A Beginner’s Guide to Childish Gambino

On Tuesday, this guy came out with a new album:
cg because the internet
Yes, this is the actual cover for Childish Gambino’s new record. I bought the actual CD, and not only are his eyes staring directly into my soul, but it’s a HOLOGRAM. Well worth my $10.

BTW, if you don’t know who this is, this is rapper/singer/artist/actor/writer/producer/all around G of all trades, Donald Glover. Most people know him as Troy Barnes on Community (#SixSeasonsAndAMovie), which is how I originally became of fan of him. I caught on to his alter ego’s music circa 2010, when he came out with Culdesac, and his impressive skills and frequent pop culture refs have made me been hooked ever since. Not to mention, he puts on an amazing live show, and I’ve seen him every time he’s played in LA – including the one time I didn’t realize I got pit tickets and was really close to him and watched his Community pals watch him from the sidelines.

IMG_1635

When I almost died after he took his shirt off and we were thisclose from him. If you look closely, you can see Alison Brie in the back!

Now here we are with his new album, a record that shouldn’t even be called a record because it’s so much more than that. In addition to the music, he’s released a 72-page screenplay on the becausetheinter.net website. The music on the album acts as a soundtrack to the scenes (or vice versa). Not only that, but a few months ago, he released a 24 minute movie that supposedly acts as the prelude to the because the internet screenplay/album. In fact, a fan has a theory that over the past year, CG has been incorporating the elements from BTI in his tweets, insta, interviews, etc. You can read more of the theory here, it’s insane.

But before you delve into the new joint, especially if you’re new to the game, it’s important to know where CG came from and how he’s grown as an artist (because clearly, there’s a rhyme and reason to everything he does). So I’ve compiled a few of my favorite tracks of his to get you started.

Sunshine {Pointdexter}

This is off one of CG’s earliest mix tapes and he sounds completely different than he does today, but this track proves that he was just more than an actor.

Do Ya Like {Culdesac}

Pre-Rolling in the Deep, Adele had minor hits off her album 19, and on that same record there’s a song called Melt My Heart to Stone. And CG managed to sample that song on this track. And it’s fucking catchy as hell.

Put it in My Video {Culdesac}

From the very start as the first note drops, you know what’s up. You can not only put it in his video but have a sick dance party (by yourself) or with friends, too.

I Got This Money {Culdesac}

The version below is the acoustic version, which I actually like better than the original, but you might like that one better. S/o to the guitar player, whose name is Ludwig Goransson who is CG’s main music man, not to mention he’s the music supervisor on a ton of TV shows, including Community.

Be Alone – Freaks and Geeks – My Shine – Lights Turned On – Not Going Back {EP}

THE ENTIRE EP RECORD BECAUSE IT IS PERFECT. Really. Every single song.

Bonfire {Camp}

What better way to lead off an album called Camp with a song called Bonfire? From the first note, you get a sense of what the record is, which is … on fire.

Fire Fly {Camp}

Just imagine bumpin’ this song in the summer, ridin’ in your drop top, passin’ by kids playing in fire hydrants… basically imagine if you lived in Do The Right Thing for about 3 minutes and that’s what this song feels like.

Heartbeat {Camp}

From the moment I heard this song, I knew it would be one of my all time favorites. It’s been two years since this album released and I STILL don’t get sick of this song. Hearing it live is even more of an experience – it gets inside your soul (Seriously, see this man live. It will change your life).

LES {Camp}

This song elicits a specific dance move out of me that may or may not look a little like this, and I don’t know why but it does and I’m fine with it.

We Ain’t Them {R O Y A L T Y}

This was the lead single of CG’s 2012 mix tape, and probably my fave of the bunch. That’s all I have to say about that.

Unnecessary {R O Y A L T Y}

CG goes hard. And serves up realness.

Won’t Stop (ft. Danielle Haim)  {R O Y A L T Y}

Danielle Haim of HAIM, you guys. This song is really deep and I appreciate that.

Real Estate  {R O Y A L T Y}

This is a song featuring Tina Fey rapping. Yes, that Tina Fey (PS: If you didn’t know, Donald used to write for 30 Rock – an even won an Emmy for it – so there’s your Queen Tina connection).

IV. Sweatpants {because the internet}

Because I’m old school and actually buy CDs of artists that I love instead of streaming it online days before it’s released, I’ve only listened to the album a couple of times all the way through. That being said, this song stuck out right away. He’s only getting better, folks.

Bonus Tracks:

Break (AOTL)

Because Kanye West’s All of the Lights was so damn good it needed to be incorporated into a CG song.

The Longest Text Message

The phrase “sad face emoticon” are real lyrics to this song, hence Gambino’s mastermind status.

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5 thoughts on “A Beginner’s Guide to Childish Gambino

  1. Pingback: Saturday Spotlight: We Just Did All Your Christmas Shopping | cookies + sangria

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