BROCKHAMPTON enters 2021 with “ROADRUNNER: NEW LIGHT, NEW MACHINE.”
𝕋𝕆ℙ 𝟝 𝕊𝕆ℕ𝔾𝕊
HONORABLE MENTION. COUNT ON ME
“Count On Me” is a track that all kinds of folks will love (All kinds of folks means non-hip-hop folks). The following people do work on “Count On Me:” A$AP Rocky, Jabari Manwa, Ryan Beatty, Shawn Mendes, SoGoneSoFlexy, and Matt Champion. While A$AP and Champion hit us with extremely solid bars in their respective rap verses, the best thing about the song is the hook (That s**t is smooth like butter and poppish as hell). I know BROCKHAMPTON fans will hate “Count On Me,” but I think it’s one of the only songs on this album that has top 40 potential.
BROCKHAMPTON and Danny Brown go off in “Buzzcut.”
“BUZZCUT” is full of fighting words. Throughout the song, Kevin Abstract, Danny Brown, and Jabari Manwa talk about kicking folks out of their rides and being battle-tested in and out of the booth. While Kevin comes across as a dude that simply doesn’t give a f**k about anything, Danny comes across as a dude that is doing everything he can to come across as a goon, and Jabari comes across as a dude that simply wants to provoke folks. For softies, the good news is this: One of the white dudes in the group (Yes, there are white people in BROCKHAMPTON) hits us with a short little bridge that calms things down a little.
4. WHAT’S THE OCCASION
“WHAT’S THE OCCASION” is one of the deepest, edgiest, most hypnotizing, and most multi-faceted tracks on this album.
Joba absolutely shines in “What’s The Occasion.” The hook and verse that he gifts the song with will numb your minds and make you reassess every facet of your life. I don’t quite love Matt Champion’s rap verse (It’s a little too staticy for me), but it does add some well-needed negro grit to the song. As for the song’s production, it’s on some old-school Eminem/Mr. Rogers/Woodstock s**t.
OK, what the f**k did I just listen to?
3. DON’T SHOOT UP THE PARTY
“DON’T SHOOT UP THE PARTY” will make you shake your ass, activate your rebellious side, and fall in love with rap all over again.
In “DON’T SHOOT UP THE PARTY,” Kevin Abstract talks about overcoming racism, negative stereotypes, and oppressive thoughts. As for Matt Champion, he talks about embracing a reckless lifestyle. What makes the song unique is that it is powered by an upbeat instrumental and everything from loosy-goosy to testosterone-filled rap deliveries.
2. WHEN I BALL
There’s so much passion attached to “When I Ball.” Matter of fact, I cried ghetto tears while listening to the track.
Guess who produced “When I Ball?” Chad Hugo! The The Neptunes producer doesn’t disappoint too, as he gifts the song with one of his signature piano-heavy beats (Give Chad Hugo his flowers right now, America!)
While the best thing about “When I Ball” is clearly the beat, I admit, I absolutely love Dom McLennon and Matt Champion’s humble, vulnerable, passionate, and family-influenced rap lyrics. I don’t quite love the song’s hook, but it does its job when it comes to having you in your feelings.
1. THE LIGHT
Joba and Kevin Abstract let their mics, their hearts, and their vocal cords bleed in “The Light.”
If “The Light” was a stove, I wouldn’t touch it because you will burn yourself if you do. For starters, the song features a beat that mixes edgy rock vibes with hard-hitting rap vibes miraculously. The song also features a very deep intro by Joba, a very personal/fiery verse by Joba, and a very sly/boisterous/powerful verse by Kevin Abstract. When you combine everything that I just mentioned, you end up with one of BROCKHAMPTON’s best songs ever.
𝕊𝕆ℕ𝔾 𝔹𝕐 𝕊𝕆ℕ𝔾 𝔹ℝ𝔼𝔸𝕂𝔻𝕆𝕎ℕ
1. BUZZCUT (4/5)
2. CHAIN ON (4/5)
3. COUNT ON ME (4/5)
4. BANKROLL (3/5)
5. THE LIGHT (4/5)
6. WINDOWS (4/5)
7. I’LL TAKE YOU ON (3/5)
8. OLD NEWS (3/5)
9. WHAT’S THE OCCASION? (4/5)
10. WHEN I BALL (4/5)
11. DON’T SHOOT UP THE PARTY (4/5)
12. DEAR LORD (3/5)
13. THE LIGHT PT. II (4/5)
You can tell that BROCKHAMPTON has a bunch of members in their group because on ROADRUNNER: NEW LIGHT, NEW MACHINE, they toy with so many different genres, sounds, topics, and emotions.
Here’s what I LIKE about ROADRUNNER: NEW LIGHT, NEW MACHINE:
- How much members from the group open up on the album. I didn’t think that I would need a full box of tissues while listening to ROADRUNNER: NEW LIGHT, NEW MACHINE. The album features a few love songs, songs about folks’ mommas, songs about mental health, and songs about oppression. It’s safe to say that BROCKHAMPTON showed no fear in letting folks see their vulnerable side on this album.
- How much the group experiments on the album. As I stated in the first paragrapgh, BROCKHAMPTON toys with so many different styles of music in ROADRUNNER: NEW LIGHT, NEW MACHINE. To be more specific, I hear some rock, some R&B, some old school hip-hop, some new-school hip-hop, and some dance vibes sprinkled throughout the album. I don’t know about you, but I love being forced to be on my toes when I listen to projects.
- When the group gets their rappity-rap on in the album. In all honesty, I don’t think there are many rappers that spit harder than Kevin Abstract, Joba, or Matt Champion. Throughout ROADRUNNER: NEW LIGHT, NEW MACHINE, those three sound hungry, competitive, and like dudes that are down to go toe to toe with anyone in the game. Personally, I think they are the perfect complement to the mushy hooks and occassional gentle beats that you hear on the album.
Here’s what I DON’T LIKE about ROADRUNNER: NEW LIGHT, NEW MACHINE:
- There are a few songs that try a little too hard to emulate “SUGAR.” I’m sure true BROCKHAMPTON fans will tell you that they think that “SUGAR” is one of the worst songs that the group has ever made. I don’t have a problem with it, mainly because it sounds like it came from a natural place. Songs like “I’ll Take You On” and “Count On Me” from ROADRUNNER: NEW LIGHT, NEW MACHINE give me “SUGAR” vibes, but they don’t quite feel as natural as “SUGAR.”
- How the album flows. ROADRUNNER: NEW LIGHT, NEW MACHINE starts off hard as f**k, then gets a little mushy, then goes back to hard as f**k, then becomes an emotional body-of-work. I think if the album was sequenced a little better (Maybe even add some interludes into the fray), it wouldn’t sound so eratic.
I don’t love ROADRUNNER: NEW LIGHT, NEW MACHINE, but I do think it shows how unbelievable the group’s chemistry is.
Quincy is the creator of Ratings Game Music. He loves writing about music, taking long walks on beaches, and spaghetti that fights him back.