Something strange happened this week. I became a subtle fan of Childish Gambino. But I reaallllllyyy wanted to hate him. Why? I’m not sure. Is it because his name is courtesy of Wu-Tang’s name generator? Is it because he’s was a writer for 30 Rock before he was a rapper? I’m not sure my apprehension. Maybe I question his authenticity. But with rappers proving you don’t have to be directly of the streets to represent hip-hop (Chance the Rapper, Macklemore, J. Cole), it’s time to broaden my horizons. So I present to you, my love story.
Childish Gambino (real name Donald Glover, no relationship to Danny Glover) has been on a mini promo tour stopping at The Breakfast Club & Sway in the Morning in addition to dropping two new songs this week. He has a strong indie fan base that ensure he sells out shows in NYC every time he graces a stage. He’s released a number of mixtapes and albums himself then he signed a label deal. But I still wanted to hate him. Childish Gambino is as much a comic as he is a rapper. Dave Chappelle once proclaimed that all rappers want to be comedians and all comedians want to be a rapper. And Danny Glover is both. So I still wanted to hate him. Chance the Rapper included him on one of my favorite tracks from Acid Rap, “Favorite Song.” Then Childish Gambino appeared on Jhene Aiko‘s single “Bed Peace.” I still wanted to hate him.
Outside of my slight obsession with Jhene, I wasn’t the biggest fan of his inclusion on this song. So I still wasn’t feeling him. Then this week happened. Childish Gambino dropped “3005” and I was intrigued. He stopped by The Breakfast Club and provided a view into his personality. I developed a slight cyber crush. Then he dropped another track, “Worldstar” and performed a REAL freestyle to “Pound Cake” on Sway in the Morning. Listen to each of these below and decide if you still hate him.
He’s introspective and clever. Funny, yet not a joke. He knows how to capture your interest, but it’s not a gimmick. And it helps his “Pound Cake” freestyle was one of the best ones I’ve heard. There’s something about this guy that makes me want to hear more. I’m definitely going back to listen to his previous work. And his second studio album, Because the Internet, drops December 10, 2013. Kudos to you Childish Gambino, I don’t hate you anymore.
I really like this song. The honesty of it. The California-ness of it. I liked it without Childish Gambino though. Jhene Aiko‘s debut album, Souled Out, is supposed to be dropping later this year.