Kevin Abstract was barely a teenager when he decided to be an artist. Growing up black and queer in Texas, without a sufficiently relatable local art scene, he took to the internet to find like-minded kids, developing a virtual friendship with a group scattered across the country and the world. The more adventurous of these online friends made the decision to band together in person, converging in Texas and later moving to South Central LA to form Brockhampton House, a sort of dorm, studio and clubhouse for the crew.
Along the way Abstract and the Brockhampton collective have been making art—music in particular. Much of Kevin’s output has fit into various classifications of rap, but the recently released American Boyfriend: A Suburban Love Story, is a departure, an emotional alternative pop album touching on themes of love, individuality, and the alienation of adolescence. His first official solo record, it is an impressive addition to the ambitious twenty-year-old artist’s growing discography.
Sitting amongst his cohort in the common room at Brockhampton House, I ask Kevin where he’d feel most comfortable speaking to me. He doesn’t hesitate. “Outside.” So we sit on a ragged couch in the driveway and discuss what’s on his mind.