Matt Champion - "Punks"
While the internet has largely unearthed and upended the artist development process, it's also made a great sport of watching young talent blossom for those with patience and long histories of SoundCloud likes. Over the past three years, Brockhampton has evolved from a ragtag group of rappers, producers, musicians, and designers united on KanyeToThe.com into a self-proclaimed all-American boy band, a courageous group of creative young people toiling to translate their dreams and fears into unclassifiable music.
Though Matt Champion's solo output over the last few years has been sparse, the Brockhampton rapper's new single "Punks" suggested time well spent in the service of honing craft and vision. It's a melancholy ode to its namesake, a rock-tinged monument to skipping town before sunrise and starting anew somewhere. "Punks" presents a mission statement in a mere two minutes and 25 seconds, a succinct encapsulation of Champion's attempts to find gold in the gutter.—Jon Tanners