the voice and vision of a new generation
Photo Credit: Kevin Abstract/Brockhampton

Brockhampton scores its first GLAAD Media Awards nomination. Here's why it's so important...

February 13, 2019

Going against the grain in music, style, statements, and everything in between have set the members of self-proclaimed "boyband" Brockhampton to be the voices of a generation. But, they are far from typical. They cuss, they challenge societal standards, they stand as a collective behind the LGBTQ community. Complex Magazine described them as "gay, black, white, DIY, ambitious, all-inclusive, and would-be pop stars," and their cultural resonance is evidenced by their nearly half a million Twitter followers and the roaring ovations at their at sold-out live shows. Now, they're up for the "Outstanding Music Artist" category at the 30th Annual GLAAD Media Awards.

Brockhampton consists of about 13 members, including the 22-year old founding member and out gay rapper/singer-songwriter, Kevin Abstract. In his music, Kevin has made several references to his own queerness and the state of LGBTQ music. His approach to public speaking highlights his raw and personal voice, paired with the musical skill and savvy, that have made Brockhampton even more successful over time.

References his to queerness and the state of LGBTQ music:

  • "I have to exist in a homophobic space in order to make change and that homophobic space would be the hip hop community.” – Kevin Abstract for BBC

  • “There aren’t many boybands who look like Brockhampton – the majority of its members are men of colour – or whose lyrics reference giving guys head and coming out to their parents.” – The Guardian

  • “Nothing changes we still in this living room making songs making out and all of that rca just gon help us push this gay agenda.” – Kevin Abstract, Variety

For DJ Booth, Kevin’s sexuality had been highlighted as benchmark for both the youth (Brockhampton has a predominantly teenage to young adult fanbase) and the overall state of hip hop. Brockhampton has been causing lots of buzz on the festival/live show circuit, and their latest album Iridescence landed no. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 200 Albums chart. The group not only embraces and accepts Kevin, but they encourage him to use his platform to tell his story as authentically as possible.

    Brockhampton's push for LGBTQ visibility is effortless, and sets the tone of how genres like hip hop can truly break barriers with LGBTQ inclusion in lyrical content. Their latest album Iridescence juxtaposes the tumultuous and delicate aspects of youth, and (sometimes explicitly) makes LGBTQ references, a concept not foreign to the hardest working boyband in showbusiness–as stated in their Twitter bio

    References to queerness in Brockhampton’s music in Iridescence:

    • “I really like how you do all the things that you do / I really like how you say all the things that you say (I love him!)” – Song: SOMETHING ABOUT HIM

    • "I was writing poems 'bout her, dawg, in study hall / And she was mad 'cause I never wanna show her off (Scared) / And every time she took her bra off my **** would get soft" – Song: WEIGHT

    • “I want a male stripper to do a belly dance / For me and my boyfriend, that's entertainment” – Song: TAPE

    Huge congratulations to Brockhampton on their GLAAD Media Award nomination for "Outstanding Music Artist"! Their willingness to push LGBTQ visibility and speak their truth, while hitting many cultural touchpoints and being a voice for young people, already make them a force to be reckoned with. The group has already made major headlines in Billboard, Paper, NME, NewNowNext, and W Magazine to name a few. 

    For a full list of nominees, click here

    The 30th Annual GLAAD Media Awards will be held at The Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles on Thursday, March 28, followed by a second ceremony at the Hilton Midtown in New York on Saturday, May 4.

    The 30th Annual GLAAD Media Awards are supported by Presenting Partners Delta Air Lines, Gilead, Hyundai, Ketel One Family-Made Vodka, and Wells Fargo. GLAAD is also grateful to: Official Partners Bud Light and Google; Titanium Partner AT&T; Platinum Partners Disney ABC Television Group, Comcast NBCUniversal-Telemundo, Hulu, MetLife, NBA & WNBA, Omnicom Group, Turner; Gold Partners Nielsen and PWC; and Silver Partner Coca-Cola. 

    To receive the latest updates on the GLAAD Media Awards, follow @GLAAD and use #glaadawards.

    Alfonso François is a Communications Coordinator at GLAAD. He focuses on finding and building stories that communicates GLAAD's mission of accelerating acceptance, and celebrating the diversity and importance of the LGBTQ community. Alfonso studied Film & New Media at Wheaton College (MA) after being offered the Posse Foundation Full Tuition Leadership Scholarship.

    the voice and vision of a new generation