Honestly, I’m really impressed by Roadrunner: New Light, New Machine, the latest record from Brockhampton.
You probably heard of ’em. Brought together by rapper Kevin Abstract, the Texas collective has been on a tear since 2016, gaining steam for their high-energy cypher raps, booming production, aggressive release schedule, and…pop-band aspirations.
Nah, really. The group considers itself a boy band. They’ll just as quickly drop an uptempo danceable joint a la Backstreet Boys as they will with a hard 16-bar banger. It’s something, especially in their live sets.
While I’ve been lukewarm with the group over the years, liking the occasional track and glossing over their records, Roadrunner socked me over the head. This shit GOES. The album, coming together during the opening months of the pandemic, is aggressive, gritty, and full of candor. The group’s members have always been surprisingly upfront about themselves and their struggles, but Roadrunner is something else when it comes to shocking revelations dropped casually in between dark party rhymes and pop interludes. It damn near gives you whiplash!
“The Light,” featuring members Joba and Kevin, is like submerging into ice cold water. Joba’s opening verse is absolutely devastating as he reflects on his father’s suicide and the scars it’s left on him, while Kevin reflects on how his life has transformed over the years, stumbling on coming out to his mom, navigating success, and finding God. This one is emotional, sobering, and essential.