Brockhampton’s Saturation III is anything but saturated

Brockhampton | Photo by Myung J. Chun with the Los Angeles Times

Musical groups of young people have the power to shift cultures. NWA came together and shed light upon the issue of police brutality through hard hitting, honest hip-hop. Odd Future brought a raw collection of talent completely by themselves, giving creative powerhouses like Tyler the Creator and Frank Ocean the recognition they deserve. Youthful expression is almost unparalleled in its ability to decide what’s cool and in its ability to inspire.

Brockhampton, a California based hip-hop group, has been steadily putting out albums since their first mixtape released March 2016, and is a great example of youthful expression coming strong for the new year. Their latest release, Saturation III, is the third and final release of the Saturation series that started with their official debut album, and this American boy band is on a hot streak.

Not comparing Brockhampton to their California colleagues Odd Future is difficult. Both groups have a diverse lineup of styles within their members and emotional delivery from each one of those members. A big difference is that, while Odd Future was creative, its members were immature, but Brockhampton seems to be completely in touch with their emotions. Most songs talk about the difficulty of being young, relationships, and just generally questioning what everything means in the world they are living.

Saturation III clocks in at 15 tracks, stylized with the songs all capitalized on Spotify. Their own label Question Everything, Inc. is listed as the label they are on. These 15 tracks do a great job showcasing two different things: the production and their influences. Boogie knocks the door down with sound as soon as the play button is hit, with a big horn melody in front of a siren. The hook and the production are very reminiscent of N.E.R.D., but as soon as that ends, “ZIPPER” begins, which gives huge vibes of early “Marshall Mathers LP”-era Eminem.

Each song also shows a different Brockhampton strength. The group has a knack for catchy hooks, like in “STUPID” and “JOHNNY,” which has a few of those emotional youth lines in there like, “I’m a shithead son, and I’m bad at growing up” followed immediately by “My life hasn’t been the same since my dog died, since my girl left” and a disdain for feelings in general. Seems like a bummer, but in the tone of lines such as these is a sense of hope only young musicians would be able draw upon. It’s an understanding that life has sucked and maybe sucks now, but things are looking up even in the slightest way.

A real high point in the album is from the song “BLEACH.” This song comes in like a wave in slow motion. It hits the brain in such a lush way, with great falsetto singing parts and instrumental work. Verses vibe perfectly with the hook and is at a perfect head bobbing tempo.

Verdict: Brockhampton is doing an original thing even with their influences showing like they are. The rapping and singing are done well and brings different vibes to the table. The album does not overstay its welcome and puts Brockhampton in a great place for their future.

Grade: A