The accompanying Tweet to this said ‘LES video for those who didn’t catch the concerts’, so I assume this was played during performances of the fantastic track on recent tours.
I go back and forth, but this is probably my favourite song from Camp. The combination of those absolutely superb strings, the soft hook and the punchy verses makes for a trifecta of excellence, and a track that’s easy to play over and over again.
The video is a very nice accompaniment, and though Gambino doesn’t feature outside of a brief and rather steamy cameo (props if you spot it), it’s a nice capture of the very New York area that the song is titled after. Hipsters aplenty, there’s a nice personal feel about the whole thing, capturing people within their element in various locations, whether its a concert, eaterie, taxi or any other spot, it’s a good look into a few nights around the Lower East Side, and almost gives the whole place a rather relatable, homely feel. That vibe is mostly borne out of the fact its pretty much unfiltered in terms of the footage: shops closed for the taxi, traffic, and various other non-glamorous entities crop up throughout, whilst the fantastic quality of the actual footage is also a factor in making the clip feel like a snapshot of reality. Good all-round clip for a great song.
As per every year, the only thing we check the BET Awards for is these excellent ciphers, and this year is no different.
The 2012 edition brings you some utterly superb lineups, with the clip up here being a personal highlight as it features several of my favourite upcomers-A$AP Rocky, Joey Bada$$, Childish Gambino and Angel Haze, alongside newcomer Driicky Graham. The rest of the ciphers feature the likes of T.I., B.o.B., Talib Kweli, Jean Grae, DMX, Eve, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, Kurupt, DJ Quik, Xzibit, Mac Miller, Ab-Soul, Schoolboy Q, Hopsin and more.
Plenty of promise, click on below to check out all of the ciphers. Who do you reckon had the standout performance? Big fan of Joey Bada$$ with the cipher up here, and my winners for the rest are below.
I don’t know a great deal about Rapsody, but the album’s warming title and artwork coupled with a phenomenal lineup of features makes this one that I’m very eager to check out sooner rather than later.
Assists on this one come from Childish Gambino, Rocki Evans, Mac Miller, The Cool Kids, Ab-Soul, Raheem DeVaughn and more. I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s as close to grabbing a complete who’s who of upcoming rappers as anyone’s come in recent months, and not only does that add star power, but it gives Rapsody plenty to compete with and live up to. With such weighty cosigns I’m sure he’ll have some quality to deliver, and you can stream or download the album over at DJBooth below.
Straight up the only reason why I’m interested in this track is because Childish Gambino features, a rapper who has had a supreme 2012. This collaboration has come a bit out of the blue and is set to be the second single from Leona’s Glassheart album.
A bizarre collaboration that doesn’t disappoint, Leona delivers some passionate notes (a song co-written by the excellent Emeli Sandé) with Gambino assisting with a closing (short) introspective verse. If you’re a fan of either artist you’ll love this; it’ll certainly be sitting in my rotation for a while. Only a stream below for now, but you can buy the single on October 7th on iTunes.
Last year’s Camp release gets a new video release, though this one’s definitely unexpected given both the slightly different direction Gambino’s music has gone in recent months, and the fact the album was released quite some time ago.
It’s actually surprisingly dark and unusual at times, with the visuals ranging from quite violent scenes to bizarre mind control-esque devices, some kind of time or dimension-travel machine and more. It’s built quite progressively, as the video starts fairly normally (with the exception of the lead character glancing up at what looks like a very nearby planet), before moving into a sci-fi, parallel universe angle which doesn’t match up with the style and vibe of the audio at all. Hence, it’s an almost disorienting watch at times and doesn’t quite sit right, not least because the last minute seems to try to pack so much in. As individual entities, the audio is great and the video would be fine set to an M83 track (or similar), and whilst I’m all for attempting audio-to-video style contrasting, to me this doesn’t come off as a package.
One that didn’t make the final cut for Royalty, but finds a home on DJ So Super Sam’s upcoming Trigger Happy mixtape. Admittedly, I’ve got no idea who she is but she’s grabbed a good track and some nice artwork.
TDE and Gambino seem to have a good relationship as this marks the third TDE rapper to work with Childish (after ScHoolboy Q and Ab-Soul), with Jay Rock coming through and probably stealing the show here. The production is one of those darker, gritter and more aggressive beats that Gambino favoured on Royalty, which suits Jay down to a tee as his rough, powerful style melds with the beat excellently, enhancing the intensity of the track. Things cool down a little for Gambino’s verse as he focuses a little more on the wordplay, though its still a solid verse that’s worth a go. That Alison Brie line…
A project that’s been hotly anticipated by many, and as promised Gambino drops off his latest effort Royalty, the first new set of works since the superb Camp album.
Almost everything we’ve heard from (or assumed to be from) this mixtape has been of a very good standard, and not only that but there’s clearly been an evolution in Childish’s skills that warrants attention. Whilst his material has clearly indicated that music is his primary focus right now, what’s equally telling is the roster of artists who have elected to work with him recently, and this 18-track project continues those co-signs with RZA, Ghostface Killah and many more thrown into the mix. Thoroughly excited about this project, and you can grab it for free at Gambino’s house below.
Childish Gambino is set to drop off his next mixtape, Royalty, on 4th July and on a stop-off at a US radio station he let loose of another track from the project.
As a result it’s just a radio rip for now, but I’m sure that’s enough to whet the appetite ahead of that release next Wednesday. It’s markedly different to almost anything we’ve heard from CG before (and could have featured in this live performance), with a dark, intense production that lends itself to raps that are harsher and a touch more aggressive than any of his previous material. It’s not quite blood and thunder yet, but it’s a step away from the lighter, more pop-oriented material that he’s released, and hence is a good show of variety. Whilst many Gambino fans won’t enjoy this, this was a direction that was expected after watching the aforementioned performance, and as the first track of this ilk to actually emerge, I’m sure instead he’ll gain many more hip-hop fans with this one.
To take the positives out of the situation, it does mean that the choices for this week’s episode sort of fall into my lap, based on old-school tracks I’ve found myself inexplicably listening to recently. The diversity you’ve come to expect (or at least did 2 months ago) from this series is still there, with 4 tracks in 4 different styles, and a nice mix of genres thrown in.
The third instalment of Gambino’s recent free-leases, and he’s snagged a huge name on the feature here as alternative legend Beck lends a hand to help Childish make it three good releases on the trot.
The production is very clever throughout, tailoring to each artist’s strengths in their respective sections. Beck opens the track backed by some fantastic piano work and a sharp percussion, with his almost spoken-word style combining with those provisions for an alt-pop sound. The track threatens a metamorphosis after Beck’s contribution by switching briefly into an electronic transition, before going back to the chords and drums for Gambino’s raps. The switches are made back and forth again part-way through his verse, before the track closes with an instrumental that fully transforms into the electro style. It’s a diverse and dynamic listen that’s impossible to box into a genre, and as a result will go down well with Gambino fans.
Two of my favourite young rappers in the game come together for a collaboration from Gambino’s upcoming and as-yet-untitled mixtape, and it’s the second excellent drop in two weeks from Gambino.
The production is perfect for Nipsey’s style and mirrors some of his selections from his various Marathon projects, blending a laidback cool with a little atmsophere, seriousness and bounce for a beat that will find favour with almost every corner of the hip-hop fanbase. The raps are enjoyable from both acts, with Nipsey bringing his contemplative yet confident style on the opening verse, before Gambino bursts in with a hook that sounds straight out of the West coast playbook, before transitioning into an empassioned verse that’s similar to Nipsey’s in subject matter, making for some welcome consistency and giving the track a good structure. Really likeable one again from Childish Gambino, and that mixtape can’t come soon enough.
Many will recognise this as one of the outstanding tracks from the quartet he performed recently, and I’ve been looking forward to this being released. The production is wonderfully easygoing, with the opening relying heavily on a light key melody before launching into, and blending with, a pulsating percussion and some superb raps from Gambino. There’s a mixture of motivational and biographical lyricism in this one, making for relatable content to accompany the warming production, including a couple of lines that will surely get the gossip columns talking (“hope the show gets cancelled, maybe then I can focus“). I’d rather ignore that and celebrate this track for the summery, all-round throughly enjoyable effort it is, and I’d fully recommend this to all Gambino fans.
I know this collaboration will excite a lot of OTU fans, and rightfully so. Two upcoming rappers who’ve risen at different ends of the spectrum, and this is about as good a co-sign as Gambino’s managed to grab to date in his quest to be taken much more seriously as a rapper.
Assumedly from his upcoming mixtape, and having given Funk Flex the honour of premiering this a couple of nights back, he’s certainly upped the hype for that project. There’s a clear maturity taking place with Gambino’s raps, leaving behind his lighter style for something a little darker and more aggressive in a recent video, and that’s a trait carried over here. A slow, ominous production holds things together whilst both rappers grab the beat in very different ways, and whilst Q edges it with his razor-sharp flow, Gambino’s performance is enjoyable with some nice lyrical high points. Radio rip for now, and I’m looking forward to a better version.
You’re not alone: I also have no idea who those features are.
New material from Gambino, possibly from his upcoming mixtape, and it’s a short one that won’t wow anyone. The sample is funny at first but becomes annoying quite quickly, whilst the opening feature comes across as more parody than anything (is this Gambino alter-ego’s or something?), though the second feature isn’t as bad, with a speedy flow that works well with the beat. Gambino closes the track out with a decent verse that switches between a couple of flows to good effect, and whilst I can’t complain about his raps, the beat is far too annoying for me to really appreciate the track as a whole.
Winding up for his first post-Camp project with an upcoming mixtape, Childish Gambino performs a few tracks slated for the project.
The key notable is Gambino’s increased tenacity and aggression in comparison to his previous material, suggesting a departure from his lighter, more universally-friendly style, and you get the impression he’s embraced hip-hop a little more, rather than the more eclectic approach previously taken. Whilst narrowing your horizons isn’t usually a good move, there’s potential that this shift will lead to him being taken more seriously as a rapper, and may signal a lyrical change from the relatively samey content of Camp.
The tracks themselves vary in style, with the opener having a nice drive and intensity to it, whilst the second is the highlight courtesy of an addictive upbeat production. The third has a minimality that confidently puts all of the spotlight on the raps, whilst the final track has a Lex Luger-esque production coupled with some excellent flows, making for the most ‘typical’ hip-hop track of the quartet. Good diversity between the four, and I’m looking forward to that tape.
My favourite track off his album, Camp, and possibly my favourite Gambino song thus far, gets the video treatment. The vid itself premièred on Friday evening, but it was only available to view for those in America (boo). Someone’s kindly put this on Youtube, and hopefully it won’t get deleted!
Gambino spoke to MTV about this video and highlighted that it wasn’t so much a music video, but more the capturing of the mood of the song. This relationship is one of confusion and conflicted feelings, which is reflected in the video. Quite apt that it takes place in a car throughout, as relationships (good or bad!) are a journey.
Well worth a watch, and if you haven’t heard and you happen to like this song then you really should acquire more of Childish Gambino’s music!
Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino is a name that you should be hearing more and more of in 2012 (especially seeing as the awesome comedy that he stars in, Community, is currently on hiatus!).
Performing live on Letterman, Heartbeat is one of the leading lights on his current album, Camp. Great to see him perform this, as he gears up for two London shows in January (on the 25th and 26th) the first of which sold out (I have a spare ticket btw if anyone wants to be super nice to me) within 10 minutes! That just gives you an idea towards his burgeoning reputation.
I’m glad it does, as Gambino fan Jason Yang takes the time out to put his to great use with a fantastic cover of Heartbeat. From the offset, it’s clear we’re in for an excellent treat as the soft vocals of the intro are covered smoothly by the violin work, before the cover really explodes into life as the original does. The first ‘verse’ has a couple of moments where the string work goes ever so slightly offbeat, but Yang recovers it instantly and brings his best once again on the hook.
Being the pioneers that we are, our first ever ‘live album review’ just took place, with yours truly providing track-by-tweet reviews for every track on Childish Gambino’s upcoming Camp album.
Gambino’s (and Donald Glover’s) profile has been raised considerably in the last 12 months, and there’s no doubt that this is his most high-profile release to date, with many ignoring his previous releases and treating this as a true ‘debut album’: we won’t argue the technicalities, and the fact remains that he’s been putting out some great music regardless of the project its been for, and that consistency has set expectations extremely high for this LP.
Actor, writer, stand-up comedian, rapper. Childish Gambino aka Donald Glover aka Troy from Community has many a string to his bow. Here’s the official stream for his first commercial project which has twitter in a bit of a stir – many a fan claiming it to be better than Drake’s Take Care album (which sprung a leak last night sans final track).
I haven’t heard Take Care yet (I prefer to listen to a new album with all of its tracks available!) but I can attest to the quality of this project, his previous tracks have showcased his obvious talent and upon hearing his first cohesive piece of work, it is clear he is no flash in the pan. Such is the quality of this, I can’t really name my favourite track!
Following Kendrick Lamar’s recent 5 instrumental freestyle session of the same name, the talented Childish Gambino tries his hand at the same task on the same radio show.
There’s a general feeling that Gambino is a ‘studio rapper’, and here he proves he can certainly get it done on the spot with a solid set of freestyles that arguably exhibit slightly more comfortability than Kendrick’s set. The beat selection is equally diverse, ranging from dubstep to jazzy ‘reggaeton’ style productions, and whilst there are some stumbly patches, on the whole he does a decent job throughout. It’s a performance that is by no means classic, but certainly a better effort than many full-time rappers could get anywhere near.
Undoubtedly an excellent track, and these visuals are probably about as anticipated as anything Childish Gambino has released to date, with his upcoming Camp album on the horizon.
The video is certainly fitting for its Halloween release, with an extremely dark, horror-esque theme that seems to have very little congruence with the actual lyrical content, but tells its own entertaining story. Opening with a very graphic scene of Gambino vomiting blood, the video follows his journey of confusion and fear amongst eerie surroundings (is there any more intimidating environment than woods at night?!), whilst a group of young adults share scary stories over a bonfire. The devil is in the detail here, as certain motions and great facial expressions from Gambino suggest the story being told is about him, with his ‘ghost’ summoned by the tale being told.
Another fantastic effort from Childish Gambino, as he once again demonstrates both his singing and rapping talents with this track from the upcoming Camp album. Bags of introspection in the verses makes for frank and refreshing listening, whilst the melodies on the hook are captivating and add a positive spin to the sombre, often bittersweet verse lyrics. The production matches that, with the energetic yet slow paced production progressing logically from verse to hook with some extra synths and a sharper percussion. Great track, and I’m looking forward to that album on 15th November.
He’s looking likely to be the next rapper to really break into the mainstream, and the assault continues with the first official single from Gambino’s upcoming Camp album.
A punchy, hard-hitting track, Gambino combines his speedy flow with a new-found aggression and intensity that makes for a very interesting departure from his usual ‘cooler’ material, blending extremely well with the energetic percussion and anthemic vocal sample. Combine this with his natural witty lyricism, and this is a track that’ll rattle many speakers for the next few weeks. Look for the official release on iTunes tomorrow.
Normally, I don’t go for these ‘personality hosted’ mixtapes as they just tend to be a mish-mash of readily-available tracks. However, the ever-entertaining Peter Rosenberg (one of the few prominent lovers of both hip-hop and wrestling!) has really pulled off something special here, with a 23-track project full of original material from the likes of Raekwon, Odd Future, Kendrick Lamar, Asher Roth, Childish Gambino and many more. There’s even a Macho Man Randy Savage interlude!
Needless to say, this looks like a must-have for all hip-hop fans, and alongside the glut of rap gargantuans, there are a couple of ‘middle-ground’ names on here I’ve been looking to get into, whilst I’m sure we’ll also be introduced to a few new and upcoming stars. To quote Peter, ‘With so much BS out there — sometimes it’s hard to find what’s really poppin. Well I did the work for you. Enjoy.’
Time for two big statements: firstly, this is the best All of The Lights version I’ve heard (excluding the original). Secondly, Childish Gambino is going to be a big, big deal. He’s a multi-talented fellow, and is more commonly known as actor Donald Glover, but here you’re going to be getting familiar with his rapping and singing ability as Childish Gambino. I’ve heard lots about this guy, and have been impressed with the one or two tracks I’ve caught, but this one is genuinely rather stunning.
The track opens by stripping out Kanye’s instrumental for a more acoustic style, which Gambino laces with a captivating set of vocals covering the AOTL hook. It’s followed up with versatile raps that adjust to the ever-changing beat with consumate ease and engaging lyricism. The production flits between AOTL samples, hip-hop percussion loops and the aforementioned acoustic style in a manner that works surprisingly well and really tests Gambino: he passes with flying colours. Do me a favour: don’t call him the new Drake, he’s clearly far too intelligent. Call him the first Childish Gambino.