Childish Gambino

11 albums, 75 tracks

Born in Sep 25, 1983

RapR&B

Narratives

"Childish Gambino"

Jun 14, 2019

Album for a Screenplay

adelemarie
Written by @adelemarie from JustAdeleMarie  / 6 mins read
#BecauseTheInternet#ChildishGambino#RnB#RnBSoul#AlternativeRnB#SynthPop

Childish Gambino released his second album Because the Internet a bit of time ago now, 6 years… oops, but the album is meant to go along with a screenplay. So basically, it is a soundtrack, nonetheless, the album follows many themes by following the main character, The Boy, and his friends around, and is quite the listen if I am being honest.

The Intro

The album begins with a quick 5 second intro track, “The Library.” This track is just simply a 5 second sound of what could be someone logging onto a computer to use the internet, which would go with the screenplay for the album, as it is meant to be the prelude to the story; however, the album really begins with the true beginning of the story with “I. Crawl.” This first song begins the story fifteen years after the prelude and main character, The Boy and his friend pick up their other friends before going to surf and smoke weed, which is when they meet a girl named Sasha and then they go to a party in a mansion. The song follows a big sound. It features a big production sound over the intro and hook that calms down the slightest over the verses in order for him to rap and be heard. The next song on the album, “II. Worldstar,” takes a comical stance on the popular entertainment website and mocks the kids who spend all of their time on the internet watching fights. The song begins with the intro of what sounds like a fight that was probably featured on the website, but contains a super fun and bouncy beat.

Dial Up

Moving on to the next scene of the screenplay, “Dial Up,” is used as a bit of an interlude to introduce the next bit. The track follows the script by following The Boy and his family when they are coming home from the club. The Crew is getting ready for a party, but the Boy starts hallucinating spiders in his room. The track is purely instrumentals and some whimsical type tones along with something that sounds like windshield wipers wiping, I don’t know but super creative if it is. The storyline continues with a collaboration with Chance the Rapper and introduces the Worst Guys on “I. The Worst Guys.” Though the song is super repetitive with the same phrase being repeated too much, the two make a good track. “II. Shadows” is a song that contains a sample of “Space Funk,” and features a cool and mid-tempo strummy flow that drives Childish Gambino rapping in a super low tone which is a bit different than the next track, “III. Telegraph Ave. (“Oakland” by Lloyd).” The song is a bit of a collaboration between the two artists, seeing as they share the track, but follows the idea of trying to reignite an old flame. “IV. Sweatpants” is the next song on the album and it falls into a certain rich-boy theme that doesn’t reflect on Gambino, but the main character The Boy. He says that the song follows the idea that rich people whatever they want whenever they want, and features a really fun flow over a rather trap-y beat. The second act comes to an end with “V. 3005.” The song follows more of an electronic sound and houses some existential thoughts, but under it all, it is a love song at its core.

Playing Around Before The Party Starts

The third act comes in with the help of a third interlude, or second whatever, “Playing Around Before The Party Starts.” The song is purely a piano playing with some distant sounds of chattering and laughing, like at a party, but in the script it is telling about how The Boy would rather play a piano that socialize at a party that he threw. It is followed by a song that goes more into the party and is aptly titled “I. The Party.” The song features a rather different sound and tone, and is a rather shorter song with only one verse and an intro, but follows The Boy kicking everyone out of his house. “II. No Exit” follows it with the contradicting cycles of being an introverted loner and it contains one of the best beats that I think I have heard on a rap song. Like, I cannot find the word to describe the grunge on the verses, but it is fun for sure. We move on to the next act with the into interlude, “Death By Numbers” which depicts The Boy’s failed suicide attempt.

Death by Numbers and The End

We continue after the attempted suicide with “I. Flight of the Navigator.” The song is inspired by a death that David took hard and it begins with a tune that makes the intro of the track feel like a dream before allowing David to sing, not rap, over the beat. We take a turn from a rather simplistic beat to a rather complex one, with a few beat switches on “II. Zealots of Stockholm (Free Information).” The song explores relationships with parents as well as life and death. Following it is “III. Urn,” which perfectly encapsulates the themes of space, loneliness, and death over a slow, chill beat and only a minute long. Following it is another collaboration but this time with Jhene Aiko. “I. Pink Toes” is a song that is more upbeat than the last one and follows The Boy starts selling drugs after fearing not having enough money with the help of his friend. “II. Earth: The Oldest Computer (The Last Night)” is the next song and he gets some help from Azealia Banks in order to talk about death and not being able to plan out last days on Earth. The song follows a fast tempo and a fun electronic beat before the album and the script comes to an end with “III. Life: The Biggest Troll Andrew Auernheimer.” The final track is the ending of the script that rolls the credits and ends with the same intro from the very first song on the album “The Library.” Maybe this is to signify that the album is meant to be looped due to the fact that a lot of our issues are a vicious cycle that is caused by the internet?

May 17, 2019

Gambino’s Funkadelic, 70’s-Inspired “Awaken, My Love!” Pays Homage To Soul Greats Whilst Subverting Expectations And Changing The Course Of His Career Forever.

philipgiouras
Written by @philipgiouras / 6 mins read

It simply cannot be understated just how significant Awaken My Love! is in terms of shifting Childish Gambino’s career from a rapper into a cultural icon but also how it modernizes such a significant genre, bringing funk into the mainstream. To put this into context at this point in his career Donald Glover was just coming off a successful stint as a comedy actor on community and his rap music persona Childish Gambino was finally getting significant critical and commercial recognition with his concept record Because The Internet. He had also been the outsider, the quirky rapper but when he grew a beard, ripped his shirt off and embraced his early funk influences you worried that maybe it was a risk too far. He was potentially turning away his entire fanbase and throwing away a music career he’d worked so hard to achieve. Awaken, My Love! however had a much more unpredictable impact on not just Gambino but the entire culture of music itself…

A 6 Minute Funkadelic Epic Opener Introduces The World To The New Childish Gambino

The worlds introduction to Awaken My Love was with its lead single “Me And Your Mama”. It took both critics and fans by complete surprise, its 70’s infused mix of gospel, funk and soul was unlike anything Gambino or his contemporaries had attempted before. You could argue Funk had infiltrated the Hip-Hop scene back in 2015 with the release of Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly and its selection of offcuts and demos with early 2016’s Untitled Unmastered but instead of a rapper dabbling in funk samples and instrumentals. Gambino had completely transformed from a Rapper to a Soul & Funk singer, these weren’t samples, this were completely original compositions, lyrics and melodies that felt as if Gambino had uncovered a chest of unused lost material from the 70’s sitting in George Clinton’s attic. “Me And Your Mama” opens with a light tinkering of the piano keys, almost like a lullaby in nature. Suddenly, gospel backing vocals lay an intimidating eerie chant over the melody, it’s hypnotic yet exciting. This introduction stretches for minutes before the peace is suddenly broken, Gambino doesn’t just sing but he roars onto the track with an almost primal scream reminiscent of the passion greats Prince, George Clinton and Bootsy Collins put into Funk tracks before him.

Breaking Expectations And Making Babies With A Single Song

Those Prince comparisons really hit their peak with “Redbone”. This swiftly became the albums most significant moment, this is what old fans latched onto whilst allowing Gambino to cross over into a whole new audience. The opening bass line, the thuds, the guitar solo crescendo all screams pure sex. There’s just something unadulterated and almost filthy with the production on the song. Just one glance of its live TV debut sums up more than a thousand words ever could, this is a man transformed, thoughts rush through my mind “does he even open his eyes? I think not!” as his body becomes one with the movements of the tracks before he erupts once again into that scream “dear god, is this what the 70’s felt like?” “Redbone” is pure expression of unfiltered emotion, it stands firm on its own but when placed in the context of the record it’s simply iconic. “Stay Woke!”

An Album That Embraces Fear And Fatherhood

It’s no coincidence that “Terrified” leads into “Baby Boy”, this is a record created during the most life-changing period in someone’s life, the expectancy and birth of a child. Though there is little mention of Glovers son or public sightings in the press, it’s this entire album in which his presence is truly felt. Gambino’s ability to translate and project emotions is incredibly underrated. In “Terrified” you can feel the slight confusion in his tone, the yearning but most incredibly the pure fear. There are lots of ways it could be interpreted but the way a young male voice (JD McCreary) reaches out as if from another side, or perhaps Gambino’s dreams, nightmares even? his innocent cries like an infant “You can’t run from me”… his son is arriving. Then suddenly everything is flipped, “Baby Boy” is patient, its wistful, Gambino’s voice is full of adoration and love as he describes spending time falling in love, staring at “little hands” and “tiny feet”, his son has arrived and the overwhelming emotions pour out of his soul and his heart into this ode to his offspring. ‘Don’t take my baby boy, Don’t take my pride and joy’ the fear of gaining a child is replaced by that of losing one.

The Circle Of Life

The album concludes on “Stand Tall”, Childish Gambino recounts the advice he received from his parents as he projects that advice towards his own child. Like the cyclical nature of life itself, the album has come round full circle. This is a concept album on relationships and fatherhood, Gambino could have easily recounted it through rap and rhythm but he reached into his soul, his heart and found the funk his father implanted into his memories and musical DNA from a young age, when Gambino was a child it was those 70’s records that shaped him, this too is a gift for his child to look back on. Sonically, the summery and bright acoustic conclusion to the end of “Stand Tall” retrospectively is a massive flag and sign for the direction Gambino would undergo for his future releases, its very similar to the opening for both the “Feel Like Summer” and “Summertime Magic” singles released in the middle of last year. Whatever Gambino undertakes next however, is up to him. By creating an album of pure passion and funk he has broken the hip-hop mould he had been previously been placed into… he’s no longer just a rapper, he’s an artist.

Bino With Tha Beats

Leave it to Bino to make a funk album and weather the shit storm of “when is he gonna rap” comments that flooded the internet in the initial days of the release of “Awaken, My Love!” I loved every minute of it – both the comments, and the album. I could actually see the sea change happening, week by week, as everyone, and I do mean everyone, came along to the sound and style of songs like “Redbone” and “Zombies”, knowing in my heart of hearts that the unanimity of acceptance for this album was inevitable. What fools the whole internet was, and anyone who doubted Donald Glover, literally the most talented person of my generation. He wouldn’t do it unless he knew he could pull it off. When is he gonna Rap? Really? As Kendrick would say, “sit down, be humble.” And listen to a classic.

Written by AllyCat2340 / Apr 24, 2019

The Lyft Cycle

Long hours, long nights, and the endless chase of bonuses that I needed to pay my lease and put food on my plate, because somehow, I had put myself into that month to month existence. My experience with Lyft. The radio was no relief at all. In fact it was more mind numbing than ever. Drake. Drake. Drake. Drake. Childish Gambino. Redbone? Redbone. Redbone. Holy shit. This was a song that I could not turn off, and could not stop grooving to, every time it came on. Because when the radio decides something is popular, that’s it – they will play it to death. Yet in the case of “Redbone”, the song could have come on back to back for all I cared. It motivated for the first time in ages to buy an album off of iTunes. That, my friends, is the power of good music.

Written by TakeAPass / Apr 24, 2019

A Stream Of Consciousness Funky Tale

Being a Bootsy Collins fan, the unfortunate thing I conceded years ago was that Bootsy had not made an album like Stretchin’ Out in Bootsy’s Rubber Band since the seventies. I am not from the seventies, I just had a Dad who was, and several memories will stream of conscious their way to the point which is Childish Gambino’s genius. Dad gave me a best of funk tape with Parliament, Con Funk Shun, Bootsy, etc. Working at a record store, I bought “Stretchin’ Out” because of that very tape. I thought I was hot shit because I invited a girl way out of my league on a date (she had a rich older boyfriend out of state but I still tried it), and played Bootsy instead of what was standard when we drove to the movies. Years later, my life is completely different and pretty meaningless when a girl I’m dating puts on Awaken, My Love!, asking me to guess who the artist is. I listen for 4 whole tracks, saying it is some Bootsy or P Funk album, clearly, from the seventies. Chick says its Childish Gambino. I am speechless. The rapper? Listening, I feel like that young me again, sure of himself, in the car with the girl who was out of my league, but who I know I impressed.

Written by SkiSlopes / Apr 24, 2019

Official Music Videos

"Childish Gambino"

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Audio

"Childish Gambino"

Articles

"Childish Gambino"

Biography

"Childish Gambino"

Born

    1983-09-25

Active

    2002–present

Label

  • Glassnote (past)
  • Island
  • RCA
  • Liberator

About

Donald McKinley Glover Jr. (born September 25, 1983) is an American actor, comedian, writer, director, rapper, and DJ. He performs music under the stage name Childish Gambino and as a DJ under the name mcDJ.
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