Saturation III distinguishes Brockhampton’s musical identity

Entertaining the crowd at the Bottom Lounge, Brockhampton performed in Chicago as part of Jennifers Tour. The band released Saturation III on Dec. 15, 2017 and have received widespread support for the album.

Photo courtesy of Maddie Dunne-Murphy

Entertaining the crowd at the Bottom Lounge, Brockhampton performed in Chicago as part of Jennifer’s Tour. The band released Saturation III on Dec. 15, 2017 and have received widespread support for the album.

Eliza Schloss, co-features editor

I never thought I would find myself saying  “I listen to boy bands” but Brockhampton is something else. The group was destined to be a match made in heaven after they met on a Kanye West Fan Forum. Their wide array of backgrounds and capabilities mesh to create an extremely unique-in-the-best-way-possible musical genius.

I was first introduced to them through their show on Viceland that documented their trials and tribulations of producing and performing their music while trying to get by in California. The group lives in a musically-inclined commune if you will, recording and filming 24/7.

I was intrigued and at the start of the past summer I gave Saturation I, a listen and was immediately in the chaotic world of Brockhampton for the long haul. By the end of the summer, Saturation II was already released. I was skeptical of the short span in between albums but, not to fear, Saturation II knocked its predecessor down to second place by a slim margin. Brockhampton needed a third album to complete the legendary trilogy and thus, Saturation III was released on Dec. 15.

Saturation III is well developed and detailed. Out of the trilogy, this album best documents the group and all of its complexities.

“BOOGIE”, the first track holds true to the title. It’s nearly impossible to not move while listening. The first time I heard “BOOGIE”, I underwent a gradual progression of movements starting from an on beat head nod to an intense full body sway. Needless to say, this bright, chaotic, siren-filled symphony is the perfect song turned enjoyable alarm and a clear introduction to Brockhampton. With classic verses from a handful of members such as Kevin Abstract and the oddball Merlyn Wood, my expectations were high.

“BOOGIE”’s chorus is entirely representative of the group who found their way. “I’ve been beat up my whole life/I’ve been shot down, kicked out twice/Ain’t no stoppin’ me tonight/I’ma get all the things I like,” Abstract raps with passion. The chorus is a warning of the power held in rap-collective. They’ve made it this far and won’t be stopped.

The same inspiring message is upheld in a lot of the album including their track “ALASKA”. Ameer Vann, the group’s go to rapper, slows things down for the start of the song. He describes his personal journey through the contrasting environments of his homelife and L.A.. His individual journey reflects upon the message of the whole group.

“ALASKA” is an echo of the group’s progression. The track features a total of four members of the rap collective: Vann, Abstract, Joba, and Matt Champion. The multiple voices combine to create a natural, effortless sounding song. Their charisma is clearly working.

I do feel Saturation III contained some tracks that I don’t see myself revisiting very often.  I wouldn’t call them boring, but songs like “LIQUID” would slip my mind to mention when discussing Saturation III with a friend. It expressed similar ideas of other more appealing songs on the album.

Though I admired the uniqueness of it, I also don’t see myself turning back to “ZIPPER” very often except for maybe Halloween. Circus-like music, occasional creepy giggles, and slow sirens makes for an unenjoyable listen. A song where I think their oddball character worked better was in “RENTAL”. It had the same fun, random feel but was easier to listen to.

Brockhampton is on to something special and truly revolutionary with their rap music. The group is a puzzle and it was slowly being solved throughout their evolution. Saturation III is the catalyst that clicked that last piece in to complete the quirky, relatable and unorthodox puzzle that is Brockhampton.