Brockhampton, the still fresh-to-the-scene rap collective composed of artists that met through a rap-oriented forum, released their second studio album on August 25, 2017, just a few months after their debut album “Saturation.”
“Saturation II” contains a number of expertly well produced songs, none of which sound like what came before them. The diversity present on this album is its strongest asset.
With most of the production being Romil Hemnani’s, production by the duo Q3 and vocals from bearface, Kevin Abstract and Joba, just three of the seven rappers present on the album, the album is a surprisingly well-crafted project.
With the only notable projects from each of these producers and rappers, the quality of their projects feels like it comes out of nowhere. The instrumentals range from groovy, to laid back, to aggressive, to exotic. The voices from each rapper are incredibly distinct from one another, and their individual flows and cadences are all unique.
When I say unique, I mean from each other. Another strong point for this album is that you can hear each rapper’s influences in the way they perform. However, that’s also one of the album’s weaker points, because it occasionally feels like their styles are directly ripped from their influences. Certain songs have flows and feeling that’s reminiscent of Mac Miller, Kendrick Lamar, Vic Mensa and a few others.
“Junky,” one of the singles, and the most listened to song on their Spotify Artist’s Page, is one of the album’s most noteworthy tracks. It’s aggressive, it’s angry and it’s uncomfortable. With eerie, heavy vibrato string instrument loops that increase in pitch after a certain amount of bars, and a slow, almost lo-fi drum beat.
The lyrics on this single focus on the participating rappers’ experience with addiction, be it their own or a loved one’s. It feels heavy, and their performances are animated and emotional.
A change from their first album, and in some ways a direct improvement from it, “Saturation III” is an incredibly well-crafted album by Brockhampton. I look forward to “Saturation II,” the conclusion to their developing trilogy.