Brockhampton’s ‘1997 Diana’ Is An Unsettling Trap And Jock Jam Mashup

Genre-bending “boy band” Brockhampton is back on a roll lately, releasing a run of raucous music videos directly to their Youtube. The latest is “1997 Diana,” a nervy, neo-jock jam that finds the group throwing back to the late-nineties tradition of blending big beat hip-hop and dance with cheerleader-esque chants and heart-pounding tempos. “1997 Diana” features a full-throated crowd callback section, but it also leans into trap rap tropes like the ad lib-ending flow.

The video — directed as usual by group frontman Kevin Abstract — heavily references the old-school genre staple of filming in a high school gym during a basketball game, but in typical Brockhampton fashion, turns the dial up to 11 by including a bouncy sequence from inside the locker room as well. The boys jump around energetically while the athletes roam the steamy locker room in towels, winking at the group’s brash upending of rap’s gender politics.

“1997 Diana” comes on the heels of a string of recent releases from the band on their new RCA deal including “1999 Wildfire” and “1998 Truman.” If it seems like the titles are counting down to something, that’s probably because they are — knowing Brockhampton, there’s likely a bigger announcement down the road that they’re keeping under wraps for the time being. Fortunately, with tracks like the ones they’re releasing lately, the countdown can be just as much fun as the endgame.

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