THE VINYL WORD: CHILDISH GAMBINO ‘CAMP’!

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So the joke goes like this: Actor/comedian Donald Glover (you know, Troy Barnes from Community) got it in his head one day that he wanted to be a rapper. Cue a boatload of EPs, mixtapes, and random song drops, and now Glover (going by the nom de rhyme Childish Gambino) has dropped his debut album, Camp, on Glassnote Records, the home to big-name acts Mumford & Sons, Phoenix, and The Temper Trap. Here’s the punchline, though: The joke’s actually on us. Gambino can really rap. Scratch that; he can really, reallyrap, plus sing and emote and put on a show better than 90% of his hip-hop counterparts. What’s funny isn’t that some dude who used to work with Tina Fey has big-time rap dreams; it’s that they’re about to come true.

While fellow rapper Drake might work the hardest to fill his songs with earnest emotional displays, Gambino’s heartfelt declarations flow the easiest. And while they may not always be the most complicated or compelling, there’s no denying how readily Gambino lets people in. One of the more well-constructed confessions is the album opener “Outside”, where Gambino muses on the loss of his cousin to the streets (“She don’t want me in a lifestyle like my cousin/And he mad cause his father ain’t around/He lookin’ at me now, like ‘Why you so fuckin lucky?/I had a father too/But he ain’t around so I’mma take it out on you’/We used to say ‘I love you’/Now we only think that shit/It feels weird that you’re the person I took sink baths with/Street took you over/I want my cousin back”). And it’s in that low-key moment that Gambino sums up his whole aesthetic: young, angry, and full of regrets in the face of this unending wealth of swagger and a blazingly bright future.Consequence Of Sound

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