Song of the Day: June 4, 2017

“STAR” is a good introduction to the distinct style of rising American boy band BROCKHAMPTON. The track was released on May 31 ahead of BROCKHAMPTON’s second project, Saturation, which will come out on June 9.

After a quick word from Robert Ontenient, Dom McLennon starts the track. His flow is decent, but he is heavily reliant on pop culture references. The references go hand-in-hand with the song’s title, but its shallowness and similarity cause them to get repetitive.

Additionally, the transition from Hollywood celebrities to basketball players is rushed and abrupt. McLennon also sacrilegiously names Blake Griffin and Chris Paul as one of the NBA’s best duos (“Chris Paul, I’m assistin’ / Ameer going Blake Griffin”).

As expected by that line, Ameer Vann comes in next. His verse is disappointing in that it doesn’t steer away from the territory that McLennon covered. He is also very dependent on listing off actors, doing so without a creative delivery or rhyme scheme. It is particularly uninspiring when he rhymes “Banks” with… Banks (“You can call me nigga Banks / Secret Agent Cody Banks”).

Kevin Abstract, arguably BROCKHAMPTON’s biggest name, ends the rapping portion of “STAR.” He refers to Hollywood references a few times, but it’s nothing overbearing like the past two verses. Instead, Abstract focuses more on what he’s trying to achieve with BROCKHAMPTON—a breath of fresh air.

My own fam ain’t fuck with me
But Viceland did fuck with me
I’m the only popstar with no money
Can’t drive, so I’m still running

BROCKHAMPTON are on the rise, but their level of success still hasn’t gotten to the point where Abstract and company are swimming in money.

“STAR” concludes with a mellow outro grounded in R&B that displays BROCKHAMPTON’s versatility. The singer of the outro is unknown, but it’s probable that they went through some sort of voice modulation process because it’s unlike any member’s original voice.

The outro’s message is still open to interpretation. Perhaps, it’s saying that the song actually referred to someone’s “star” all along. Another alternative is that the outro will make more sense when put into context alongside the rest of Saturation.

Overall, “STAR” gives the listener a glimpse of BROCKHAMPTON’s strengths and weaknesses. Their flow and lyricism is still immature, but that’s to be expected considering the boy band’s relative youth. On the other hand, there’s a certain intangible magnetism to them that should only add to their success once BROCKHAMPTON are able to find their voice.

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