Ash Zapata, Volunteer DJ

ROADRUNNER: NEW LIGHT, NEW MACHINE is BROCKHAMPTONS’ sixth album. It is an amalgamation of introspection and life, as it digs at political issues, mental health, and life and death. This album is sort of a paradox, as it is extremely sensitive yet powerful both musically and lyrically. It features some well known artists, such as A$AP Rocky, and Rex Orange County who helped produce a track. These artists know how to pull at your heartstrings, as well as create a beat so hard that it is nearly impossible not to listen again. Like the title, this is different from their previous albums- new light, new machine.


BUZZCUT(feat. Danny Brown)– This track was released before the album. It is focused on Kevin Abstract and Danny Brown’s versus- the beat hides nicely in the background; unlike previous albums. It has some variety toward the end with a saxophone which makes another appearance later in the album.

CHAIN ON (feat. JPEGMAFIA)– Starting off with a slightly off beat riff, the funky beat is normalized by the repetition. Much like the beat, the subject matter is police brutality and how such “off beat things” have become  normalized in today’s society.

COUNT ON ME– This is one of my favorite tracks on the album- the bass riff that comes in makes the song very colorful; especially with the layered vocals on the chorus. The difference in flow between A$AP Rocky and Matt Champion is such a good and pointed balance.

BANKROLL(feat. A$AP Rocky & A$AP Ferg)– This track is a power track that features vocals from the A$AP Mob. The nature of the song is similar to british drill in my opinion, but is calmed down with a slower chorus.

THE LIGHT– Much of BROCKHAMPTON’S tracks have been personal streams of consciousness- meaning everyone delved into their personal lives. In this track, Joba tells us about his mental health regarding the recent loss of his father and Kevin Abstract tells the story of his childhood and family. The soul wrenching spoken intro paired with the abrasive guitar says it all. One of my favorite tracks.

WINDOWS (feat. SoGone SoFlexy)– This track has a fun spooky riff and once again features a saxophone. It features all seven main vocalists from BROCKHAMPTON. I think I speak for all fans when I say that when you hear “Go Merlyn”, you can’t help but vibe to the track.

I’LL TAKE YOU ON (feat. Charlie Wilson)– I love this track. It is a more simple one in my opinion and reminds me of their song; GINGER from their last album. This track rides the line between pop and hip-hop which results in a colorful track.

OLD NEWS (feat.Baird)– This song is super funky, with an insane bass line. Matt Champions verses have such an effortless flow that makes this song so pleasing. The R&B style chorus is a great combination with Baird’s more modern style.

WHAT’S THE OCCASION?– This guitar based track is super dense. Joba is the star of this track. His stylistic choices regarding flow and dynamics is what makes this track so great. I’d love to hear more tracks like this from them in the future.

WHEN I BALL– This track is super textured- the strings create a beautiful polyrhythm that contrasts so well with the artists verses. The flavorful chorus and 90s R&B beat is just so good. A solid track.

DON’T SHOOT UP THE PARTY– Kevin Abstract speaks on the problems in America- Homophobia, Racism, and Gun Violence. “All-American self-hatred runs deep

White boys all I see whenever I sleep”. This references how white is seen as the norm. Since Abstract is neither white nor straight- he talks about his struggles with his identity and acceptance.

DEAR LORD– This gospel style song is somewhat a prayer. Bearface dedicates to Joba, who’s father committed suicide. It’s a powerful ballad with minimal instrumentals, so the vocals shine. It is one of my favorite tracks.

THE LIGHT PT. II- The guitar comes back once more for this track. I absolutely love Joba’s lines in the beginning, the cincopation is so creative and his plea for his dad is chilling. His verse is vulnerable- the subtle nuances in dynamic is what makes this track all the better. Abstract also has a honest testimony, once more referencing the political issues within America and how that affects his life. “Only take the Jeep if my boyfriend is drivin’ Plus he got the kinda skin that make the police like him”.


I absolutely loved this album. It was much more cohesive than their previous albums, and it was pointed. What the artists’ shared were vulnerable pieces of themselves, but that is what made this album so good. The subject matter was a bit heavy at some points but it was balanced out well with fun tracks in between. I’d recommend this album to anyone, as I feel it talks about important issues as well as has really vibe-y songs. I’d give this album a 4.8 out of 5 Spinnaker Sails.