Eminem’s highly anticipated album, The Marshall Mathers LP 2, leaked to the internet yesterday to much fanfare, and some disappointment. The album is making the rounds, so if you really want to track it down you should be able to, …
If you would have told me that Troy from NBC's Community was putting out a rap record I would have said you were crazy, but I've been a fan of his music since before Community. I was first introduced to Donald Glover (aka Childish Gambino) after hearing the buzz around this movie called "Mystery Team". It had been making the festival rounds and was the talk of the town at one point. I eventually got around to checking it out and loved it, I was instantly a fan of Donald Glover, the actor, little did I know that I would become more of a fan of Donald Glover, the rapper, than I would the actor. It was actually Childish Gambino that turned me on to Community in the first place. "Culdesac" and the "EP", especially "Freaks & Geeks" are what initially introduced me to the world of iamdonald.com, Glover's personal website. "Freaks & Geeks" sucked me in and "Culdesac" made me a believer, this kid is talented. It's not all club pounding beats and mainstream raps, but it's creative and genius. The rhymes this kid spits are things most rappers couldn't even think of... "Vodka for my ladies, whiskey for a grown man; Hangin’ in the islands, lookin’ for Earl like Toejam; I made the beat retarded, so I’m callin’ it a slow jam; Butcher and I know it, man, kill beef, go ham", and that's just one line from the debut single "Bonfire". I mean, I'm listening to the "Camp" album right now as I'm typing this and just couldn't believe a line he just spit.
Most rappers rap about what they are familiar with, unless your name is Vanilla Ice, and Childish Gambino is no different. He didn't sell drugs, he was a writer for The Daily Show in 2005, then a writer on 30 Rock in 2008-2009, he's had his own comedy special on Comedy Central and he lead the charge as the internet rallied to try to make him the first black spiderman. Basically he's a smart, creative nerd and that's what he raps about, and damn is it creative. A friend and I were discussing "Bonfire" at the bar the other night and he couldn't decide whether he liked Donald Glover better as an actor or as a rapper, in my eyes he's hands down a better rapper, but that just speaks volumes to his raps as he's a great comedic actor as well. So if you're looking for something different, something with a little more heart and soul, something more creative than "my rims have 20's, by pockets got monies" then give Childish Gambino a chance. I would definitely recommend going all the way back to at least "Culdesac" and giving it a listen, then work your way up to "Camp".
So now that the Childish Gambino love fest is out of the way, after the jump we run through the tracks one by one. We'll give our opinions on each one individually and then quote our favorite line from the song. We don't go too in depth into the lyrics themselves because we're not here to try to figure out what he was thinking or what he means by certain things, so we mainly talk about the beats and the overall feel of the songs. You can stream the album yourself right now over at NPR.com, let us know what you think in the comments.