Review: Brockhampton’s ‘The Family’ gives fans a last hurrah

Released Nov. 17,  “The Family” by Brockhampton is the final installment in an iconic run by one of the most popular boy bands (self-proclaimed) of the past decade.

Spanning 17 tracks and 35 minutes in length, band member Kevin Abstract takes the reins, speaking on the past troubles and mistakes the group faced and reminiscing about early memories and great moments from the “Saturation” trilogy era.

For the majority of the album, Abstract raps over classical beats with interwoven vocal samples that work to create a soundscape very fitting for a final goodbye. The lead artist uses several tracks to boast about the group’s early success, rapping “If we talking ‘bout groups, we still top 10,” and “Had to saturate the streets with some classics,” on the album opener, “Take It Back.”

However, a good portion of the rest of the project paints an ominous picture of the final days of the group, where friction began to develop between the clashing egos and personalities behind the scenes; “As the checks grew, it became harder to leave / Everybody got an ego now, imagine being me,” Abstract raps on “The Family.”

It quickly became clear to the band that despite signing a very prestigious deal with RCA Records, the future was not going to turn out as perfect as it once seemed. Abstract speaks of his own feelings of guilt, believing he had a big part to play in the inevitable shift of the band, stating “This the most corrupted vision / I turned my friendship into a business, into an empire,” on “The Ending.”

Even though the members of the band began to drift away from each other, their record deal still kept them locked into a six-album contract that needed to be fulfilled. Over the next three years, Brockhampton released four separate projects: 2018’s “iridescence,” 2019’s “GINGER,” and 2021’s “ROADRUNNER,” and its “plus pack” titled “NEW LIGHT, NEW MACHINE.”

When Brockhampton finally released “The Family,” it was followed by a surprise project titled “TM” the very next day.

Abstract raps, “Only made this to get out the deal, partly / So don’t ask me if the crew is still talking” on the track “Gold Teeth,” which features pitched-down vocal chops from Michael Jackson’s “They Don’t Care About Us.”

Despite the untimely demise of the boy band, it is clear that the members all continue to look back on the times they shared together as some of the best they’ve had.

“We always thought outside of the lines / Filming videos outside, sunrise / DIY made the crew supersize,” Kevin raps on Boyband, and “Love when they singing these songs / Venue turns into my home,” on “(Back From The) Road.”

Of course, in the end, Abstract and the others will always remain close, but the lead rapper’s words on “Good Time” sum it up perfectly: “Take them plaques down, it’s time to move on / Call up my real family, it’s time I go home.”

Abstract and other members of Brockhampton are expected to take on new journeys and musical projects of their own in the near future.

Overall, “The Family” serves as a much-needed “last hurrah” to the devoted fanbase of the band, properly tying up many of the loose ends that left fans so confused in the past.

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