by The Cowl Editor on September 12, 2019
by Daniel O’Neill ’21 A&E Staff
On Aug. 23, BROCKHAMPTON released their fifth studio album, GINGER. The album came after the group took a hiatus. The group struggled to grow as musicians and keep making music after Ameer Vann was forced out of the group due to accusations of sexual misconduct. Vann was widely regarded by many fans as the best rapper in the group, and his exit caused confusion that ultimately led to the group’s hiatus.
Kevin Abstract told GQ, “We want to make a summer album” with regard to GINGER. This is clearly shown in their songs, since this album seems to be not only the happiest, but the most emotional album in their catalogue. On top of that, this is the second album since Vann left the group. Their last album, iridescence, was a struggle to produce since Vann’s verses needed to be cut out, and production was not as strong as it was in their previous work. GINGER, however, seems to be their best work yet with regard to production.
BROCKHAMPTON is known as a gang of eccentric mavericks who preach their experiences of loneliness and depression. While there are songs on GINGER that reflect these same ideas, the overall production shows a clear step in the right direction for them; there is an underlying theme of rebirth and happiness.
One of the things that makes BROCKHAMPTON special as a group is that they work incredibly well together to create a unique style of rap. The reason that they all work so well together is that they are their own individual artists with their own visions. Together, BROCKHAMPTON creates incredible music that stands out in the music industry.
Yet the most important thing to realize from GINGER is that each artist in the group seems to be more comfortable with their own artistic motives and visions. It is clear that the group is growing in different directions musically in their verse style, but circumstances allowed them to come together after a break to show how they have matured as artists. GINGER sounds like there is an actual dialogue occurring between all of the members instead of separate songs entirely. While all of the songs clearly have their own flow and style, they fit together collectively. Many fans think that the SATURATION trilogy released in 2017 was their best, but GINGER manages to come together as a strong competitor.
The musical growth that the group has experienced can be shown through influence from many genres including gospel and rock and roll. In “SUGAR” there is acoustic guitar and obvious influence from folk and rock genres. Gospel comes into play on the final track of the album “VICTOR ROBERTS” in a way that shows elements of spoken word while keeping the typical hip-hop sound of BROCKHAMPTON in the heart of the song.
Overall, GINGER shows an unexpected growth in the members of the group. Losing their best rapper may have temporarily thrown the group off of their game, but BROCKHAMPTON’s hiatus resulted in their most powerful album yet.