‘The Family’ BROCKHAMPTON LP Review

By Kristine Pascual

photos by itsjaviator

Earlier this year, BROCKHAMPTON announced that the band would be going their separate ways. As one of the most socially progressive groups of our generation, BROCKHAMPTON has released what they claimed was their final project, “The Family.” However, they surprised fans with an official final album entitled, “TM.”

On “The Family,” Kevin Abstract takes the reins as the lead and solo vocalist. He highlights the many struggles and arguments that were between members of the band, which eventually led to their split. This record is brutally honest and open with fans regarding the turmoil that the members have undergone. There have been several times where fans thought that the band would be breaking up, such as when Abstract released his first solo project in 2019. Fans were most likely disappointed when they only heard Abstract, but that is what “TM” is for, a final parting gift with participation from all of its members.

Abstract took to Twitter to explain why he is the only member featured vocally on the record, writing, “I understand that some of the fans are upset that no one is on the album but me. Over the past few years, the members of the band began to move our separate ways, and focus on our individual careers and passions. With this project, a few of us were inspired to make something new that would bring closure to the past, and set the table for all of us to finally be able to explore our individual futures. I hope you understand and enjoy the music.”

Nonetheless, “The Family” does not disappoint. Abstract killed it with his verses and production. Here are some stand-out tracks:

Track one: “Take It Back”

The opening track of the record is energetic and fun with references to how the band initially began. Abstract had taken his plans to an online forum for Kanye West fans where the band formed. It’s upbeat and Abstract praises his fellow band members and how he wished that they were able to stay together and play at venues like The Forum.

Track two: “RZA”

In this second track, Abstract opens up about his feelings regarding the end of BROCKHAMPTON and the controversies and arguments that the members went through. In the song, he mentions how his mom repeatedly asked him, “Ian, why don’t you keep the band together?” The title seems to point to the music label, RCA, which BROCKHAMPTON is tied to and owed two more albums. These albums turned out to be “The Family,” followed by “TM.”

Track four: “Big Pussy”

Abstract’s lyrics and flow is incredible in this track. Initially released as a single, this song highlights the pressures the group faced from their label. This track is well produced and chaotic, but in a good way.

Abstract raps, “The label needed thirty-five minutes of music.” He refers to how the band signed a contract and made a deal to produce two more albums that were at least 35 minutes long.

Track 17: “Brockhampton”

In the closing track, Abstract says his final farewells to his band mates. Throughout his verses, he explains that the band has been arguing and has had issues since their fifth studio album, “iridescence.” In one verse, Abstract explains that one of the sources of their arguments stems from him getting in touch with former member, Ameer Vann. Vann was kicked out of the band in May of 2018 following sexual assault allegations. Abstract’s contact with Vann eventually led to a falling out with other members of the band.

He closes the song with, “The next chapter is everything that we said it would be / This next chapter is everything that we want it to be / The show's over, get out your seats.”

It’s a difficult and heavy but necessary goodbye.