On Sunday, the music group BROCKHAMPTON announced on Twitter that Ameer Vann is “no longer in BROCKHAMPTON.” This announcement follows several sexual misconduct allegations that emerged earlier this month involving Ameer Vann.
Self-described as “the internet’s first boy band,” BROCKHAMPTON is a genre-defying American music group first formed in 2015. Ameer Vann was one of the original members of the band. Vann was a favorite among many fans of BROCKHAMPTON.
21-year-old Vann was accused of being an abusive partner by several exes who cited emotional abuse and manipulation. Later accusations against Vann included physical abuse and having sexual relations with a minor. Vann responded, denying claims of abuse or relations with a minor.
“I am sorry to the people I've hurt and the fans I've disappointed,” Vann Tweeted on May 12th. “I've been in relationships where I've fucked up and disrespected my partners. I've cheated and been dismissive to my exes. Throughout the past 3 years I've been working hard to reflect on myself and seek out help. It continues to be a learning process every day. In response to the claims of emotional and sexual abuse: although my behavior has been selfish, childish, and unkind, I have never criminally harmed anyone or disrespected their boundaries. I have never had relations with a minor or violated anybody's consent. I'm sorry for cheating. I'm sorry for lying and letting my friends down. I'm sorry for placing my group mates in a difficult situation by not speaking to them about my past experiences earlier. I always hoped to set a good example to my fans. Apologies aren't enough. I really hope I can be an example of somebody who learned to grow from his mistakes and become a better person.”
Despite the apology, the allegations have stirred up controversy for BROCKHAMPTON fans as they've decided whether or not to accept Vann’s apology. On Instagram and Twitter, fans have vehemently taken sides either siding with Vann or against him.
Due to the broad audience BROCKHAMPTON appeals to, the division caused by Ameer Vann’s accusations and the amount of time it took for BROCKHAMPTON to respond is not wholly surprising. BROCKHAMPTON appeals to a demographic of rap fans that generally care about social justice issues. The frontman and founder of the group, Kevin Abstract, is openly gay and champions the fact that he’s one of the few gay rappers, (on "JUNKY" he raps “why you always rap about being gay? Cause not enough n***** rappin' be gay”).
Vann’s lyrics, on the other hand, deal directly with his troubled, mistake-ridden past. On "MILK" he raps, “And there's a couple women, and they know some things about lies that I done told and shit that I done said and n***** that I robbed, so I'm real paranoid, I have voices in my head.”
The truth to these lyrics, as seen through the lens of the victims of his alleged actions, have forced fans to reconcile his lyricism and artistry with the truth of the person he is and the past he has lived.
On Saturday, BROCKHAMTON performed at Boston Calling with Ameer Vann notably absent. The band members stayed silent during his verses and seemed notably upset. Kevin Abstract and Joba were both crying on stage in fan videos taken during the concert. This perhaps explains the notable time period between the accusations being brought to light and action taken by the group as Ameer Vann was not only a band member but a friend to the members of BROCKHAMPTON.
The Twitter announcement was posted early Sunday, and the full text read, “Ameer is no longer in BROCKHAMPTON. We want to sincerely apologize to the victims affected by Vann’s actions. We were lied to, and we’re sorry for not speaking up sooner. We do not tolerate abuse of any kind. This is not a solution to their suffering, but we hope this is a step in the right direction. We are going to cancel the remaining dates of our current U.S. tour to go home and regroup.”
In addition to cancelling any upcoming tour dates, BROCKHAMPTON also has delayed their highly anticipated album, PUPPY, which was set to release in June.
BROCKHAMPTON stands in stark contrast to other artists in the rap industry, best exemplified by the artist XXXtentacion. Despite multiple allegations of sexual misconduct, assault, and domestic violence, including physical abuse of a pregnant woman, he remains popular within the rap community and receives little backlash from his fanbase. Spotify recently removed his work from all of their curated playlists; however, due to public outcry and demand for XXXtentacion’s music (Kendrick Lamar even threatened to pull his own music from Spotify), the music streaming service will retract their decision.
For now, the standard BROCKHAMPTON has adhered to for its group members remains an outlier within the industry.