They've done it again, BROCKHAMPTON reinforces their place as 2017's breakout stars, delivering another incredible album in the process.
Bit of context for you here; BROCKHAMPTON released their first album SATURATION earlier this year, less than three months later SATURATION II is here, and they’ve promised a SATURATION III before the end of the year. If this isn’t a collective on top form or operating at a different creative level to everyone else, then I don’t know what is. A self-branded boyband, BROCKHAMPTON have taken the hip-hop scene by storm in 2017, churning out huge tune after huge tune and enamouring fans in their thousands. The aforementioned SATURATION is a strong contender for perhaps the best debut album by any group in recent memory and a front-runner for the best album of 2017, so expectations for SATURATION II have been at a fever pitch ever since its announcement. Unsurprisingly, SATURATION II delivers and then some.
On the whole, SATURATION II is a far groovier album and opening track ‘GUMMY’ exemplifies this with an irresistible beat and 90s west coast rap like instrumentals, the group’s dark, quirky lyricism at play here sas much as it on SATURATION. ‘QUEER’ combines this throwback style with a beat much more in line with recent high-energy style hip-hop, it’s an effortless combination, summing up BROCKHAMPTON’s ethos and style perfectly in one song. ‘JELLO’ packs a ridiculously catchy hook that you’ll be singing to yourself for days afterwards, but it is ‘SWAMP’ that takes the cake here; “Fucking commas up from the outside/From the outside, from the outside […] They been talkin’ down on me what ya say?” from rappers Kevin Abstract and Matt Champion is the group’s most infectious hook to date.
But whilst ‘SWAMP’ may be the album’s catchiest song, I’d hazard that ‘JUNKY’ is their best. Here, the group’s four main rappers – Abstract, Champion, Ameer Vann and Merlyn Wood – spit out their struggles; Abstract stands defiant as an openly gay rapper, Vann shares the horrors of his drug addiction, Wood touches on the pressures of his life choices and decisions, and Champion defends his mother and her alcohol problems and states his disgust at how a lot of men treat women. Easily the most powerful track the group has produced, it stands out as the diamond among an already near-spotless discography. Not only are the lyrics incredibly moving, the wild instrumentals reflect the meaning of the words, creating an eerie and unsettling aura around the song. From one song about addiction and struggles set to an unsettling tune, to another set to a damn near terrifying beat, ‘FIGHT’ is similar to ‘JUNKY’ in many ways. ‘SWEET’ throws it back to the opening tunes, equally as catchy and groovy, this is a boyband doing what a boyband should do and they’re doing it better than anyone else in the industry right now.
Closing tracks ‘GAMBA’, ‘SUNNY’ and ‘SUMMER’ recall the likes of ‘SWIM’ and ‘MILK’ from SATURATION, smoother and more instrumental heavy cuts to again enforce just how far-reaching the work of BROCKHAMPTON is; they do hype, they do emotion, they do calm, there is seemingly nothing they cannot do. Just like its predecessor, SATURATION II is a complete triumph and reinforces BROCKHAMPTON as a force to be reckoned within modern-day hip-hop. SATURATION has a contender in the race for best hip-hop project of the year, and its name is SATURATION II.
SATURATION II is out now via Question Everything, Inc. and Empire Distribution