The 20-year-old rapper and member of the Brockhampton collective shares his new song ‘Cul de Sac’
Merlyn Wood is a young rapper and member of the Brockhampton collective, the multi-faceted, multi-talented Texas group made up of musicians, rappers, producers, graphic designers, videographers and more. Wood gives a good summary of how they work together: by understanding how one another’s individuality can contribute to a greater whole. “To me, Brockhampton is a group of individuals,” he put it to Dazed recently, “We just respect each other’s own vibe.”
Brockhampton reject the term ‘rap crew’, instead preferring ‘boy band’ – an important distinction, as masculinity is a topic that many of its members return to frequently. And it’s one that Wood evokes on his new song “Cul De Sac”, rapping the lyrics “it make ‘em ask why, why / ‘Cause boys dont cry, cry” atop emotional electronic production (the track was produced by Brockhampton’s Jabari Manwa).
“Texas isn’t the biggest state,” says Wood in a cryptic statement to accompany the track, “In fact, it’s only just big enough to feel hugely disconnected... in Alaska there’s the wild, and in California there’s the coast, but in Texas all there is is the blank space and rugged individualism in between it that defines us as a people. Cities made up of distanced small towns.”
“Houston is the widest city in America and to me it’s the loneliest,” he continues, “In high school I would drive on I-45 late at night when I got restless. From the sky, and you can see it high in the sky, that road was a bright and winding snake with ant-sized cars strolling up and down it’s belly. Late at night when there aren’t any cars besides the one you’re in, and all you can really see is the road ahead of you and the passing blurs of streetlights. It feels otherworldly, it feels nostalgic.”
“When the sun goes down in the neighborhood and all your friends go in. And you can’t bear your own company so you wander the neighborhood under streetlights hoping you’ll hear your name called, that you’ll see someone in the cul-de-sac after the good times have passed. There isn’t anyone.”
Listen to “Cul De Sac” below.