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The hardest-working boy band in show business.note 

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BROCKHAMPTON is an American alternative hip hop boy band formed in San Marcos, Texas in 2015.

Its origins date back to 2010 through the group AliveSinceForever, made after band leader Kevin Abstract recruited members through the Kanye West fan website KanyeToThe (back when it was called KanyeLive), leading to them gaining the title of "the Internet's first boy band."note  The group only released one EP, disbanding in 2014 and eventually rebranding as the boy band we know today, named after Abstract's childhood street in Corpus Christi, Texas.

The group released their debut mixtape ALL-AMERICAN TRASH in 2016, but they weren't really recognized until the SATURATION trilogy, a series of three critically acclaimed albums released from June to December 2017 that were all critically acclaimed for showcasing chemistry between the group’s distinct members, as well as a diverse array of sounds mixing hip-hop, pop, R&B, and shades of alternative rock. The stellar ratings all of the albums got from independent publications like The Needle Drop also didn't hurt.

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Throughout 2018, multiple albums — TEAM EFFORT, PUPPY, and THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES — were announced and then shelved. PUPPY was the most poised to release but was obstructed by numerous sexual misconduct allegations made towards member Ameer Vann that were serious enough to, as of May 27th, 2018, remove him from the group. Eventually, the band settled on an album called iridescence — created largely during several weeks the band spent in London — which became the only one of the announced albums to see an official release, on September 21, 2018. The album was confirmed as the first volume in a second trilogy titled The Best Years Of Our Lives.

The band announced their fifth album GINGER in midsummer 2019, eventually releasing it at the end of August, with one of its singles ("SUGAR") going on to become their first Billboard hit and platinum record. After a period of non-studio singles and snippets following the onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic, they would begin hinting at a sixth album releasing, and started formally promoting it in 2021. While its name was initially hinted as RR, it was revealed to be Roadrunner: New Light, New Machine, and following two single releases the whole album was released on April 9, 2021. Abstract later confirmed that Roadrunner is the second installment of the TBYOOL trilogy, with the third album slated to release later in 2021.

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The group has also dabbled in film. In 2016, they produced and starred in the single-season Viceland docuseries American Boybandnote , the completion of the SATURATION trilogy was commemorated with a documentary following its creation in 2017, and in 2018 a documentary called The Longest Summer in America had a limited theatrical run to coincide with the release of iridescence.


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    Members 
Current

* = Has Released Solo Music

Former
  • Ameer Vann* - Vocalist (2015 - 2018)
  • Rodney Tenor - Vocalist (2012-2016)
  • Albert Gordon - Producer (2015-2016)
  • Franklin Mendez - Photographer (2015-15)
  • Anish Ochani - Manager (2015-2016)

Discography

  • ALL-AMERICAN TRASH (mixtape) (2016)
  • SATURATION (2017)
  • SATURATION II (2017)
  • SATURATION III (2017)
  • iridescence (2018)
  • GINGER (2019)
  • Roadrunner: New Light, New Machine (2021)

Readin' tropes on a Friday:

  • All Caps: How the band name is preferably formatted, alongside album and song titles, as well as JOBA's name.
  • all lowercase letters: How the title of iridescence and the name of bearface is formatted.
  • Anti-Police Song: "HEAT".
    Who done called the cops on my niggas?
    Who done called the cops on my niggas?
    That's the first one to go,
    the first shot I blow.
  • Atomic F-Bomb: Kevin lets out several at the start of "saturation 389" after messing up his lines.
  • Awesome Mc Coolname: A majority of the band.
  • Big "YES!":
    • The huge drop that ends "CHICK" is kicked off with JOBA screaming "YEEEEAH!"
    • This is later repeated in "GAMBA."
  • Body Paint: One of the most defining traits of the SATURATION era was the band painting their upper torsos blue for photos and live shows.
    • Kevin also briefly has his face painted yellow in the "JUNKY" video, namely around the point in the song where he raps about being ashamed of being "a fuckin' Simpson".
  • Bookends: The entire SATURATION trilogy; not only does the trilogy's final song "TEAM" retain the four-letter track-naming scheme as the first SATURATION, but, a la The Wall, its ending reuses the same sound effects as the intro of "HEAT", the trilogy's first song.
  • Camera Abuse: In the music video for "DEARLY DEPARTED", Dom's final verse plays as Dom viciously beats and stomps on the camera to the point that the video feed cuts out several times.
  • Careful with That Axe: Merlyn and JOBA are easily the loudest in the group, but Merlyn's voice is usually loud in a hammy sense, while JOBA has more of a penchant to scream his guts out on songs, with his verses on "HEAT", "BOOGIE", and especially "J'OUVERT" being specific examples.
    • Kevin's screaming in "BUMP" is also worth mentioning.
    • See Big "YES!" above.
  • Consummate Liar: Kevin is infamous for misleading fans on his Twitter (with some examples being that he would retire the Kevin Abstract name and that SATURATION III would be the band's last album), and it has grown to the point where everything he says is automatically taken with skepticism.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • "SUMMER", off of Saturation II, is a song dedicated to Summer LaBeouf, a character from Kevin Abstract's short film project made alongside his solo album American Boyfriend: A Suburban Love Story.
    • One of Kevin's lines in his verse in "I Been Born Again" makes reference to "Big Wheels", from his Arizona Baby album.
    • "If You Pray Right" features Kevin running in place due to a treadmill hidden in the ground; a nod to his #THE1999 livestream, where he was also on a treadmill.
    • "SUGAR" contains an instance of the rewinding sound effect heard throughout SATURATION III.
  • Darker and Edgier: iridescence, both sonically (the beats are notably grimier and dirtier) and lyrically (it mostly deals with pained sentiments following both the band's rise to fame and the Ameer situation).
  • Deliberately Monochrome: The videos for "FACE" and "I BEEN BORN AGAIN" (save for the very end).
  • Depraved Kids' Show Host: A downplayed example; in the video for “HIGH TOLERANCE”, Ameer plays a parody of LeVar Burton who teaches kids about good things, like safe sex, as well as bad things, like drug addiction.
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • Their debut single, "Bet I", has considerably more hedonistic lyrics about sex and drugs, and Kevin has since disowned it.
    • ALL-AMERICAN TRASH retrospectively seems to reflect a BROCKHAMPTON that hadn't yet grown into its sound. As a result, the sound is more all over the place, ranging from sensual R&B to more traditional self-deprecating raps. Also, there's a song with Merlyn as the lead, something that would only be mastered for "WHERE THE CASH AT" off of iridescence.
    • Merlyn was considerably quieter before the SATURATION trilogy, when he became known as "the shouting guy".
  • Epic Rocking: "SISTER/NATION", as it is two songs in one, is 6 minutes long.
  • Face on the Cover:
    • All of the SATURATION trilogy's covers featured Ameer's face in some way, shape, or form. The first had him in blue face-paint behind a surgical mask, the second had him with no paint smiling in the driver's seat of a van, and the third had him back in paint and crying.
      • Multiple covers were also created for SATURATION III, all depicting one member of the band each.
    • Two distorted images of Romil and Matt were treated as tentative album art for PUPPY.
    • GINGER's cover has JOBA and Weston (BROCKHAMPTON's creative designer) hugging.
    • Both the official cover and a proposed alternate cover for ROADRUNNER feature JOBA, although the first is heavily overexposed to the point of him resembling a ghost.
      • Similarly to SATURATION III, alternate album layouts were made for all prominent band members, although their faces are not the focus of the art.
  • Every Episode Ending: Every SATURATION album ends with an emotional rock song by bearface.
  • Extreme Close-Up: Most of the music video for "1999 WILDFIRE" is filmed with the camera zoomed in very far, focusing on the singers' faces.
  • Fading into the Next Song: The final track of the SATURATION trilogy, "TEAM", segues into the first track of SATURATION I, "HEAT".
  • Gayngst: Kevin was subjected to this, primarily through his parents (mostly his mother) refusing to accept his homosexuality, and has spoken about it in multiple songs (ex: "JUNKY" and "WEIGHT").
  • The Ghost: The band's in-house photographer and DP, Ashlan Grey, is known for preferring to be strictly behind the camera, and as a result has had very few onscreen appearances.
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language:
    • During the SATURATION trilogy, Spanish, courtesy of Robert "Roberto" Ontenient. Not that it's a bad thing.
      • In promotion of SATURATION III, each band member also received an alternate album cover and posted a corresponding image on their Instagram story with a Spanish caption.
    • In the three singles released between the end of the SATURATION trilogy and the beginning of TBYOOL, Serbian, courtesy of Miloš Mihajlov.
  • Helium Speech: A unique trait of the band is their occasional tendencies of pitching up their vocals for this effect.
  • He-Man Woman Hater: Matt's verse in "JUNKY" explicitly attacks this type of person, as he states how he finds it disgusting when men complain about all women being whores yet turn around and use ladylike women solely for their bodies.
  • Huddle Shot: The video for "I BEEN BORN AGAIN" ends with the group assembling in this manner over the camera.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming:
    • All of SATURATION's tracks have four-letter names, save for the final one ("WASTE"), which has five. In turn, SATURATION II has all five-letter track names, save for the final one ("SUMMER"), which has six. Finally, SATURATION III has all six-letter track names, save for the final one ("TEAM"), which has four.
    • All of the BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES single titles were distinguished by having a certain year (starting at 1999 and going backwards to 1997) and then a word related to a movie or event that belonged in that year (ex: "1998 TRUMAN", "1997 DIANA").
  • Insistent Terminology: They're not a collective, nor are they a "self-described" boy band; they are a boy band.
  • Insult of Endearment: In some SATURATION-era concerts, the band pointed out a particular fan in the crowd and instructed the whole crowd to yell "Fuck you!" at that fan, with "Fuck you!" in this context meaning "I love you!".
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: As of now, there are fourteen BROCKHAMPTON members, and it speaks volumes of the band's chemistry and synergy that each and every one of them has found their own fandom and, in regards to who the best member is, there are good arguments for multiple members.
  • Manly Tears: All of the SATURATION III album covers have a tear rather tackily edited onto the face of the band members.
  • Mood Whiplash: "BUMP", "QUEER", and "SISTER/NATION" are straight bangers that, on the drop of a hat, switch into far mellower and quieter songs.
  • Motor Mouth:
    • Dom's notably rapid-fire verse at the very end of "JUNKY".
    • After the SATURATION trilogy, JOBA developed a rapping style that consisted of him speeding through densely packed verses while enunciating each and every word, as seen in "1999 WILDFIRE".
  • My Name Is Inigo Montoya: Roberto's memetic legend of a Once an Episode Catchphrase, used to start each SATURATION music video, is "Me llamo Roberto" ("My name is Robert" in English).
    • In the singles put out for the ultimately unreleased The Best Years of Our Lives, we were introduced to a Serbian character named Miloš Mihajlov starting off songs with "Моје име је Милош Михајлов" ("My name is Miloš Mihajlov").
  • Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: While their core sound is Alternative Hip Hop, they also like to pull in Alternative Rock guitar riffs (to say nothing of bearface's straight-up rock ballads at the end of the SATURATION albums), slick pop hooks, and percussion influenced by anything from Drum and Bass to soca music.
  • New Sound Album:
    • iridescence. Compared to the SATURATION era, it's undoubtedly Darker and Edgier both in terms of sound and subject matter.
    • GINGER employs considerably more low-key instrumentation, eschewing aggression for a more subdued and melancholic atmosphere.
  • N-Word Privileges: While song verses sung by the band's black members use the N-word liberally, in live performances the non-black members rather pointedly fall silent for those lines. As per the band members, they believe the word should only be used by black people in general.
  • Once an Episode: See My Name Is Inigo Montoya above.
  • The Oner: The music video for "HEAT" is done in a single take.
  • One-Woman Song: "TONYA", named after Tonya Harding, an ice skater whose legacy was tarnished in controversy similar to how BROCKHAMPTON's legacy was bogged down by the Ameer situation.
  • One-Word Title: All of the SATURATION trilogy tracks (sans the skits, if you consider "Skit"/"Scene"/"Cinema" and a number to be two separate words), as well as the first installment.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: Merlyn, typically known as the most consistently energetic out of anyone in the band, has been known to do incredibly introspective verses that are significantly quieter in tone, namely on "MILK", "TONYA" and "NO HALO".
  • Out-of-Genre Experience: "HOTTIE" is easily the band's poppiest song yet.
    • There's also "WEIGHT" and "TAPE" from iridescence, in which BROCKHAMPTON dabble in drum 'n' bass, to interesting effect.
  • Put on a Bus: Roberto, following the conclusion of the SATURATION trilogy. His music video intros—his only real appearances—were replaced with a new Serbian character named Milos Mihajlov, but he eventually managed to do his intros again on iridescence, albeit to a smaller extent.
  • Real Men Love Jesus: In several SATURATION skits, Roberto can be heard praying, and the theme of religion plays a bit of a stronger role in GINGER (what with two tracks completing the phrase "if you pray right, heaven belongs to you").
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • Matt's verse in "JUNKY" is one directed at men who mistreat women and then label them all as whores.
    • Dom's verse in "DEARLY DEPARTED" is one towards Ameer in everything but name, detailing Ameer's wrongdoings to him in the past before attacking his character and angrily calling him a "motherfucker".
  • Refuge in Audacity: Kevin's "Empty" music video was how many people found out about his homosexuality. How did he make the big reveal, exactly? By having another man fellate him.
  • Running Gag:
    • Ameer really enjoyed rapping about his past as a drug dealer.
    • Kevin really enjoys rapping about his homosexuality.
    • "The Brockhampton flow", as christened by Anthony Fantano.
  • Self-Deprecation:
    • Kevin gets self-aware on "saturation 389":
      Blah-blah-blah, same shit every song
      What kind of drugs Ameer on?
      What kind of boys you fucking on?
    • On "CHICK", Ameer finally addresses his habit of rapping about limited topics (more specifically, drug dealing):
      Imma be a star even if I say the same things.
  • Self Empowerment Anthem: SATURATION has self-betterment as something of a central theme; "MILK" and "TRIP" are two good (but pretty dark) examples of this trope.
  • Shout-Out: All over the place.
  • Siamese Twin Songs: A very strange version with "HEAVEN BELONGS TO YOU" / "IF YOU PRAY RIGHT". The former's instrumental is a stripped-down version of the latter, it essentially functions as an intro to the latter, they segue perfectly, are in the same key and have the same tempo...but don't follow each other on GINGER. Instead, the two tracks are sandwiched by "ST. PERCY".
  • Sigil Spam: The Brockhampton couch, effectively the band logo, has been plastered all over merch and videos alike.
  • Silly Love Songs: "SOMETHING ABOUT HIM", an adorable ballad from Kevin (reportedly [[Heartwarming Moments to his boyfriend Jaden Walker), which sticks out as a brief spot of happiness among the thoroughly Darker and Edgier iridescence.
  • Song Style Shift: Both "1999 WILDFIRE" and "1998 TRUMAN" have one, courtesy of bearface; the former simply turns the pre-existing hip-hop beat into something groovier and more melodic, while the latter turns the song into a straight-up R&B ballad.
  • Sound-Effect Bleep: Used in JOBA's verse in "SISTER", as a Stealth Pun, no less!
    I've got (long beep), but you would never know.
    I like to hide them, so much I lose myself.
  • Stage Name:
    • Kevin Abstract's real name is Clifford Ian Simpson.
    • Merlyn Wood's real name is William Wood.
    • Dom McLennon's real name is Dominique Michael Simpson.
    • JOBA's real name is Russell Evan Boring.
    • bearface's real name is Ciarán McDonald.
    • Henock Sileshi goes under the pseudonym "HK".
  • Step Up to the Microphone:
    • Merlyn gets a song all to himself in "FLIP MO". He also leads "WHERE THE CASH AT", though Matt does rap for some it.
    • bearface's solo songs at the ending of each SATURATION album ("WASTE", "SUMMER", the "EVANIE" portion of "TEAM") seemed to function as this before he started getting rap verses integrated with the rest of the crew (ex: several songs on iridescence alongside "BOY BYE").
    • The track “TEETH” on SATURATION II is a short solo poem from Ameer.
    • “SOMETHING ABOUT HIM” sees Kevin robotically crooning an ode to his boyfriend.
    • "N.S.T." sees Jabari singing the intro.
  • Stop and Go: After JOBA's verse in "DISTRICT", he says "wait, wait, wait", and then bearface takes a deep breath and continues the song.
  • Textless Album Cover: iridescence.
  • Theme Naming:
    • SATURATION had four-letter song titles except for the last one, which had five.
    • SATURATION II had five-letter song titles except for the last one, which had six.
    • SATURATION III had six-letter song titles except for the last one, which had four.
  • True Companions: The band defined themselves through a variety of factors, but an important one was their incredible artistic chemistry as well as their friendship and obvious love and respect for one another. Making Ameer’s departure all the more devastating.
    I got a team I'm willing to die for.
  • We All Die Someday: Noted by Merlyn in "INFATUATION":
    We all gonna die one day.
    Man, ain't that crazy?
  • Visual Pun: The cover art for SATURATION II has Ameer Vann...in a van.
    • His departure from the band led to edits of the SATURATION album covers that removed Ameer, leading to quips of what's left of the SATURATION II cover being a mere van.

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