A Guide to the Rising Artists Who Worked on BROCKHAMPTON's 'ROADRUNNER'

We introduce the essential rising artists who worked on the new BROCKHAMPTON album and hear from them about what it was like being involved in its creation.


Photo by Conor Cunningham


BROCKHAMPTON is back with their highly anticipated sixth studio album ROADRUNNER: NEW LIGHT, NEW MACHINE. Released on April 9, it includes standouts like manic album opener “BUZZCUT” and the guitar-laced “WHAT’S THE OCCASION.” In the works since 2018, the boyband’s new record is a star-studded affair, including features from high profile guests like A$AP Rocky, A$AP Ferg, Charlie Wilson and Danny Brown. Its third track, the bouncy pop-leaning anthem “COUNT ON ME,” even features an appearance by Shawn Mendes, a collaboration fans have been hoping for since Kevin Abstract’s tongue in cheek reference to the pop icon on “STAR” back in 2017. 

ROADRUNNER, however, was created with the help of some newer faces, both as named feature artists and as contributing producers and vocalists. The large size of the BROCKHAMPTON collective has made all their projects highly collaborative, but as the group itself has grown as a cultural and creative force they’ve been sure to uplift other artists and creatives, bringing the likes of Ryan Beatty, Deb Never, Slowthai, 100 gecs, and Dijon into their orbit via past projects and tours.

The eclecticism of ROADRUNNER is what makes it such an enjoyable listen. Devoid of ego, BROCKHAMPTON shares the spotlight with minted legends and up-and-comers alike. This time around, the names Christian Alexander, SoGone SoFlexy, SSGKobe, boylife, and Baird, appear in the credits, rising artists from across genres introduced to a wider audience. We asked each of them to share their experiences from the ROADRUNNER recording process and we break down what you need to know about each of these essential talents.



Producer and songwriter Baird has been making music his entire life (he even had a Beatles cover band with his brother as a kid), but he became particularly serious about his music career after his graduation from Brown University. In the year after college, Baird split his time between his hometown of Baltimore, Mexico City, and Los Angeles. Inspired by the bustle of the Mexican capital city in particular, he wrote the stunning seven song project BIRDSONGS, Vol. 2, released via EQT Recordings. Created in the most transitional year of his life—just after college but just before a full fledged career—Baird’s BIRDSONGS, Vol. 2 exists in the liminal space of acoustic songwriting and electronic production. 

This project helped Baird catch the attention of the BROCKHAMPTON troupe who invited the young producer and writer to work with them on ROADRUNNER. Credited on tracks like “OLD NEWS,” “DON’T SHOOT UP THE PARTY,” and “THE LIGHT PT. II,” Baird remembers his time with the boyband as being “electric,” noting that the record “felt like some sort of beautiful sleep-deprived summer camp. We just happened to be making an album for, like, 18 hours a day.”

“I remember finishing ‘DON’T SHOOT UP THE PARTY,’ around 8 am on the day we had to turn in the project—no one had slept in about 3 days and so anything anyone said was the funniest thing I’d ever heard,” Baird adds. “We kept laughing at the part in Matt’s verse where he says ‘tippy toes’ and so we had to re-record it a few times. Now I listen back and I’m like damn that part’s amazing.”

Christian Alexander


From a former industrial town in the North of England, Christian Alexander is a lo-fi singer/songwriter with practically the exact opposite approach to songwriting to BROCKHAMPTON’s. Unlike the rap group’s energetic, communal approach, Alexander’s work is hushed and intimate, the product of isolated, at-home music making. Nevertheless, his first two records Summer ‘17 and Summer ‘19 caught the ear of Kevin Abstract who has since called Alexander his “favorite artist in the world.” From there, Abstract invited Alexander along as the main support for the group’s European tour. Although COVID-19 pushed off those plans for now, the two songwriters formed a kinship which led to Alexander’s contributions on ROADRUNNER’s “WHAT’S THE OCCASION?” 

“This was the first time I wrote with more than one person,” Alexander explains. Although it pushed the introspective artist out of his comfort zone, the experience proved transformative. “I was so used to being in my own world before working with them,” he admits. “But I realized collaboration is key and that if you open your mind to other opinions you’ll get the best end product. You can’t do everything on your own.”

Reflecting on working with BROCKHAMPTION, Christian adds, “I also remember a deep sense of confidence in myself near the end of recording, a confidence which I’ve always known I have but haven’t truly felt before. BH let me express my opinions openly, and there was no wrong idea. I’ll always be grateful for the opportunity they gave me, they helped me become the artist I feel I am today.”

Read our 2019 interview with Christian Alexander here.

SoGone SoFlexy


BROCKHAMPTON’s collaboration with rapper SoGone SoFlexy has been a long time coming. In fact, Kevin Abstract and the up-and-coming rapper knew each other growing up in Corpus Christi, Texas, far before BROCKHAMPTON released their SATURATION series. Releasing mixtapes since age thirteen, SoGone SoFlexy has been steadily building up local fame for his characteristic flow, and after releasing his music DIY for years, the rapper finally committed to Kevin Abstract and Romil Hemnani’s new record label, Video Store.  

Though the South Texas talent has close ties to the rap group, he did not anticipate guesting on their latest album ROADRUNNER, instead, the collaboration was completely organic. When cutting his verses for “COUNT ON ME” and “WINDOWS,” SoGone SoFlexy admits he thought he “was just recording verses for random songs. Then Abstract pulled out the ‘COUNT ON ME’ record and told [him] to run it.” For SoGone SoFlexy, “witnessing all the creativity put into the tracks” was the most inspiring part. “It was so dope,” he says.



Ryan Yoo makes music that explores both his childhood and the mundane day-to-day of life, hence his artist name boylife. Though he has been involved in various bands and projects over the years, boylife is Yoo in his truest form. With boylife, Yoo presents himself as a multifaceted writer and producer—sometimes making contemplative ballads and sometimes extroverted anthems. He first caught attention with his earnest debut single “peas,” a track describing the cultural gap between himself and his first-generation immigrant parents, and his sophomore single “bummy!” Soon, members of BROCKHAMPTON counted themselves as boylife fans. 

Eventually, boylife partnered with Christian and Kelly Clancy’s management company 4 Strikes, who also work with Tyler, the Creator, Raveena Auora, and BROCKHAMPTON. boylife began to do sessions with the group, resulting in his co-write on “DEAR LORD.” When asked about his experience working on the record, boylife explains that “everyone was completely dialed in, day in and day out” with collaborators sleeping on air mattresses in the studio so they didn’t have to go home. “It’s kinda impressive no one fainted or died honestly,” he laughs.



SSGKobe, who we highlighted in March’s Best New Artists feature, is one of rap’s most promising young voices, but his current momentum was not an overnight success. For Kobe, it has all been about consistency. He has been dropping singles and EPs periodically over the last few years, since he was just 15 years old. The Louisiana teen’s dedication caught the attention of Zack Bia, founder of the Field Trip Recordings, who chose SSGKobe as one of his first signees to the newly minted label in partnership with Warner Records. Since then, SSGKobe has kept dropping new music, including his most recent effort “Calabasas,” featuring $NOT, which earned him a Cole Bennett-directed music video and over a million Spotify streams in just one month.

The newcomer was featured on the bonus track “PRESSURE / BOW WOW” from the physical edition of ROADRUNNER. A two-part track, SSGKobe enters with an Auto-Tuned flow, holding down the final verse of the album. Prior to its release, Kevin Abstract previewed the song multiple times on social media and finally confirmed to fans the SSGKobe feature in an Instagram Live in late March.