Self-proclaimed boy band Brockhampton released Iridescence today (Sept. 21), the long-awaited followup to their Saturation trilogy.
On their major-label debut, the L.A. rap collective plows forward, maintaining the sense of laser-focused creativity, volatility and brutal emotional connectivity that has made them one of the most exciting hip-hop crews (er, boy bands) to follow in recent memory.
Brockhampton's founding member Kevin Abstract is one of the most consistently interesting figures in the group, and it feels a little revolutionary to see the other members of Brockhampton not only accept, but encourage rapping about his queerness. Openly gay rappers are few and far between, especially those who are as transparent as Abstract. He’s joked in the past about being queer a lot, comparing himself to Troye Sivan “with a lot more melanin,” wanting to make out with Zayn Malik, and detailing his longstanding crush on Shawn Mendes. But Abstract, vitally, has also been candid and explicit about the difficulties and pleasures of being a gay black man — from coming out with his homophobic family, being criticized for rapping too much about being gay, and his gay relationships and sexual forays.