Musical Musings: “Respect these women, boy”
By Andrew Willoughby
One of the countless positive results of the #MeToo movement has been that people – mostly men – are finally being held responsible for their actions. I’ve covered it before in this column with artists such as Jesse Lacey of Brand New and Cameron Boucher of Sorority Noise.
On this edition of “Which Beloved Musician is a Predator,” we have Ameer Van of the boyband, Brockhampton.
Early this summer, allegations of verbal and physical abuse came out against the L.A.-via-Texas rapper as well as rumors that the person in the abusive relationship was a minor. Ameer admitted to mentally abusing his partner. However, he denied any allegations of statutory rape and physical abuse.
On May 27, after a long period of social media silence from all members of the group, Brockhampton announced via twitter, “Ameer is no longer in BROCKHAMPTON,” in a post that I think was the best way a group has dealt with a situation such as this. “We want to sincerely apologize to the victims affected by Ameer’s actions,” it read, “We were lied to, and we’re sorry for not speaking up sooner.”
The band then cancelled the remaining dates of their tour. The last show they played was at Boston Calling on May 26.
Ameer was not present.
The rest of the members stood in silence during all of his verses.
I have nothing but positive things to say about the way Brockhampton handled Ameer’s departure.
On the other hand, I am disgusted by a majority of the group’s fanbase. Many jumped to Vann’s defense, claiming he did nothing wrong, contrary to his own admissions. A litany of tweets in response to the announcement claimed kicking him out was unfair or that he didn’t deserve it.
What’s really unfair is the way Ameer treated the women he abused. Who didn’t “deserve” what they got were the women Ameer abused.
Some fans said the group would go downhill after Vann’s departure. Brockhampton is a group of over 15 extremely talented people from diverse backgrounds. If a single person leaving the group would be capable of ruining it, I don’t think they would be where they are today.
Since all this went down, the band performed a brand new song on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” released three fantastic non-album singles and just recently announced their fourth studio album, “Iridescence” – which was recorded at the legendary Abbey Road Studios – along with a documentary about the production of the album and Ameer’s departure titled, “The Longest Summer in America.”
I don’t know about you, but to me, it seems like they’re doing just fine without him.