BROCKHAMPTON Not Stopping: The Release of Billy Star

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BROCKHAMPTON Not Stopping: The Release of Billy Star

Nicole Shaker, Staff Writer

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BROCKHAMPTON has sure been busy, releasing countless projects including albums, music videos, and movies throughout 2017. Their latest video project is a short film entitled Billy Star, directed by the group’s leader, Kevin Abstract. It takes the viewer through a whirlwind of emotions before ultimately ending tragically.

The movie’s soundtrack is a composed of songs, unreleased at the time, from their latest album, Saturation 3. The songs are placed strategically at particular events in the movie to go with the situation and emphasize certain ideas, while building hype for the album that was released soon after. It’s not unlike Kanye West’s movie, Runaway, which is a compilation music video of sorts for his album that would be released soon after, My Dark Twisted Fantasy.

The visuals of Billy Star are dominated by pastel tones, adding to the mood of innocence and purity in the queer teen romance it follows. Kevin Abstract plays the protagonist, Helmet Boy, which is a recurring character of his. Summer, Helmet Boy’s love interest, is played by Nick Lenzini, BROCKHAMPTON’s designer. The movie is filled with light humor and gorgeous suburban imagery that compliments the love story. The first scene shown of Summer and Helmet Boy together is on a football field, when they engage in an intense staring session that is backed by “NATION,” a passionate track from Saturation 3 that includes Kevin singing “Barely got control of it, must’ve got a hold of it / Threw me to the ground and left a scar right on my… lips.” It’s a heartfelt scene, and is followed with a portrayal of the ups and downs that Summer and Helmet Boy go through in their relationship. This includes Summer’s then-girlfriend walking in on him and Helmet Boy, followed by a montage of their happy life together, backed by “QUIVER,” a mellow track that didn’t make the cut for Saturation 3.

The movie ends with Helmet Boy burning to death in a deliberate car explosion. Whether it’s murder or suicide is unclear. It’s important to note that the movie’s scenes are not necessarily chronological, and the viewer can rearrange them in his/her head depending on how the movie is interpreted. A common interpretation is that Summer kills himself and Helmet Boy in the car explosion after his girlfriend caught them together. By the look in Helmet Boy’s eyes, anxiety is pretty evident, so the prospect of murder-suicide is likely.

Omer Raz (‘20), has a different idea on what happened. “I think Helmet Boy kills himself, cuz after the girlfriend caught them together, Summer was really mad and kicked Helmet Boy out,” Raz said. “So maybe since Summer didn’t want to see him anymore, he got really depressed and killed himself. That makes the most sense to me, since they were like so in love and then all of a sudden Summer just yells at him and pushes him out.” There are many other interpretations out there, and Kevin hasn’t come out with a statement explaining his take on the film yet. All we’re really sure of is that Helmet Boy dies in the end, giving the film the title of “tragedy.”

Helmet Boy doesn’t say one word throughout the film, but so much meaning is conveyed through his eyes. The entire film is thoughtful and interpretive, a true representation of modern art, created by the most modern of boybands. Billy Star is like any other BROCKHAMPTON project- introspective and with purpose. Kevin killed off a common character of his, so it might be implying a new era for him and BROCKHAMPTON. We’ll just have to see if Team Effort, their fifth studio album set to come out next year, proves this.

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