There is nothing Abstract about Kevin’s work ethic and message as of late. The BROCKHAMPTON leader has had a busy 2021 and gearing up for an even busier 2022. BROCKHAMPTON’s 7th album, ROADRUNNER: NEW LIGHT, NEW MACHINE was released earlier this year. In a flurry of his first solo work in two years, he also released singles "SIERRA NIGHTS” featuring Ryan Beatty and “SLUGGER” featuring $NOT and slowthai. He started his own record label and clothing brand alongside fellow BROCKHAMPTON member Romil Hemnani, “video store,” having signed THE BLOSSOM, SoGoneSoFlexy, and Christian Alexander, while the second drop apparel drop was released on November 18. Lastly, he has generated an immense social media presence, whether that’s on Twitter where he follows and interacts with his fans, variety of Instagram accounts (@kevinabstract @boyfriendstudios @videostored) secret YouTube channel and corresponding Instagram account (neither of which I will disclose), Discord server, too many Subreddits to link- there is really no platform that Kevin Abstract isn’t on. No matter where he applies himself, one thing consistently rings true: Kevin Abstract is able to express himself so freely and openly.
Beyond making amazing quality products, video store’s recent release features t-shirts that say “GAYS ONLY EVENT / GO HOME” while also having the tagline “Boyfriend Warehouse” appearing on many of the products. He shared this about the shirt in a since deleted Tweet:
He often shares images of him and Nick Holiday being together, even being prompted by fans to do so. He directed a BROCKHAMPTON video for “COUNT ON ME'' featuring Dominic Fike and Lil Nas X going on a date together. Kevin consistently references his sexuality on all platforms, expressing himself in so many ways that I can’t fit them all in.
“SIERRA NIGHTS” was an introspective look at this. The song is a depiction of a relationship between Kevin and a mystery man – which is likely Kevin’s now public boyfriend, Nick Holiday - as they try to keep their relationship under wraps. Throughout, he explores the struggles with living a private life in the closet. However, as the song progresses, we see the flipside of this situation. The relationship is publicized and Kevin and his partner are loving life together. Despite the hard work they each have, they are able to do it with one another and that is so important. It concludes with a beautiful dedication of love and affirmation of being there for his partner.
Part of the song that is so intriguing to me to is how Kevin went from being homophobic, as referenced in BROCKHAMPTON’S “DON’T SHOOT UP THE PARTY” when he raps, “Homophobic, I tried to gangbang / I tried to get laid, I had to get paid / Hopped off the ship, I land on my feet / In Corpus Christi, I got my own street.” His journey from being closeted and not comfortable with himself to being openly gay and someone to look up to for many younger people, specifically those that are LGBTQ+, through the way he is able to portray himself, whether in music or all his other presences, is incredibly inspiring.
Kevin Abstract is putting being LGBTQ+ into everyday life. He is touching a generation in ways that few people are in ways that few people are – Tyler, The Creator and Billy Porter come to mind – and holds no fear in making public who he is. He is part of a larger wave, propelling it to a tsunami, especially in a field that has been dominated by the antithesis of it for decades. It’s beyond admirable – it’s powerful, inspirational, and someone that I truly look up to. Kevin seems very confident and happy, more so than ever before, and him being able to express himself publicly is a testament to how his presence is at the forefront of massive changes in the music industry.