By Ariana Mendoza
Kevin Abstract, best known as a member of the popular rap group Brockhampton, has released his fourth solo studio album, ‘Blanket.’ This is the first record we see from him after the band’s indefinite hiatus. Mostly known for his rapping and experimental productions, Kevin Abstract introduces this new album with a grunge and rock side to it.
With the album rolling out, it left many fans confused at first since Abstract was introducing a new and unusual music era. Through a private account on Instagram, @Rubber__head_, I personally started to notice that a new project from him was coming. There are many odd posts of people wearing rubber masks, like the album cover. Some were distorted pictures with captions of “9/27” as well, which hinted at a new single. Later, he shared on Instagram that he was holding an LA show on Sept. 27.
At this sold-out show, he played 10 songs, all unreleased. Along with what would be his lead single, “Blanket”. He also played a free show in New York City the day before the release of the lead single, which was released on Oct. 4. A week later, he announced his album titled Blanket, which was released on Nov. 3. Kevin also released three more singles, “What Should I Do?”, “Running Out”, and “Madonna,” through the month of October.
He also had a rollout of teaser and music videos on his YouTube channel during this time. The videos that Abstract directed seemed to be very odd and off-putting. These videos had the same ambiance as the YouTube series “Don’t Hug Me, I’m Scared”, with colorfully suited characters and Kevin in a home.
Brockhampton member Romil Hemnani helped Kevin produce this record. Abstract explained to fans that he wanted this album to be a type of record that sounded like iconic 90’s rock bands. Such as Sunny Day Real Estate, Nirvana, and Modest Mouse, but that still “hit like a rap album.” With the four released singles, you can hear the indie rock influences he referred to in each song. The guitar melody in “Blanket” is reminiscent of “About A Girl” by Nirvana. As well as some of Modest Mouse’s more mainstream songs, like “Float On” or “Dashboard”. However, this record seems to be more pop-punk than Abstract claimed.
The album is quite a quick listen, being 40 minutes long with 13 tracks. We are greeted with the guitar strums that were also in the singles and melodic whispers that really sell the rock genre. From song titles like ‘Scream,’ and ‘Heights, Spiders, and the Dark’, to the music videos having that “Don’t Hug Me, I’m Scared vibe”, I am led to believe that one of the interpretations of this album can be about underlining fears. Even the lyrics in this album have this anxious trend, such as “Why would I climb if the rope’s supposed to break?”, “I begged for its release”, and “What should I do?” They have a sense of dread or fear of love.
In this album, there is still a bit for everyone to enjoy. If you are a lover of more upbeat songs, I recommend listening to the tracks “Running Out” and “Real 2 Me”. However, if you like emo rock more, I recommend “Blanket,” or if you like slower tunes, check out “Today I Gave Up” and “Scream.”
With Kevin’s innovative approach to his music, it came out beautifully. Although his solo music has always been more indie and away from typical rap songs, he is creating music he loves. Even with the interesting and confusing rollout, this new album highlighted his work in a new light.
Written by: Preethi Mangadu