BROCKHAMPTON releases their 5th Album: Iridescence
Brockhampton’s new chart-topping album, Iridescence, has quickly become 2018’s most experimental rap album. Brockhampton is easily one of the hottest rap groups in the industry at the moment, their new album combines synth-infused verses, R&B, and elements from just about every music genre. With the wrapping up of their trilogy, Saturation, Brockhampton began their new chapter entitled ‘The Best Years of Our Lives’, in which Iridescence is their first installment.
Earlier this year, allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced against founding member, Ameer Vann, he later admitted to having been emotionally and verbally abusive but denied claims of sexual abuse. This is Brockhampton’s debut since Vann’s departure.
Before the allegations surfaced, the group had recently signed a deal with RCA Records, reported by label sources to be $15 million for 6 albums in 3 years. The change from being independent to signing onto a major label translated into the quality of the music. The production of Iridescence compared to that of their Saturation Trilogy is much cleaner and feels more commercial than their previous endeavors. Iridescence has some of the most personal, woeful verses in their discography.
With an album as experimental, and borderline chaotic, as this one, there is bound to be some misfires. Their opening track, NEW ORLEANS, shows a stark disparity with Saturation through the evident lack of connectivity and underlying theme tying the verses together. Merlyn delivered a strong finish, describing his relationship with religion and his Ghanaian background, delving into unconventional topics, such as the colonization of his home country.
Some of the most memorable numbers on Iridescence are Joba, Merlyn Woods, and Dom; i.e, J’OUVERT, NEW ORLEANS. Despite not being one of the star members on this album, Kevin Abstract, has the most consequential, personal verse yet. “I’ve been feeling defeated, like I’m the worst in the boyband,” Abstract goes into his feelings of self-doubt and even illustrates his struggles with his sexuality in the song WEIGHT.
Being as this is their major label debut, the pressure was on for their transition from independent. WEIGHT perfectly showcases their maturity and characterization from their lyrics to the foundational musical composition. On the second listen of the album, you start catching the double meanings and depth of the seemingly run-of-the-mill lyrics.
Within their new release, we see matured topics of discussion, ranging anywhere from haters to sexual identity. Some aspects still ring true like their distinct high-pitched chipmunk vocals and spoken interludes. Piggybacking off the pop elements of their Saturation Trilogy came tracks like HONEY, THUG LIFE, WEIGHT, and TONYA. Iridescence takes conventional Hip-Hop and molds it into an unequivocally unique art form to create one of 2018’s most memorable albums.
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