For the third Friday running, BROCKHAMPTON have shared a cache of new music. This week, it’s a chilled-out trio of tracks in “I.F.L.”, “baby bull”, and “downside”.
A handful of BROCKHAMPTON members are in quarantine together, and as they’ve done the last two weeks, they hosted a password-protected livestream called Technical Difficulties. Via the fans at /r/BROCKHAMPTON, the boy band is being cagey about what Technical Difficulties actually is — album, loosies, or something else entirely. However, they did suggest that it’s happening without label RCA’s approval, which might explain why none of the premieres have made it to Apple Music or Spotify, and also why the four previous releases — “M.O.B.” and “twisted”, as well as “N.S.T.” and “things can’t stay the same” — have already been removed from YouTube. If that pattern holds, you have a little less than a week to enjoy “I.F.L.”, “baby bull”, and “downside”.
This batch represents a change of pace from previous, banger-heavy offerings. Each new song starts with a pensive piano, and it’s actually the same instrumental for “downside” and “baby bull”. However, “baby bull” soon swaps it out for an acoustic guitar. This single is in the vein of a smooth R&B jam, where Bearface brings the hook, Merlyn Wood sings, and verses come flying in from Joba and Matt Champion. This last is no surprise — Champion has been the main voice of the Technical Difficulties series, to the point where it almost feels like the rest of BROCKHAMPTON are guesting on his solo project.
Champion runs wild over “I.F.L”, a song built around a minor-key piano progression reminiscent of 2001-era Dr. Dre. “Ass so fat, I put my cup up on the derriere,” he raps, before requesting that Larry David deliver his eulogy. The overall vibe jives with reports that BROCKHAMPTON’s new album is inspired by West Coast rap.
“downside” is a collaboration between Champion and frequent BROCKHAMPTON collaborator Ryan Beatty. No other members of the group join in, so this really is the Matt Champion show. “Don’t sit out,” he begins, before launching into a combination stunt track/inspirational ode to letting your inner light shine. Check out all three songs below.