Kevin Abstract seems to be feeling the heat. In a recent interview with GQ, the BROCKHAMPTON frontman lamented the pressures of being a solo act.
“My problem with being vulnerable is that if it’s not well written, it can come off as self-indulgent,” Abstract told playwright Jeremy O. Harris. “That’s my least favorite type of music.”
An unusual set of circumstances lie at the heart of Abstract’s qualms—after the turmoil of sexual misconduct allegations against core BROCKHAMPTON member Ameer Vann, his departure, and the group’s subsequent emotional, Vann-less project Iridescence largely underwhelmed, Abstract felt BROCKHAMPTON needed some time off.
“It's [Arizona Baby] not rooted in pure creativity. It goes back to survival mode and me looking out for the group,” Abstract said of his solo release. “Basically I have to deliver records, because I signed a record deal.”
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The Texas-born artist continued, admitting he wanted to put out Arizona Baby for himself, his group, and to satisfy their label, RCA Records—but he ultimately regrets the decision.
“I did want to [put out a record], but also I was burnt-out. I should not have made an album,” he added. “I think the thing that saved my record is, it was vulnerable, and it’s honest, and it’s pure. But I personally don’t want to make another album.”
Abstract's comments are far from the first time a famous solo artist has hinted at a retirement from the limelight after battling their label. Lil Uzi Vert, ever-unpredictable, said he was “done with music” in January before returning with a host of features, three new singles, and rumors that his long-awaited sophomore album, Eternal Atake, is finished and will drop this summer.
The history of hip-hop is littered with struggles between talented artists and demanding labels—here’s to hoping Abstract both finds his peace and continues to bless us with his music, through BROCKHAMPTON or as a solo act.
In the music industry, feelings like this change in a heartbeat.