Attempts at labeling the 15-person “boy band” Brockhampton never end well. Yes, they make rap music, but the group’s visions and dreams go far beyond lyrics and beats. Led by the creative collective’s founder, Kevin Abstract, the group of like-minded individuals also create online content, art, television shows (American Boyband) and whatever else comes across their young minds. Made up of all 20-something-year-olds, the boys of Brockhampton come from different places in Texas, Florida, Connecticut, Grenada and Ireland.
Along with Kevin, Ameer Vann, Matt Champion, Jabari Manwa, Kiko Merley, Ashlan Grey, Henock “HK” Sileshi, Merlyn Wood, Ciaran Ruaridh McDonald aka Bearface, Robert Ontinient, Romil Hemnani, Dominic Michael Simpson aka Dom McLennon and Russell Boring aka JOBA, contribute in some shape or form. Rappers, producers, creative directors, web designers, photographers, stylists — they do it all.
The unconventional collective has released three mixtapes since 2016; the most recent is Saturation II, which hit retailers in August. With a string of music videos that are unlike anything the Rap Internet has seen thus far, these fearless guys created a mystique and an aesthetic that is already being imitated by online cliques everywhere.
“I just wanted to have my own dynasty. I wanted my own Cash Money or Roc-A-Fella. Outside of that, I also wanted my own media company. I always used to say, at the end of the day I want Brockhampton to be like Paramount or something, and you don’t really know who’s behind it. You just think about Brockhampton and all the types of content we provide,” Kevin Abstract told The Fader in July.
He continues: “I think what we’re doing hasn’t really ever been done before, because on one end we’re a boy band, and on the other end we’re like this media company/ad agency. Also, we want to be record label. So I’ve never really seen anything truly like it. I don’t really have a blueprint to follow besides watching interviews. Well, I guess the blueprint I do follow is Def Jam, in a way, just because it started in a small space, which is so similar to how we started. There’s also Apple — it started in a small room and it becomes this huge corporation. Basically how I wanna be.”