Kevin Abstract

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Kevin Abstract
Abstract performing in 2018 in Quebec City
Abstract performing in 2018 in Quebec City
Background information
Birth nameClifford Ian Simpson
Also known as
  • Kevin Cinema
  • Milo
Born (1996-07-16) July 16, 1996 (age 25)
Corpus Christi, Texas, U.S.
  • Rapper
  • singer-songwriter
  • director
Years active2009–present

Clifford Ian Simpson[1] (born July 16, 1996), well known by his stage name Kevin Abstract, is an American rapper, singer-songwriter, and director,[2] and was a founding member of Brockhampton. He released his debut album, MTV1987, in 2014 to critical acclaim, and received attention from a number of major music blogs and magazine publications. His second album, American Boyfriend: A Suburban Love Story, was released in November 2016, and his third, Arizona Baby, was released in April 2019.

Early life[edit]

Abstract was born in Corpus Christi, Texas.[3] Abstract never met his father and was not close with his mother, not even knowing what her profession was. As Abstract began to realize his sexuality, he isolated himself from his family, feeling ashamed. Many speculate that this is one of the reasons that he ran away from home.[4] He has stated that his family members are "extremely religious" Mormons.[5] Abstract began producing music at 11 and ran away from home at 15, staying at a friend's house for a year before moving to Georgia to live with his sister.[6]

Music career[edit]

2014: MTV1987[edit]

At the beginning of 2014, Abstract began working on his debut album with his in-house record producer, Romil.[7] On April 1, 2014 he released the record's first single, entitled "Save".[8] The second single from the album, "Drugs" was released on May 6, 2014,[9] with the music video following around a month later.[10] The album was released on July 15, 2014 and was met with positive reviews from a number of music blogs, such as Billboard,[7] Complex,[11] Spin[12] Pigeons & Planes,[13] and 2DopeBoyz.[14]

After the release of MTV1987, Abstract began working on the music video for the song "Hell/Heroina," using more than $3,000 accrued from fans through a Kickstarter campaign.[15] The crowdfunded project was directed by Tyler Mitchell and finally released on November 4, 2014.[16] Abstract also did a 24-hour live stream on November 1,[17] leading up to the video release, where viewers watched both himself and his computer screen as the audience listened to him talk, observed him interact with him on Twitter, and watched movies together. As of November 2018, it has been removed from most major download and streaming services.

2015: Death of a Supermodel and NOWIFIII[edit]

On January 15, 2015, Abstract informed fans via his Twitter page that his second record was to be titled Death of a Supermodel and that it would be released later in the year.[18] However, this album was later discarded. Abstract has announced that he is now working on a different album, They Shoot Horses, a part of the Death of a Supermodel trilogy.

On May 30, Abstract and other BROCKHAMPTON members, bearface., Romil Hemnani & Henock Sileshi released a side project EP titled "MEMORIAL DAY" under new personas and the "NOWIFIII" name due to the 2015 Texas floods making them lose their Wi-Fi.

On June 23, Abstract released a video for "Save", directed by Ian Gilner, Henock Sileshi, & Franklin Mendez.[19] In November, the first single from They Shoot Horses, "Echo" was released, along with a music video directed by Tyler Mitchell.

2016–2017: American Boyfriend: A Suburban Love Story and Viceland[edit]

In March 2016, Abstract joined alternative band The Neighbourhood on a week-long tour through England, opening up shows in Portsmouth, Birmingham, Manchester, and London. The final show of the tour was live streamed via the Periscope app, in which he also teased his new album They Shoot Horses, expected to be released in 2016. He also provided confirmation that his next single would be called Empty.

In April, Abstract announced that he would be going on tour with The Neighbourhood again, but this time in the USA, during May and June. Abstract exclusively performed new songs from his upcoming album.

At the end of June, Abstract announced that he had changed the title of his upcoming album to American Boyfriend: A Suburban Love Story and reassured fans that it would still be coming later that year.

Abstract, along with fellow members of Brockhampton, appeared in the Viceland television series American Boyband, which premiered on June 8, 2017. The series followed Abstract on his first headlining tour across North America, while also capturing moments of other Brockhampton members still at home in South Central, Los Angeles.

Abstract is currently managed by longtime manager & business partner Anish Ochani and Christian & Kelly Clancy of 4 Strikes.


Near the end of 2014, AliveSinceForever disbanded.[20] Out of that project, the musical group Brockhampton was formed by Abstract and others he met on the Kanye West fan forum KanyeToThe.[21][22]

In January 2015, Brockhampton's debut single "Bet I" was released.[23] The video for the song was released on March 25, 2015, and was directed by fellow Brockhampton members HK Covers and Franklin Mendez.[24]

On June 16, Brockhampton released a second single "Hero".[25] At the end of June, it was announced that Brockhampton had won VFiles Loud, an online talent contest aiming to discover the best up-and-coming collectives.[26] Brockhampton was given the opportunity to premiere a professionally directed music video for their third single on MTV, as well as having it released through the independent recording label Fool's Gold Records. The single, "Dirt", was premiered through Apple's Beats 1 Radio and was released on iTunes a few days after.[27]

On March 30, Brockhampton released their first collective mixtape: All-American Trash. On April 22, they also released a documentary showcasing the making of the project.

In 2017, Brockhampton released two albums (Saturation and Saturation II) in the summer of 2017, both to widespread critical acclaim. Three days before the release of Saturation II, Abstract announced via Twitter that a third album titled Saturation III would also be released, marking Brockhampton's third full studio album of the calendar year.[28] Saturation III was released December 15, which also received critical acclaim. Although it was stated by the group that Saturation III would be their final studio album, Brockhampton announced that their fourth studio album, Team Effort, was expected to be released in 2018. However, Team Effort was delayed indefinitely until 2018 following the group's decision to create another album, Puppy, to be released in its place, only for it to be delayed following the sexual assault allegations on fellow Brockhampton member Ameer Vann.[29]

On September 21, 2018, Brockhampton released their fourth studio album, Iridescence, recorded at Abbey Road Studios in 10 days. They also released merchandise to promote both the upcoming album and their upcoming tour, named I'll be there.[30] On August 23, 2019, their fifth studio album, Ginger, was released to an overall positive reception.[31]

2018-2019: Arizona Baby[edit]

In June 2018, Abstract added a picture with the text "ambfII" to his Instagram story, with "ambfII" presumably standing for American Boyfriend II. Later that year, in October, he tweeted the words "american boyfriend",[32] seemingly teasing something. On March 19, 2019, Abstract tweeted a photo, which appears to be the cover of a new album or a single.[33] He also changed his profile picture and his header image. In early April, he expressed in a series of now deleted tweets that once he released as much music as he can in 2019, he would like to retire and focus on filmmaking. Throughout the following weeks, Abstract released more teasers for his upcoming third studio album, Arizona Baby. With the album to be released in three separate parts, Abstract released a new single titled "Big Wheels" on April 9, 2019, with the first part of Arizona Baby releasing just two days later on April 11, along with a music video for "Georgia".[34][35] On the same day, Abstract announced the second part to the Arizona Baby album, Ghettobaby, released April 18, with a music video for "Baby Boy".[36] Finally, the full album was released on April 25, alongside a music video for the song "Peach".[37]

2020-present: KA3*[edit]

On January 18, 2021, Abstract teased a song titled "It's Alright". He later teased another song called "Sierra Nights" on February 6, 2021. He would go on to preview the tracks in full in an Instagram stream, and played snippets of 3 other songs on February 23, 2021.

On May 16, 2021, Abstract posted snippets of 2 songs, "Tucker" and "Seven Days a Week", the latter being worked on with Brockhampton member HK. On May 22, he shared a snippet for "4Sure". On May 24, Abstract posted a picture of him and a text saying "1978". He teased the track "Everything" the following day. A different version of "Everything", with pitched up vocals and drums, was teased on June 4, 2021.

On July 16, 2021, Abstract released a single titled, "Slugger", featuring $NOT and slowthai. On August 18, 2021, he released the single, "Sierra Nights", alongside Ryan Beatty.

Other ventures[edit]

In 2021, Abstract started the clothing brand Video Store Apparel (VSA) with fellow Brockhampton member Romil Hemnani.[38] Stylist Nick Holiday is a frequent collaborator. [39]


Abstract said his influences for MTV1987 were Frank Ocean, Justin Timberlake, and Kid Cudi.[40] Abstract has described Kanye West, Pink Floyd, Radiohead, Childish Gambino, Outkast, Lana Del Rey and Tyler, the Creator as influences on his music, with Tyler's group, Odd Future, being a large point of reference and inspiration for Brockhampton.[41]

Personal life[edit]

Abstract came out as gay in 2016 and his records often mention his sexuality. He has stated he will rap about being gay as long as he can imagine a fan in need of a voice.[42]

Solo discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Extended plays[edit]

  • AllTheGirls (2012)
  • Kevin Abstract EP (2013)
  • Kilmer (2015)
  • Arizona Baby (2019)
  • Ghettobaby (2019)


  • Relax (2009)
  • KevinLovesYou (2009)
  • 30 Minutes Til New Years (2009)
  • The Schoolbus Chronicles (2010)
  • The Comics (2010)
  • PinkElephants (2011)
  • Imagination (2011)

With Outsiders[edit]

  • BeyondOurDreams (2011)
  • People (2011)
  • InsteadOfDreaming (2012)

With AliveSinceForever[edit]

  • ForeverMondays! (2011)
  • AliveSinceForever: The Compilation (2012)
  • The ASF EP (2013)

With NOWIFIII[edit]

  • MEMORIAL DAY (2015)

With Brockhampton[edit]


  1. ^ Slingerland, Calum (May 24, 2018). "Brockhampton's Kevin Abstract Addresses Ameer Vann's Sexual Misconduct Allegations". Exclaim!. Retrieved January 22, 2019.
  2. ^ "Features". Deezer. Retrieved February 3, 2018.
  3. ^ "The best thing Kevin Abstract ever did for himself was run away from home". For The Win. February 3, 2016. Retrieved March 7, 2018.
  4. ^ Haithcoat, Rebecca (April 6, 2017). "Kevin Abstract: 'When you mention Bieber, Lorde, One Direction: I want to be on that list'". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved December 25, 2017.
  5. ^ "Brockhampton Takes A Trip Down Memory Lane - American Boyband - YouTube". Retrieved July 30, 2020.
  6. ^ "Meet Kevin Abstract, The Post-Everything Kid Making Songs For Outcasts". The FADER. Retrieved December 25, 2017.
  7. ^ a b "Kevin Abstract, 'MTV1987': Exclusive Album Stream". Billboard. July 15, 2014.
  8. ^ Kevin Abstract – SAVE
  9. ^ "Drugs – Single by Kevin Abstract". Pigeons & Planes. Retrieved August 31, 2015.
  10. ^ "Kevin Abstract "Drugs" Video | Mass Appeal". Retrieved September 2, 2015.
  11. ^ "Stream Kevin Abstract's "MTV1987" Album". Complex Networks. Retrieved August 31, 2015.
  12. ^ "Kevin Abstract, MTV1987 (Self-Released) – Kevin Abstract Mtv1987_1 – 4". Spin. Retrieved September 2, 2015.
  13. ^ "Stream Kevin Abstract's Free Album "MTV1987"". Retrieved September 2, 2015.
  14. ^ "Kevin Abstract – MTV1987 (Album)". 2DOPEBOYZ. Retrieved September 2, 2015.
  15. ^ "Kevin Abstract – Hell / Heroina Music Video". Kickstarter. Retrieved August 31, 2015.
  16. ^ "Premiere: Watch Kevin Abstract's "Hell/Heroina" Video". Complex Networks. Retrieved September 2, 2015.
  17. ^ Abstract, Kevin [@kevinabstract] (November 1, 2014). "KEVINABSTRACT.COM 24 HOUR STREAM OF MY DESKTOP. BEGINS NOW" (Tweet). Retrieved November 29, 2015 – via Twitter.
  18. ^ Abstract, Kevin [@kevinabstract] (January 15, 2015). "the name of the 2nd album is death of a supermodel" (Tweet). Retrieved September 2, 2015 – via Twitter.
  19. ^ "Watch the Premiere of Kevin Abstract's Unsettling "Save" Video". Retrieved September 1, 2015.
  20. ^ "Kevin Abstract Leaves ASF". Imgur. Retrieved September 2, 2015.
  21. ^ "Anybody wanna make a band?". KanyeToThe. Retrieved November 20, 2018.
  22. ^ "One of hip-hop's most intriguing new crews, BROCKHAMPTON, born of the ashes of AliveSinceForever". Pigeons & Planes. Retrieved August 31, 2015.
  23. ^ "Check Out BrockHampton's (Kevin Abstract and Friends) New Track 'Bet I'". The Early Registration. January 28, 2015. Retrieved September 1, 2015.
  24. ^ "Video Premiere: Brockhampton – "Bet I"". Retrieved September 1, 2015.
  25. ^ "PREMIERE: Fall in Love with Brockhampton's Blissed Out "Hero" | NOISEY". Retrieved August 31, 2015.
  27. ^ "Brockhampton – "Dirt"". Retrieved August 31, 2015.
  28. ^ "Brockhampton Announces 'Saturation 3'; Releases First Single". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved September 18, 2017.
  29. ^ McGarrigle, Lia (May 24, 2018). "Brockhampton to Delay 'PUPPY' Following Ameer Vann Abuse Allegations". Highsnobiety. Retrieved November 20, 2018.
  30. ^ "BROCKHAMPTON". Retrieved September 13, 2018.
  31. ^ Moore, Sam (August 23, 2019). "Listen to Brockhampton's new album 'Ginger'". NME.
  32. ^ Abstract, Kevin [@kevinabstract] (October 16, 2018). "american boyfriend" (Tweet). Retrieved March 22, 2019 – via Twitter.
  33. ^ Abstract, Kevin [@kevinabstract] (March 19, 2019). "" (Tweet). Retrieved March 22, 2019 – via Twitter.
  34. ^ BROCKHAMPTON (April 8, 2019), THE 1-9-9-9 IS COMING, retrieved April 10, 2019
  35. ^ BROCKHAMPTON (April 10, 2019), I Got Georgia On My Mind, retrieved April 11, 2019
  36. ^ Abstract, Kevin [@kevinabstract] (April 10, 2019). "Ghettobaby Next week" (Tweet). Retrieved April 11, 2019 – via Twitter.
  37. ^ "Kevin Abstract shares full 'ARIZONA baby' album". DIY. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  38. ^ "Kevin Abstract Drops Video for "Sierra Nights" f/ Ryan Beatty". Complex. Retrieved February 22, 2022.
  39. ^ "Kevin Abstract and Nick Holiday Dream of the Last Blockbuster". PAPER. November 20, 2021. Retrieved February 22, 2022.
  40. ^ "Stream Kevin Abstract's Free Album "MTV1987"". Pigeons & Planes. Retrieved November 28, 2015.
  41. ^ "Listen to "Zane Lowe and BROCKHAMPTON" posted by Zane Lowe on Apple Music". iTunes Apple Music. Retrieved December 23, 2017.
  42. ^ "How Many Times Does Kevin Abstract Need to Rap About Being Gay?". DJBooth. Retrieved April 30, 2018.

External links[edit]