So I’m going to step out of my comfort zone for a little bit… Step away from the indie or the rock, the country or the pop, and into the one genre I find the most difficult to connect with… rap. If you look on my itunes, you’ll find a few: some Eminem, Bone Thugs, Drake, B.o.B or Kanye. Sometimes I get into moods where I’ll listen to them, but I’ve never really gotten into it.
Then, I was introduced to Childish Gambino.
Who’s Childish Gambino? Yeah, I had the same question. His real name is actually Donald Glover and he is probably better known as Troy from NBC’s hit comedy Community. I love that show, especially his character. Him and Abed are hilarious! You should definitely check it out!
I think the reason I connect so much with this EP is how incredibly creative it is. He is an awesome lyricist that weaves in so many references. He makes references from Dragonball Z to Amelie and e.e. cummings to Eggo Waffles. If you’ve never heard of it, he’s letting you download it for free on his blog. Definitely check this out! Anyway, here it goes…
Album Rating: 9/10
Overall, this EP is sweet. It is most definitely something to keep on repeat. Childish Gambino humorously serious, arrogantly modest, and depressingly confident. Glover is making a strong statement as a musical artist: that he is not fitting a stereotype, that he doesn’t care what people say, and that people take things way too seriously.
1. Be Alone: The album opener is a good one. The song covers a range of topics, mostly personal, but generally outlining his desire to not be alone. The song begins with an attention getting exclamation of “I don’t wanna be alone!” Glover hits the high falsetto flawlessly. Then, he jumps in with his rap which is somewhat similar to Drake or Weezy with a tinge of sarcasm. This is clearly the most serious song on the EP, but that doesn’t take away from how great it is.
I used to be this guy sittin’ with an open heart
Now my computer screen’s the only place I feel a spark
With lyrics like this, he shows that, even without pop culture references or humor, his lyrics are still golden. 8/10
2. Freaks and Geeks: This is the song where his genius shines through. His references are incredible and there are so many of them that I can’t list them all. You have to hear for yourself!
Here are some of my favorite lines:
“And my clique make that dinero so it’s time to meet the Fockers”
“My dick is made of carrots, bunnies wanting to be fed and I meant honeys, oh forget it”
“Yeah my stinger’s in her flower, I hope she’ll let me pollinate,
Working hard as shit, yeah, this beat is made from concentrate”
“Took the G out yo waffle, all you got left is your ego” 9/10
3. My Shine: This is another great song! This is probably the most tongue in cheek song on the EP. “Word is born, baby my dictionary’s in labor” is just a taste of his what’s going on in his mind. However, the lines that just show how eclectic he is and how his music could be liked by so many different groups of people, he uses this:
Steady movin’, don’t worry about where imma be
cause imma be on these tracks like indie girls on Amelie
Honestly, i’m rappin’ ’bout everything I go through
everything I’m sayin’, i’m super saiyan like goku.
This is such a great song that builds, but steers you clear of a climax, it just fades out. 9/10
4. Lights Turned On: If anything is wrong with this EP, it’s that a lot of the songs sound similar. His rhythms are not the most complicated, but I think it’s his lyrics that really make him stand out. He throws in Raichu from Pokemon which just makes me respect him even more. This song also shows his contradictory stance through his use of sarcasm. 8.5/10
5. Not Going Back: This lyrics in this song could be a humorous version of an Eminem song. Childish Gambino uses this song as a “You guys thought I was nothing, but look at me now” song. But there’s no way you can get through a Childish Gambino song that doesn’t have some humorous references like his Office reference in this one.
My lifestyle simple, live easy and Bruce Willis
I’m the boss, Michael Scott, y’all bitches is just Phyllis
This is a great closer to the EP. 8.5/10
Overall, this is a great EP. You guys should definitely check it out and let me know what you think!