How a Kanye West fan forum saved the rap genre

Amid a culture saturated with shallow lyrics and electronic pseudo melodies, there appears to be hope for the dismal reality that is our current rap genre.

This hope is Brockhampton.

This self-proclaimed “boyband” has risen from virtual obscurity to widespread conversation in just a year, after releasing three consecutive albums and more than 10 music videos in 2017.

Its marketing strategy – one of prolific creation and bold self-promotion – demonstrates just one of the ways Brockhampton is distinguishing itself from other artists within the genre.

Brockhampton’s commitment to authentic and emphatic art is palpable in every aspect of its creations —featuring controversial lyrics, campy visual media  and at times bizarre behavior, Brockhampton constantly reiterates their status as artists rather than commercial lemmings.

However, what truly solidifies the group’s status as unfettered creators is their humble origin.

Prior to moving to Los Angeles and creating music, Brockhampton was just 15 20-somethings chatting on a Kanye West fan forum. Yes, this groundbreaking collaboration began on a website akin to that of a nerdy Reddit forum.

Brockhampton’s members uprooted their lives to move in with near strangers, refuse to sign with a label (despite accruing millions of Spotify downloads) and rapidly produce content addressing hot topics such as sexual assault and homophobia.

After droves of explicit morons, the rap genre is finally returning to its origin of inventive provocation and clever storytelling.

And it all began on a Kanye West fan forum.

by Jane Stoudemire

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