Thursday, November 17, 2011

Childish Gambino – Camp (2011) – Review

Childish Gambino – Camp
Childish Gambino is the hip hop alter ego of comedy writer and actor Donald Glover (Troy in the fantastic show Community). He previously released three albums for free online, building buzz touring and honing his skills (which became noticeable and started turning heads with Culdesac). Early in 2011, he release an EP (titled EP) featuring the single Freaks and Geeks. The song and EP are brilliant – making Childish Gambino one of the most hyped up-and-comers in the industry and his first commercial release, Camp, a highly anticipated album. The album does not disappoint. Glover’s lyrics are the standout aspect. They are funny, raw, emotional, and personal. Listeners can connect with Glover because he authentically opens himself up. He is funny and boastful yet has a real message that is meaningful and poignant at times, and in this way along with not shying away from his emotions he reminds me of Kanye West (plus his production seems to be influenced by West as well, songs like Fire Fly). But his rawness and almost viscously angry flow at times also reminds me of another great new artist Tyler, The Creator (songs like Bonfire and Backpackers). While the album is probably not musically commercial enough to propel Glover to the top of the game, he is certainly a creative force for the underground (or semi-underground). Production wise, Glover and his production partner Ludwig Goransson have created an album with very interesting and diverse beats, yet maintaining a cohesive sound. The album flows well and works as a story with each track the next chapter. There are no weak moments (something very rare, especially with hip hop it seems). This is a must for fans that like alternative hip hop. 5/5

Editor’s Essential Songs:
1)      Bonfire – Produced by Donald Glover and Ludwig Goransson
2)      Outside – Produced by Donald Glover and Ludwig Goransson
3)      Heartbeat – Produced by Donald Glover and Ludwig Goransson

Available on CD and Digital Download

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