BROCKHAMPTON (aka Kevin Abstract) holds zero punches in “The Family,” supposedly the group’s last album.
Honorable Mention. Take It Back
Talk your s**t, Kevin! “Take It Back” sounds divine, holy, uplifting, and extra personal. In the song, Kevin Abstract raps about his relationship with Tyler, his love/hate relationship with California, and all that BROCKHAMPTON has achieved. What I think is unique about the song is that it has its fair share of highs and lows; both hit differently over the soulful beat.
5. All That
It’s about time someone was smart enough to sample the classic “All That” hook.
This song is just as brilliant as it is depressing. “All That” is powered by this somber beat that has a similar tempo as the original “All That” beat. Over it, you get the classic hook and depressing raps by Kevin Abstract in which he talks about how the crew changed after they got some change. While I don’t love the rap styles used in the track, at the end of the day, this song feels beautifully nostalgic and juicily depressing.
I don’t want to hear what BROCKHAMPTON does to the Kenan and Kel theme song…
You get my favorite Kevin Abstract rap performance in “37th.”
If you close your ears while listening to “37th,” you would think 2007 Kanye West made the song. There’s something about the stripped down beat and Kevin Abstract’s consistent flow that gives me Graduation vibes. Also, I feel like the way he raps about the numerous battles he has had with demons throughout the years gives me flashbacks to when Kanye used to actually talk about his inner issues in songs. Fortunately, there’s no mention of Skete by Kevin in the song.
3. The Family
Let it all out, Kevin, let it all out!
You get conflicting sounds in “The Family.” While the base of the song is powered by soothing bearface vocals and production that is on some 70s game show s**t, the raps you get from Kevin sound Elon Musk to his Twitter workers-level asshole-ish, confrontational, and a little bitter.
In this song, Kevin admits to cutting one of the group members verses from this song… Let me DM Bow Wow to ask him how that feels (Remember, R. Kelly removed him from “Imma Flirt”).
2. The Ending
“The Ending” is my favorite track on this album.
There’s something about soulful, Kanye West-Esque beats that always excite me; that’s exactly what you get in “The Ending.” Aside from the outstanding beat, you also get to hear about Kevin Abstract’s provocative, religious, and brotherly love days, in addition to his annoying fall off. The two sides are delivered with a level of calmness that is almost refreshing.
BROCKHAMPTON closes out BROCKHAMPTON perfectly in “Brockhampton.” (Side note: It’s interesting that this song has BROCKHAMPTON spelled in numerous lower case letters).
In “Brockhampton,” Kevin Abstract speaks on why he and Jabari started beefing, on how BROCKHAMPTON got their big break, and how he feels like he let the group down numerous times in the past. He also shouts out everyone in the group in the most organic way at the end. Though there isn’t anything special about this song sonically (It features regular degular flows and a beat that never fully gets started), its the vulnerable lyrics that Kevin dishes out that will catch your attention.
I legit almost teared up listening to this track. It’s probably because I am eating an onion bagel while writing this review.
SONG BY SONG BREAKDOWN
1. Take It Back (4/5)
2. RZA (3/5)
3. Gold Teeth (4/5)
4. Big Pussy (4/5)
5. All That (4/5)
6. (Back From The) Road (3.5/5)
7. Basement (3/5)
8. Southside (3.5/5)
9. Good TIme (3/5)
10. 37th (4.5/5)
11. Boyband (4/5)
12. Any Way You Want Me (3/5)
13. The Family (4/5)
14. Prayer (3/5)
15. My American Life (2/5)
16. The Ending (4.5/5)
17. Brockhampton (4/5)
I have one word for you: Wow.
I’ll be the first to tell you that I am not a major BROCKHAMPTON fan. Matter of fact, if any one of them walked by me at the grocery store, I would probably ask them which aisle the graham crackers are on. With that being said, I have respect for what they were able to achieve as a collective. Remember, their Ginger album debuted at number 3 on the Billboard charts and sparked their biggest hit to-date, “Sugar.” In other words, BROCKHAMPTON has seen their fair share of success in the past couple of years. Just like every group that has ever picked up a bunch of microphones, this particular one had an ugly downfall; that downfall is displayed in the saddest and most sonically-pleasing way ever in The Family.
So, you get about 95% Kevin Abstract in The Family. The good news is this: He switches his sound up quite a bit on the album. In some songs, he sounds competitive, in some songs he sounds bitter, in some songs he sounds mopey, and in some songs he actually tries to sing (Maybe he tried to channel every member in the group?). While I think his talent jumps off the page, at the end of the day, its his honest, vulnerable, truthful, relatable, gay, and blunt lyrics literally sprinkled throughout the album that is fascinating to listen to.
Aside from the people on the skits, the only other person I heard on The Family was bearface. He provided the album with a bit of soulfulness. What’s interesting is that everything other than Kevin sounds upbeat. I mean, the production on this album literally put me in a good mood.
I’ve never heard anything like The Family before. It’s something that straddles the line between a diss album and a homage album. While I mentioned that I have no clue what any of the members in BROCKHAMPTON look like, on the real, their downfall really hurt my soul. Let’s hope they all have long and successful solo careers (They all won’t, but lets at least hope)!
Quincy is the creator of Ratings Game Music. He loves writing about music, taking long walks on beaches, and spaghetti that fights him back.