Hip-hop, Boy-Band collective, BROCKHAMPTON is a team of around sixteen total members ranging from photographers, vocalists, producers, and creative directors that work together to bring yet another installment in their discography, only mere months before the last. SATURATION II is a continuation of SATURATION which came out only in June, and only two full months after, SATURATION II debuts and comes back with a shift in the tides of genre once again. Between the head-moving hip-hop, to the trance-esque tracks with sprinkles of slow dancing, BROCKHAMPTON is an interesting specimen in music, and one that is not going anywhere for a while.
The earliest moments of the graceful harps and string sections that lead into the sudden alarm clock interruption on the title track “GUMMY”, BROCKHAMPTON speaks in all caps and is somewhere stuck between 1990 and 2010 with their production as the classic hip-hop synths and the clashing hi-hats take the essence of music back to the roots of what made hip-hop become a staple in culture. With the producing being led by Romil Hemnan, Jabari Manwarring, Kevin Abstract, JOBA, and Kiko Merley, it is a consistent clash of classic styles that feels both fresh and interactive. As the track, “GUMMY” eventually shows its true form, BROCKHAMPTON is more than prepared to smack lyrically. Kevin Abstract begins, “Keep my heart with my dogs, keep my car in the yard, I can’t drive it nowhere so I’ll let you niggas take off…”, Abstract continues on to the chorus where he describes, “Cash don’t last, my friends will ride with me. Keep ‘em in my bag, we robbed a limousine. When the guns go pow, won’t bother us again, I don’t wanna do it but they keep on pushing me”. It is apparent from even the earliest moments, BROCKHAMPTON will be a conflicting and body of many faces as the tracks shift quickly, but smoothly; there is much room for the space that BROCKHAMPTON embodies as the later tracks begin to form shape.
BROCKHAMPTON then changes face once again as they adapt into “TEETH”, a socially conscious sounding style of rap track that acts almost like an acapella that is featured over no percussion and just bare bone, minimalistic church choir vocalists while Ameer Vann describes, “I done been in trouble, ‘bout as long as I remember, my momma tried to help me, but I hardly ever listen to her. So she sent me to them white schools, I learned that I was different, they told me ‘I’m a nigga’, well now I know I am”. The sudden silence that overtakes the backing vocalists leads into “Swamp”, a classy display of tapping and rattling machinery of hi-hats, chord progression that is simply beautiful, and guitar that makes the production on SATURATION II feel like a motion picture. Especially on the later track, “FIGHT” which features this clambering sitar and synth progression that moves into an overbearing monster of production. Kevin Abstract leads the outro of the track with a hook that explains Bum, bum, beat ‘em, I would never wanna be ‘em, If I catch ‘em slipping they gon’ have to meet the eagle.” A warning to anyone that tries to oppress BROCKHAMPTON in any way.
SATURATION II is overwhelming at moments, there are times where the lyrical and instrumental progression is intense and takes sudden shifts into incredibly different directions that it feels as motions from a film rather than an album. It is telling a story with the instrumentals and pulling the listener in an undertow of fantastic illumination. The short time in-between releases, the substantial work, and the way that BROCKHAMPTON conducts in this mass monster of artists makes for a strong project with a lot to teach.