Everytime Brockhampton drops another amazing track, the UTM team begins debate on which member took the best verse trophy, with us all coming to wildly different conclusions. Part of the magic of Brockhampton is nobody is slacking in the lyrical department, so we decided to pick out the very best verse belonging to each of the seven vocal members of Brockhampton.
Ameer Vann: Ben Carson
This could’ve gone to his ‘Heat’ verse for demonstrating his position as “most menacing boy band member ever,” but Ameer’s sardonic drawl on ‘Ben Carson’ for the sheer brass balls of it.
The sirens signal an incoming verse that’s about to solidify Ameer as completely unfuckwittable, and he nails it with a mockingly braggadocio steez: “dressed in the same shit I wore yesterday/yeah it’s still fresh, never flex cliches.” He goes in, cuts deep and ghosts out with the confidence of a rapper who knows he was born to do it.
Ameer is the first Brockhampton boy you hear spit bars on All American Trash, and with verses like these, he’s always gonna be the most immediate.
Dom McLennon: Milk
Much like Ameer, it’s easy to immediately fixate on Dom McLennon’s technical proficiency when it comes to his penmanship. Every time he commits a verse to a Brockhampton track it comes loaded with a new flow and packed with double entendres and anecdotes that elicit the kind of listener response you’d only think was possible within the confines of a YouTube reaction video. The handiwork of his craft may be impressive – and certainly shouldn’t be undervalued – but it’s only part of what makes Dom’s contributions to BH cuts so fulfilling to listen to. It’s the emotional weight that his words so often carry that make him such a necessary voice in hip hop today.
There’s no more poignant an example than his verse at the bookend of Saturation’s ‘Milk’, a song that intimately lays out each member’s personal journeys to find their own place in the world. Opting to deliver his own story in a reserved style that borders on spoken word, he works through his issues with a sincerity and conciseness that remains unparalleled. There’s no intended audience for his verse – this is Dom tackling his demons and addressing his innermost thoughts for his own betterment and no-one else’s. In a world where young adults feel pressured into keeping their troubles under lock and key by society en masse, however, the vulnerability and openness that seeps through each line extends a reassuring hand to anybody struggling with the burden of their own inner turmoil.
Merlyn Wood: Sweet
Every single time Merlyn Wood shows up on a track it’s an absolute treat. It’s very difficult to single out just one of his verses, because he does something different but equally as passionate or energetic each time. His verse on ‘Milk’ is touching and speaks to everyone in a post-education daze struggling to figure everything out, and his verse on ‘Heat’ is one of the most impactful moments on the first Saturation.
But, for however much these other verses stand out, his verse on ‘Sweet’ is the real highlight. Merlyn frequently comes through with some fun quotables, but his ‘Sweet’ verse provides one memorable line after another. “DON’T CALL ME STU-PID, THAT AIN’T THE WAY MY NAME PRO-NOUNCED.” If you aren’t quoting this verse daily, you’re living wrong.
Matt Champion: Gold
The confidence with which Matt Champion delivers his verse on ‘Gold’ pretty much makes it. That opening line is fantastic, but things just get better with how he weaves everything together, wrapping it up with one of the most relatable lines across both Saturation albums. “I got bipolar confidence, wake up like ‘shit’ then I feel like the shit, So I guess I’m the shit,” he raps right at the end of the song, and, tbh, same.
Kevin Abstract: Star
Verses from Kevin Abstract are fairly rare in the Brockhampton discography, given that he’s the group’s go-to hookman, but when he does drop bars, it usually ends up being highly celebrated among the dumbass fandom. Both ‘Star’ and ‘Junky’ are extraordinary in tackling his stature in the industry with braggadocio and refusing to hide his sexuality for the sake of rap, but ‘Star’ is simply the better verse given that it came first.
Following Dom McLennon and Ameer Vann’s smartass, relentless pop culture references, Kevin mostly sticks with this theme with more subtle jabs, but remains just as witty. The opening couplet is iconic “Heath Ledger with some dreads/I just gave my n***a head” in its ability to catch people off guard in its refusal to dance around explicit gay content. ‘Star’ typically get played up to 8 times a show, and they surely keep coming back to it because people can’t get enough of this incendiary verse.
Absolutely out of character from the JT-loving Joba, this is 25 seconds of unfiltered rage. He screams “FUCK YOU. I’LL BREAK YOUR NECK SO YOU CAN WATCH YOUR BACK,” and while it might not be as frightening as Ameer’s menacing presence on the track, it definitely has a vibe of that kid at school that suddenly snaps cuz people fucked with him too much. You might wanna watch your back.
bearface: Summer Verse 2
We don’t hear much from bearface on the Saturation projects, with his appearance mostly reserved for a tender, solo ballad to close each record, but when his voice hits, it’s an emotional impact that no other member can deliver quite as well.
Saturation II closer, ‘Summer’ contains two verses that are the same lyrically, however, the second is where bearface beocomes truly emotionally devastating. The nostalgically delivered “You know that you should be my boy/In the heat of the summer” is an even bigger gut punch with a wistful guitar bend backing it. Ultimately the verse hardly needs paints a lyrical picture, because his vocal performance tells us how we should truly feel – passionate, sentimental, lonely.
Nathan Butler, Connor Cass, Joshua Pauley, Joe Price