It’s been a turbulent few months for Brockhampton, the genre-blurring, free-ranging LA-based rap “boy band.” First, they signed with RCA and announced that a new album called Puppy would be coming out in June. Then group member Ameer Vann was accused of hurting women during sex. Brockhampton kicked Ameer Vann out of the group and then went dark to regroup. Pusha-T replaced them on the bill at New York’s Governor’s Ball festival, and they said that their album release would be delayed. But now it appears that Brockhampton are back at work, and we got our first glimpse at how the new version of the group looks on The Tonight Show last night.
On last night’s Tonight Show, Brockhampton were the musical guests. It was their first late-night performance and one of their first performances since parting way with Vann. (Brockhampton did perform at last month’s Boston Calling festival, remaining silent during Vann’s verses.) From the stage, Jimmy Fallon held up what appeared to be an album cover, announcing that Brockhampton were debuting a new song called “Tonya,” from a new album called The Best Years Of Our Lives. Right now, it’s unclear whether this is the same album as Puppy was supposed to be, or whether it’s a whole new album.
On the show, Brockhampton performed with three singers: Human R&B bazooka Jazmine Sullivan, leftfield post-soul experimenter serpentwithfeet, and young pop singer Ryan Beatty. Group member Joba sat at a piano, while the three guests, arranged as a sort of Greek chorus, sang from stools in front of the piano. Meanwhile, five other members of Brockhampton sat crisscross applesauce in a semicircle on an Astroturf floor, in front of a projection of a beach scene, taking turns rapping and singing, barely looking at the audience. “Tonya” is a far cry from the energetic bangers that caught so many imaginations last year. Instead, it’s a cloudy, heavy-hearted rumination about changes in life. Watch the performance below.
We don’t yet know when The Best Years Of Our Lives will come out, but it’s apparently on the way.