Summer Music: Despite controversy, BROCKHAMPTON drops fire track


John Bricker, Staff Reporter

BROCKHAMPTON’s latest single, “1999 WILDFIRE,” released on July 7, proves that they can continue creating beautiful music despite recent controversy.

Dubbing themselves “The World’s Greatest Boyband,” hip-hop ensemble BROCKHAMPTON broke out with their “SATURATION” series, three studio albums recorded and released in 2017.

Controversy surrounded the band in May when several women accused Ameer Vann, one of BROCKHAMPTON’s founding members, of sexual abuse and having sex with a minor.

BROCKHAMPTON announced that Ameer was no longer a member of the band through Twitter on May 27, apologizing for Vann’s actions and for not speaking up sooner.

The band also announced that they had canceled the remaining dates in their tour across the United States. The group’s fourth studio album, “Puppy,” scheduled for release in June, never arrived.

As a BROCKHAMPTON fan, I feared the group would lose motivation after losing a core member and finding themselves at the center of intense controversy.

That fear is gone after listening to “1999 WILDFIRE,” their first single since “SATURATION III.”

The production on this track shines brighter than ever. The beat is laid-back, hypnotic and nocturnal, using some of the same haunting sampled strings, flutes and reverb-soaked guitars featured heavily on “SATURATION II.”

Kevin Abstract’s pitched and layered vocals on the song’s hook create a rich, smooth sound reminiscent of Outkast’s best songs.

Matt Champion takes the first verse, effortlessly using simple rhymes and his deep tone to perfectly compliment the beat’s atmosphere.

Joba’s verse is playful and dramatic. His flow is a little awkward at points, but his playful bragging and “The Lord Of The Rings” references are a perfect example of the unique creative voice each member brings to the group.

Dom McLennon delivers the most passionate and dynamic verse on the track, asserting his success and status in the music industry, despite those who doubted him.

The end of McLennon’s verse transitions beautifully into a bridge performed by bearface, BROCKHAMPTON’s in-house ballad-writer and vocal powerhouse. His dreamy, high-pitched crooning over bright, simple guitar arpeggios transforms the track into a hopeful anthem.

The track reaches its emotional climax when Kevin Abstract’s hook comes in again, recontextualized and triumphant, sung over high-pitched vocal samples and bearface’s shimmering guitar.

Whenever BROCKHAMPTON’s next album arrives, if it follows the path paved by this track, it will be a masterpiece.