critical acclaim and attracted a devoted fan base. Their success is inspirational to myself and others with creative aspirations, and I can’t wait to see what they have in store for us in 2018.

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