BROCKHAMPTON is officially over. After twelve years together in the hip-hop world, America's favorite hip-hop boy band has ended their run. In November 2022, the group released their final two albums: The Family and TM. Now the members of the band are on to their solo careers and lives post-rap collective.
We miss the band already and would like to celebrate their legacy! We've already done a Top 10 list of BROCKHAMPTON's best tracks. Lucky for Live365, the boys ended their run with just enough finished records for us to concoct a Top 10 ranking of all their projects. From homemade hits to records with bigger budgets, BROCKHAMPTON's had a melting pot of different LPs. All of them have their own unique styles, and while some may have flaws, none of them are garbage.
For this list, we will be mentioning all of BROCKHAMPTON'S album releases: so that includes Technical Difficulties and omits the deluxe version of ROADRUNNER: NEW LIGHT, NEW MACHINE. Get ready to "BOOGIE" to this "SWEET" list! Without further ado, here's our definitive ranking of all ten BROCKHAMPTON albums.
10. All-American Trash (2016)
We'll be honest: we don't think fellow BROCKHAMPTON fans will judge you if you haven't listened to All-American Trash. We doubt there's a fan out there who claims it's their favorite BROCKHAMPTON LP. That's because it's the very first album from the group, and it feels more like an EP than a full-fledged record. With some experimental and clunky production here and there, you can tell the group is still finding their footing sound-wise. There's even some features from members who didn't stay with the group long (like vocalist Rodney Tenor and producer Albert Gordon).
Still, All-American Trash is worth a late-night listen if you really love BROCKHAMPTON and are curious about their early days. There are some standouts on this thing, like "BEN CARSON," "MICHIGAN," "INFATUATION," "PALACE," and "COTTON HOLLOW." Trust us: in no way is All-American Trash a bad record. It's just undercooked.
9. Technical Difficulties (2020)
It hurts us to put Technical Difficulties so low, but there are a couple of reasons why we need to do so. The main reason is that this project features a couple of songs that eventually got improved upon in subsequent albums (such as "CHAIN ON," "BANKROLL," and "KEEP IT SOUTHERN"). Another reason is that Technical Difficulties has often been overlooked by fans. It came out during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and didn't receive a proper rollout from RCA due to samples not being cleared, so it's hard to associate a specific kind of "era" to this BROCKHAMPTON LP.
But just like with All-American Trash, Technical Difficulties is far from being an earsore. This was the project where BROCKHAMPTON started experimenting more with samples; a technique that would be improved upon in ROADRUNNER: NEW LIGHT, NEW MACHINE, and The Family. Additionally, we feel that tracks like "baby bull," "Edamame," and "N.S.T." are criminally underrated in BROCKHAMPTON's catalogue. Although this album did have, well...some "technical difficulties" when it came to promotion, we'll pardon them.
8. GINGER (2019)
GINGER often gets a bad rap. It's sort of the black sheep in BROCKHAMPTON's discography. On the one hand, it did have significant commercial success thanks to the viral hit "SUGAR," which exploded during TikTok's early days – and even got a remix with Dua Lipa. But once you put "SUGAR" aside, you'll realize GINGER doesn't have much substance. The tracks don't flow well together. Most of them are forgettable, and in a sense, GINGER is the least BROCKHAMPTON album BROCKHAMPTON has put out. "SUGAR" is even a prime example of this, as it's more of an autotune-heavy pop radio pleaser than it is a hardcore, raw, and head-banging bop fans are used to at BROCKHAMPTON concerts.
So why isn't GINGER last on our list? Well, that's because when a song on GINGER is good, it's really good. The four tracks on GINGER we feel save the album from obscurity are "NO HALO," "BOY BYE," "IF YOU PRAY RIGHT," and "DEARLY DEPARTED." Deb Never's feature on "NO HALO" is so soft and earwormy, and such a chill opener that still infuses energy into listeners. "BOY BYE" is simply phenomenal, "IF YOU PRAY RIGHT" proved to be a single that got a lot of fans excited, and Joba, Matt, and Dom's vocals on "DEARLY DEPARTED" are iconic, heartbreaking, and some of the best the group has ever put out.
7. The Family (2022)
The Family had to climb an uphill battle. It had to be quickly produced and released in order for BROCKHAMPTON to get out of their RCA contract, and Kevin Abstract had the daunting task of being the only vocalist on the album (save for bearface on the title track). When it was first released, fans were obviously disappointed. Why was a Kevin Abstract solo project being shared under the name BROCKHAMPTON? But with time, fans have begun to appreciate – and even admire – the hard work put into the record.
What works about The Family is its flow. Each song, save for the final track, is under three minutes. Thanks to BOYLIFE and bearface's masterful music production, all of the songs seamlessly bleed into each other. And don't even get us started about how damn good the sampling is on this record. We can't get enough of that “Let Me Be The One, Baby” sample on "The Ending," and the nostalgia that comes with hearing the theme song to Nickelodeon's All That on a similarly titled track is overwhelmingly awesome! Oh, and listening to Kevin's emotional affirmations to each BROCKHAMPTON vocalist on "Brockhampton" never fails to make us cry.
Is The Family a bit sappy? Yes. Does it feel more like a therapy session about the group's breakup than a relatable record? Sure. And is it an album that's hard to replay? Absolutely. But it's not lost on us that fans are already starting to compare this thing to hip-hop staples like Kanye West's College Dropout. The BROCKHAMPTON family may be dysfunctional, but this record, while flawed, knows how to keep ties.
6. TM (2022)
We know it's a controversial move to put TM above The Family, but hear us out. The Family was supposed to feel like closure for fans, but it was hard to get that closure when the only vocalist on the album was Kevin. TM felt like a saving grace for people who wanted to say goodbye to features from Matt, Joba, Merlyn, Dom, bearface, and Jabari as well.
We'll admit: TM doesn't have as near as good of flow as The Family does. (Although, we keep replaying the section from "NEW SHOES" to "CRUCIFY ME" over and over.) However, this project does feel like the group going back to their roots while incorporating new sounds and plucking things that work from other albums. "MAN ON THE MOON" is a feel-good instant classic that incorporates a GINGER pop vibe. "NEW SHOES" has that Saturation trilogy sound going for it, while "FMG" has computerized noises that feel like they belong on iridescence. "KEEP IT SOUTHERN" proves to be a saucy banger that could have been on ROADRUNNER, and "CRUCIFY ME" has that smooth All-American Trash feel (Joba's vocals are KILLER.) We even love the chaotic jazz piano at the end of it.
Although the end of TM is a bit underwhelming and "LISTERINE" probably could have been omitted (it starts to sound like your typical SoundCloud trap song after a couple of replays), TM proved the group still had gusto while showing off a more chill side to them. It's short, but totally sweet. Also, is the title of the album pronounced "T.M.?" or do you say it more like "team"? We're not sure, but can see what this album is trying to say either way.
5. ROADRUNNER: NEW LIGHT, NEW MACHINE (2021)
Ah, ROADRUNNER. How we wish you got more attention than you got. The boys really put their all onto this thing. The mainstream didn't seem to care, but the fans did. ROADRUNNER: NEW LIGHT, NEW MACHINE is notable for its change in structure and more collaborative focus. It features some great guests like JPEGMAFIA, Danny Brown, and A$AP Rocky. It finally felt like our "dope boys" were expanding a bit in terms of their features.
Additionally, ROADRUNNER has a very unique vibe. Songs like "BUZZCUT," "CHAIN ON," "BANKROLL," "COUNT ON ME," and "I'LL TAKE YOU ON" have this old-school aesthetic with a modern edge. "DON'T SHOOT UP THE PARTY" proved to be a poignant and serious piece – it's catchy, nerve-wracking, and happy-go-lucky all at once. And of course, it has important subtext about gun control. Some fans say the songs on ROADRUNNER are kind of forgettable, while others live and die by this album. Whatever side you take, you do have to admit there's a certain maturity to ROADRUNNER not present on other BROCKHAMPTON records.
4. iridescence (2018)
We miss the iridescence era so much. And the crazy thing was, it was a rough era for the group! Ameer Vann had just been kicked out due to sexual misconduct claims, the boys had just signed with RCA, and people were worried about BROCKHAMPTON's future. Would they survive without Ameer? Would they be sellouts now that they were signed with a major label? iridescence was promptly dropped, and it quelled all of our fears.
iridescence has this super nostalgic early 2000s internet vibe. The whole album almost sounds like you're stuck inside a computer. And for kids who grew up on the internet – like the boys of BROCKHAMPTON – it's a comforting sound. We don't think of iridescence as songs so much as we think of it as specific moments. The crunchy hardcore production on "DISTRICT." Joba's powerhouse screaming on "J'OUVERT." The Matt and Merlyn team-up on "WHERE THE CAST AT." Kevin's opening flow on "TAPE." And of course, "TONYA" – the heart-stirring song that led to the group's late night television debut on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
iridescence was experimentation at its finest during a time when the group needed it most. It's an album that defined the group's critical and mainstream peak. The iridescence era was when almost everyone had their eyes on BROCKHAMPTON, and you can hear that pressure on the record, because there are absolutely no skips. Also, we include the 2018 summer singles "1999 WILDFIRE," "1998 TRUMAN," and "1997 DIANA" as part of the iridescence era in spirit.
3. Saturation (2017)
Now onto what we've all been waiting for: the iconic Saturation Trilogy.
First up, we have the debut Saturation that was released in 2017. This was the record that got the BROCKHAMPTON party started. While we rank it last compared to the other two Saturation albums, it's far from being a bad project. Any artist would be lucky to complete an album like this one. It's raw, aggressive, and hungry, while also showing off tender sides in songs like "FACE" and "MILK." It showed off the group's twangy Texas roots while also proving they had the chops to become international sensations.
Perhaps the best flow between songs on a BROCKHAMPTON record happen with the opening tracks "HEAT," "GOLD," and then "STAR." If you choose not to listen to all of Saturation, at the very least listen to those first three tracks! "HEAT" is just as fiery as the title suggests, and then "GOLD" cools things down in a stylish way before the linguistic masterpiece that is "STAR" swoops in to infuse listeners with pop culture reference energy. Oh, and let's not forget about the music videos that also put this record on the map. The DIY-style visuals of Saturation are just as integral to the album experience as the music is.
2. Saturation II (2017)
From the moment you hear that gorgeous, swelling instrumental turned to electrical hum on "GUMMY," you know you're in for a wild ride. SATURATION II was released only two months after its predecessor, and it's just as ambitious, bold, and fun. "Fun" is really the keyword for this album. Saturation got peoples' curiosity, but Saturation II had the world's attention.
"GUMMY" is one of the best openers on any album, period. It hypes listeners up for what's to come next. And what comes next are undisputable bangers like the funky "QUEER," the hoppy and upbeat "SWAMP," the emotional and truth-telling "JUNKY," and the wishful and laid-back "SWEET." And the best thing about Saturation II is that it ends just as well as it begins thanks to the dramatic bearface ballad "SUMMER." Saturation II is when the group found their footing as a team, and you can hear how much joy they had putting this project together. We wish we could erase the memories from our brains and listen to this album for the first time again.
1. Saturation III (2017)
And last but not least, the critical and commercial success that catapulted BROCKHAMPTON into the forefront of the indie music world. At least, for a short time.
It's so difficult to describe the genius of Saturation III with only a few paragraphs, but we'll try. Saturation III did so well because it took the drive of Saturation and the moxie of Saturation II and blended them together into a beautiful display of camaraderie, risk, and authenticity. Pumped-up opener "BOOGIE" was something of BROCKHAMPTON's theme song when it was first released, and them performing it in Times Square was the definitive peak of the boy band's legacy.
The first half of the album is consistent and crisp. And then once the slow-paced magnum opus "BLEACH" hits...things get intense. "ALASKA" is an underrated diamond in the rough, "SISTER/NATION" is a rager that features Matt Champion's best rap bit at lightning speed, and then Champion strikes again with his gorgeous vocal tone on "RENTAL." The song "TEAM" closes things out, and it's half bearface ballad, half timely contribution from Kevin, Ameer, and Dom. (It addresses the change in the world caused by rising conservative trends and police brutality.) And then...you'll feel tears well in your eyes as you hear that opening mumble of Saturation fade in during the final seconds of Saturation III. A perfect loop.
BROCKHAMPTON's had a plethora of amazing records and tracks, but we hope Saturation III is the one that goes down in history as the group's defining contribution to the hip-hop genre. Now excuse us while we go listen to the trilogy – and all of BROCKHAMPTON's albums – again.
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