Kevin Abstract (born Clifford Ian Simpson; July 16, 1996), is an American rapper, singer-songwriter, and director. Abstract is a founding member of hip-hop group Brockhampton. Abstract released his debut album, MTV1987, in 2014, 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.
Abstract was born Clifford Ian Simpson in Corpus Christi, Texas. Abstract never met his father and was not close with his mother, not even knowing what her profession was. Abstract began producing music at 11 and ran away from home at 15, moving to Georgia to live with his sister.
Abstract came out as gay in 2017 and is very open about the matter on his records, saying he’ll rap about being gay as long as he can imagine a fan in need of a voice.[
At the beginning of 2014, Abstract began working on his debut album with his in-house record producer, Romil. On April 1, 2014 he released the record’s first single, entitled “Save”. The second single from the album, “Drugs” was released on May 6, 2014, with the music video following around a month later. The album was released on July 15, 2014 and was met with positive reviews from a number of music blogs, such as Billboard, Complex, Spin Pigeons & Planes, and 2DopeBoyz.
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. The crowdfunded project was directed by Tyler Mitchell and finally released on November 4, 2014. Abstract also did a 24-hour live stream on November 1, 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.
Death of a Supermodel
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. 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 June 23, Abstract released a video for “Save”, directed by Ian Gilner, Henock Sileshi, & Franklin Mendez. In November, the first single from They Shoot Horses, “Echo” was released, along with a music video directed by Tyler Mitchell.
American Boyfriend: A Suburban Love Story and Viceland
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 long time manager & business partner Anish Ochani and Christian & Kelly Clancy of 4 Strikes.
In January 2015, Brockhampton’s debut single “Bet I” was released. The video for the song was released on March 25, 2015, and was directed by fellow Brockhampton members HK Covers and Franklin Mendez.
On June 16, Brockhampton released a second single “Hero”. 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. 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.
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. Saturation III was released December 15 with 15 songs. Shortly after the release of Saturation III, Brockhampton announced that their fourth studio album, Team Effort, expected to be released in 2018. However, Team Effort was delayed until 2019 following the groups decision to create another album, Puppy, to be released in its place.