Brockhampton’s lead man Kevin Abstract has released ARIZONA BABY, his first solo album since joining the rap group. The album features helping vocals from JOBA, Bearface and Dominic Fike; and instrumental help from Romil Hemnani.
Big Wheels is a short one verse track that demonstrates the heavy influence of Andre 3000. The song features a hard hitting verse from Kevin before setting up the transition to the second track with guitar and a smooth use of sax. As the last note strings out, we get Joy Ride – a more upbeat track with beautiful backing vocals from JOBA. I really enjoyed the chorus to this track and initially I thought it was the catchiest of the EP. Then came the last track on the EP, that even still I can’t get the chorus out of my head. Georgia is a slower melodic tune, but the verses content delivers the honesty that we love from Kevin as he reminisces on his time in High School and Hollywood as a homosexual.
Corpus Christi is one of the most powerful solo tracks I’ve heard from the Texan born artist. The whole project is really powerful, showcasing his raw ability to story tell about his growth from childhood to adulthood, small city to Hollywood. Corpus Christi is a brutally honest track, with references to the fall out with previous member Ameer Vann. The chorus isn’t as strong as the verses but Baby Boy fills in what Corpus Christi lacks.
Baby Boy features vocals from Ryan Beatty who gives a hopeful touch to the mood of the album. The end bridge is responsible for almost half the song but it’s a beautiful production that slowly mellows out into Mississippi. Mississippi is the one of the catchiest songs, but admittedly provides some of his weaker verses. The production on this one is really what was noticeably great to me, in fact the project as a whole has had some really commendable production. The aforementioned tracks were released in two seperate EP’s so upon my first listen, there was only 5 new tracks to hear. While Peach was a great surprise – with guest vocals from Dominic Fike, JOBA and Bearface – the rest of the songs did not live up to the rest of the album.
Not necessarily bad, but the ending of the album just seemed to slowly stumble past the finish line. Some of the themes throughout the album seem to be repeated a little too often in lines, giving an unwelcome sense of familiarity. The ending track Boyer came across like a friendly reminder of Brockhampton and their sound, indicating we should be hearing more of them in the near future. As a full project though, I think this could really rocket Kevin Abstract’s solo career as the honesty and relatable, raw emotion is something that has and will continue to resonate with fans. I would be interested to hear solo projects from the other members of America’s favourite boy band.
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