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.