Musical Musings: Diversity, inclusion and Brockhampton

“Anybody wanna make a band?”

That was a post made by then-14-year-old aspiring rapper Kevin Abstract on a Kanye West fan forum in 2010.

Now dubbed as “America’s favorite boyband,” Brockhampton has released an immense amount of music since they officially formed in 2015 and stared in their own Viceland television show.

With more than 15 current credited members, it would be unfair to simply categorize Brockhampton as a band. They’re really a multi-media art outlet, as Abstract has stated in numerous interviews that the group’s photographers, designers and management are just as important to their work as any vocalist or producer.

Their ambition and prolificacy alone are worthy of praise. In 2017, they released three full-length studio albums – the “Saturation” trilogy – 14 music videos, one short film and launched their own record label, Question Everything Inc.

With such a large body of work released in one year, you would think there would be a few duds. But amazingly, everything they put out in 2017 was met with critical acclaim and they have since garnered one of the most diverse fanbases of any modern music group.

But the reason for the diversity of their fans lies in that of the members themselves. While a handful went to high school together with Abstract, most were recruited through the internet from all over the country.

Each member brings their own vocal and lyrical style to the table.  Abstract discusses his experience being a black gay man in America, Joba sings and raps about his struggle with depression and substance abuse, Merlyn Wood addresses dropping out of college to follow his dream of making it big with Brockhampton and Bearface writes and sings ballads about failed love.

While I didn’t even cover half of the group’s members, that sample alone demonstrates the variety of topics covered by Brockhampton, sometimes all within a single track.

Since so many types of people are involved in the band, it’s no wonder that their work has touched so many fans of varying ages, genders, orientations and races.

Brockhampton grants a voice to those who otherwise would never have theirs heard. Anyone who listens to them is bound to find a member with whom they personally identify. Since they’re all so active online and are social before and after shows, many fans have the opportunity to talk to them personally – something that’s overlooked by most musicians.