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The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Brockhampton’s new album is perfect for summer

Ashlan Grey
The 13-member Brockhampton collective released their new album “Roadrunner: New Light, New Machine” on April 9.

Brockhampton released their much-anticipated sixth album, “Roadrunner: New Light, New Machine,” April 9. The album, which runs at 47 minutes and has 13 tracks, shows off each of the 13 members’ voices without overshadowing their many talents.

The album features seven artists outside of the collaborative, with big stars such as A$AP Rocky, A$AP Ferg and JPEGMAFIA being featured on a handful of tracks. Each song, while slightly different, has a solid baseline and genius lyrics surrounding themes of suicide, grief and unwavering love. 

The hip-hop “boyband” is known for their groovy undertones, and this album did not disappoint. The undertones are a commonality throughout all of the tracks, but some vary and lean more toward the group’s hip-hop inspiration while others lean more on the alternative side. 

The opening track, “Buzzcut,” is a strong album starter, and its intense bass line is incredibly reminiscent of the late 1990s and early 2000s hip-hop sound. Kevin Abstract, a founder of the group, sings the main vocals in this song along with a feature from longtime alternative hip-hop star Danny Brown. By the end of the single, the group’s more central off-beat R&B sound is present to carry you through the rest of the album. It starts strong and dies down into more of an overall chill vibe. 

The second track, “Chain On,” has a slow, techno bass and the lyrics are centered around the witty and joking style Brockhampton is known for. The flow is intense, and again Abstract and groupmate Dom McLennon keep it up with fast-paced lyrics. JPEGMAFIA, a lesser-known American rapper and producer from Maryland, is a welcomed addition to the track.

“Count On Me” is an incredibly interesting release by Brockhampton. As the third track on the album, it is the first without credited features and collaborators. However, the song has the most of both – they’re just all uncredited. According to Genius, the song includes A$AP Rocky, Ryan Beatty, Shawn Mendes and SoGone SoFlexy. 

“The Light” is one of the most vulnerable tracks on the album and begins with a soundbite of Brockhampton’s Joba speaking about his father’s suicide. Joba is the main vocalist on this song, as it follows the process he went through while grieving. Abstract serves supplemental vocals as the track focuses on the past, and how confronting the emotions of hard situations can help you move forward. 

The closing track, “The Light Pt. II,” is a reprise of the earlier track of the same name. With similar themes, Joba and Abstract use a smoother sound to re-address the themes of their childhoods and past traumas. Joba speaks directly to his father, while Abstract touches on his sexuality and the Black Lives Matter movement. The song is full of personal messages and raw emotion, and it serves as a beautiful ending to an overall well-written and well-engineered album.

The majority of the tracklist is an authentic representation of Brockhampton’s unique mix of anti-pop and alternative hip-hop, and the group does a phenomenal job of stringing through the ‘90s and Y2K undertones heard throughout the album. A great addition to Brockhampton’s growing discography, die-hard fans won’t be disappointed and newcomers will be delighted by the perfect-for-summer tracklist. 

Follow Emily on Twitter @emilyhbeatty.


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About the Contributor
Emily Beatty
Emily Beatty, Arts & Entertainment Editor | she/they
Emily is a senior English literature and print/web journalism double-major from Canton, Mass. After joining The Journal amidst a pandemic, Emily can be found writing about all things music and pop culture. When not writing, she can be found working, listening to music (probably Taylor Swift) and with a half empty cup of iced coffee in hand. After graduation, Emily hopes to continue to cover music for local publishers in Boston.
Follow Emily on Twitter  @emilyhbeatty

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Brockhampton’s new album is perfect for summer