A couple of days ago, Yalies may have noticed a short survey in their inbox. Unlike most other surveys, most of us actually completed this one. It was for Spring Fling, the major music festival Yale hosts every year in the Spring (duh). This festival has a bad habit of looking promising when the musical acts are announced, but when the acts are selected, Yalies are left underwhelmed.
But this year, Yale has the potential to change that. There are many great artists on the list. However, one specific act sticks out as both feasible and great: Brockhampton. I recognize that they aren’t Lil Uzi Vert, Tyler the Creator or Anderson Paak. Yet, Brockhampton has so much more to offer. I know this sounds absolutely ridiculous, but bear with me and you might understand my reasoning.
For starters, Brockhampton is a much smaller name than the three other acts mentioned. Intuitively, this seems like a downside, but for Spring Fling this is actually a plus. Big names seem great on paper, but in reality, they usually end up being too expensive for Yale to book. Having smaller names perform increases the chances of us actually booking the act as they are more likely to be affordable. Therefore, Brockhampton is more likely to happen than these other major performers. And this is an important aspect to consider. Why vote for something that is probably not going to happen, and then be stuck with an act you did not even vote for?
More so, Brockhampton are the artists that best reflect Yale’s promotion of diversity. The music collective has members of all ethnicities and races. Ameer Vann is one of their better known black members, while Matt Champion is probably their most recognized white member. Add to the picture Roberto, who is Hispanic and often delivers skits in Spanish throughout Brockhampton albums, and you have a list of performers who are incredibly diverse. Another aspect of diversity comes into play when you account for the sexuality of Brockhampton members. A handful of members in Brockhampton are either openly gay or queer. The group’s most notable member, Kevin Abstract, is openly gay and often raps about his hardship as a gay black male.
The diversity of Brockhampton transcends its members, manifesting in their music as well. Though the band is a musical collective whose primary genre is rap/hip-hop, Brockhampton also has songs in the R&B genre and even a couple of songs in the indie rock genre.
Despite still being relatively small, Brockhampton has garnered critical acclaim for their last two albums, Saturation and Saturation II. Taking into account Saturation III’s planned release date in December, Yale has the unique opportunity to be some of the first people to see this new album performed live. If Saturation III is just as critically successful as its predecessors, Yale could also be in the process of booking the next big names in rap. If we do not get Brockhampton this year, next year may be too late.
But for all this talk, I have not really addressed the actual music. Yet, this in no way signifies that Brockhampton’s music is bad or unenjoyable. On the contrary, Brockhampton has arguably released some of the best music in the past year. I highly recommend you listen to them yourself. Standout tracks include “Heat,” “Gold,” “Star,” “Face,” “Waste,” “Gummy,” “Junky,” “Jello,” “Swamp,” “Sweet” and “Summer.” In case you did not notice, that is a lot of stand-out tracks.
Despite all my arguments for Brockhampton, you still may not be convinced. So now I must resort to the pinnacle of argumentative writing: the counterargument. For the sake of brevity, I will only focus on the other three major rap/hip-hop contenders: Lil Uzi Vert, Anderson Paak and Tyler, The Creator.
Let’s start with Lil Uzi. What other song do you actually know and like from him that is not “XO TOUR Llif3?” If you are having a hard time, that is precisely my point. If not, great, but you are most likely in a small group of people that actually listens to other songs from Uzi. Additionally, due to his recent popularity, Uzi is almost guaranteed to have a ridiculous price tag nowhere near Yale’s Spring Fling budget.
Anderson Paak. Look, I highly enjoy Paak’s music, but aside from songs off his Malibu album, there is not much he can offer. More importantly, Paak has been on the list of possible Spring Fling performers for the past two years and every time it has not happened. This was not due to lack of support, but because his cost exceeded our budget. We should move on and look for other serious contenders.
Finally, Tyler, The Creator. I’ll be completely honest. I love Tyler’s music. However, my worry is that there might be pushback from some students if he performs. This is due to many of Tyler’s lyrics, which have been accused of homophobia and other not so great things. The possible backlash could endanger the actual performance and we could be left without a performer. The performance’s cancellation is a bit of a long shot, but at the same time it is completely possible for this to happen.
I’m not saying any of these artists are necessarily bad, but I do think they are either unlikely or simply won’t offer as much as Brockhampton. But ultimately, that’s a choice up to us. Regardless, Brockhampton will be a strong candidate for Spring Fling, but only time will tell if we have them on stage.
Carlos Rodriguez Cortez | email@example.com .