They’re named BROCKHAMPTON and they’re the best boy band in the world.
It all started as a thread on the Kanye West Fan Forum, called KanyeToThe, which still exists. Looking at the post now, which simply reads “Anybody wanna make a band” Who’s down?” is laughably simple. There’s no 5 year plan here. No tidy elevator pitch clearly demonstrating their unique selling points. The founder Kevin Abstract, who was posting under the username “harry styles” at the time, had never even met the people he was reaching out to. BROCKHAMPTON is a massive experiment in learning by doing.
Now, this collective of 15 young bucks from the US has altered the rap scene and changed perceptions of not just how the music industry functions in 2018, but delivered inspiration on how to make something massive out of nothing but passion and perseverance.
BROCKHAMPTON is a collection of multimedia artists. Although the group has 15 official members, only a handful of them are involved in the production of tracks. Everyone else adds to the group with whatever skills they have. Project managing tours, lighting setups or graphic design. They even have a VP of hype. Everyone’s in the band.
Everything they do, they do it quickly and efficiently. What started as a minimum viable product for a musical group is now one of the biggest names in hip hop.
Since then the boy band has gone from strength to strength. They released 3 albums last year in an attempt to saturate the hip hop market, which landed them a track in the Triple J hottest 100 of 2017 (at number 11!) Within a year they’ve gone from almost completely unknown to sharing a stage with the Wu Tang Clan.
It seems like in 2018, where resources, people and passion are available at your fingertips, traditional business models are getting a bit blurry and in this case seem to have been completely replaced by passion and personal drive. By doing what you love and what you’re good at. Not just having faith that it’s going to work out, but knowing that it’s ok if it doesn’t. BROCKHAMPTON are the modern entrepreneurs of hip hop. There was no PR plan besides sharing the best music they could create. They trusted that what they were doing was needed and interesting enough for people to want to find out about them. They were right. VICELAND got wind of them and produced a TV series on the forming of the group.
The theme of doing what you love and do your best is not lost on the fans. In VICELAND’s doco BROCKHAMPTON’s fans can be heard saying:
“Why I love the music is it gives you a sense of you can do you this yourself if you just set your mind to it.”
“He [Kevin Abstract] is my age and he’s just doing the shit that I want to do.”
“I really like the message he [Kevin Abstract] sends to people. It’s all about how you can do it yourself.”
BROCKHAMPTON is an American group. But they haven’t done anything that can’t be replicated or learned from in Australia or really anywhere. All they’ve done is aggressively followed their passions and haven’t stopped since. It’s extremely fearless, weirdly modern and wholly respectable.
One last compliment before I stop gushing about the entrepreneurial spirit of the boys: Frontman Kevin Abstract is also killer at Twitter.
If you want to go a little further through the looking glass, you can watch the full VICELAND series documenting how BROCKHAMPTON was formed. It’s called American Boyband and it’s all on SBS on Demand for the next 848 days. So better be quick.