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One Video: Boys by Brockhampton

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The internet’s boy band just keeps cranking these out

Every week, a slew of new music videos hits the web. Watching them at your desk is not time theft because you deserve it; think of it as a nice reward for surviving another work week. But what if you don’t have time to watch every video — maybe you have a deadline, a hungry pet, or other grown-up concerns. In consideration of your schedule, Lizzie and Kaitlyn bring you a series called One Video. Each week we’ll tell you “one video” you need to watch, why, and for how long.

This week’s video: “Boys” by Brockhampton

Kaitlyn: The scariest thing I saw all week was the iOS 11 update on Lizzie’s phone. The second scariest thing I saw was “Boys” by Brockhampton, a found-footage film about conducting a séance to bring rapper Ameer Vann’s leg back after it was stolen by a ghost. If I saw any other music videos this week, I don’t really remember.

Lizzie: It’s not even that much of a non-sequitur to talk about my phone and then about haunted things. I was just trying to open my weather app this morning in a 6:30AM sleep haze, and before I knew it, my evil beautiful iPhone SE was updating itself. I stared in horror as the screen turned a blinding white, powerless to stop it.

It’s easy to forget that it’s already October, the scariest month of the year besides March, but, if you don’t have a haunted phone, a music video about a séance is a good way to jog your memory.

Who is Brockhampton?

Kaitlyn: Brockhampton is a group of rapper boys — specifically Kevin Abstract who is the most famous, and also Ameer Vann, Merlyn Wood, Dom McLennon, Matt Champion, Russell Boring, and Ciarán McDonald. (They also count all of their producers, photographers, creative personnel, and stylists as part of “Brockhampton” proper, but I’m not going to list 14 people.) They’re from Texas, but most of them met on a Kanye West forum in 2015. That’s why they sometimes refer to themselves as the internet’s first boy band.

I personally believe that One Direction was the internet’s first boy band, but I see what they’re going for here. And I don’t think they mean any disrespect. They love Zayn Malik and Harry Styles and reference them in several songs on their August album SATURATION II. One of the songs is this one, “Boys.”

Lizzie: There’s so many members of Brockhampton, for real. One of their members is just listed on Wikipedia as an “app designer,” which is probably a highly coveted spot in the entourage. (I’m contractually obligated to say that, as a Verge dot com reporter.)

Here’s the app. App Store reviews say it clears acne, boosts GPAs, and will make your crops flourish: 5 out of 5 stars.

What’s special about “Boys” by Brockhampton:

Kaitlyn: First of all, The Ringer’s Jordan Coley wrote and published the headline “Brockhampton Are Making the Best Music Videos Right Now” several weeks ago, and the team behind One Video has just been waiting for an opportunity to publicly agree.

Second of all, this is the rare found-footage horror film that ends with nothing bad happening to anyone. It’s just a bunch of pals hanging out in a spooky room, rapping good raps about One Direction and fancy brands. “Boys” is special because it’s October now, and we’re all in the mood to be scared — exactly to the edge of our comfort zone and not one inch further. I want to step on a super crunchy leaf and think, “Bones?!,” and then look down and think, “Ah, no. Leaves.” This is the music video equivalent of that.

And, at one point, Matt Champion says “lowkey I'm a heartthrob,” which I’m also happy to have a chance to publicly agree with.

Lizzie: The Blair Witch Project. Paranormal Activity. “Boys.” What do all of these things have in common? That grainy found-footage magic! It’s the withholding lover of film visuals. Either you’re watching a grocery store security camera, or everyone is about to die. No one dies in this video, which is honestly kind of misleading, but I think every now and then we can all afford to be gently duped by a group of friends having a fun time.

How long everyone should watch “Boys” by Brockhampton:

Kaitlyn: Well, you kind of have to watch all the way to the end. Otherwise you don’t know if all turns out okay. (It does.)

Lizzie: Or does it?