Childish Gambino has kind of smashed his way into ‘The Hype Machine’ recently with his excellent ‘Freaks & Geeks’. He’s also a multi-talented comedian, writer, singer and now rapper. We’re impressed.
So a quick blurb:
Childish Gambino is an American writer, comedian, actor and musician who’s real name is in fact Donald Glover. He writes and records an amalgamation of hip hop and indie that is really catching peoples imaginations at the moment. He’s on the TV show ‘Community’ in the USA and is a rising star on the stand up comedy circuit. Oh and he DJ’s under the pseudonym ‘DJ MC’. You don’t need me to tell you he’s clearly a multi faceted character.
Down to his music though. His penchant for writing is pretty obvious in his rapping, which by the way is great, lines bounce around full of last quarter references. Black & Yellow, Black Swan, Minority Report, he just keeps going! His delivery is pretty interesting, it’s got a sense of urgency that’s cool to hear, his awareness of some of the generic machismo he’s littered through his song is also very refreshing. He’s playing the game, if that’s what sells, it’s pretty smart to stick to it for your single, there’s a whole lot more of interest though it would seem for Mr Glover to go into with some later work though.
Freaks & Geeks is his first video as CG and it’s pretty good, check it out above, though the scene never changes Childish Gambino’s ability to act is pretty well utilised and he carries the video on his own, I watched it all the way through without making a new tab and just listening… That counts for something.
Gambino first came to my attention at the back end of Jan, once again thanks go to The Hype Machine for this introduction. It was his remix, of Jamie xx’s remix of Adele’s Rolling In The Deep (like some sort of remixing chain reaction) that was causing a real stir. You start with a great track from Adele, then add Jamie xx’s minimalist production coupled with his penchant for steel pans and you’ve got something special… Top that all of with a flowing hard-hitting verse from Gambino and you’ve got something magical! Once again the verse is littered with tight pop culture references, my favourite on this occasion being “Fuck Macaulay Culkin, never goin’ home alone”. That’s ignoring some great lines though, be it those alluding to Michael Cera or to Cortisone!
I don’t think Gambino would necessarily have been on many MC’s To Watch lists at the turn of the year. Man has that changed now, when you rap as destructively and intuitively as he does then it doesn’t matter that you seem to have more personalities than a paranoid schizophrenic!
Here’s the Rolling In The Deep remix: