Bitch, Look at Me Now (Two Weeks)
By: Childish Gambino
Imma trying to make my street-cred stack up. I mean I’m rapping over Grizzly Bear, what the fuck?
Lyrically, Childish Gambino (Community’s Donald Glover) is a triumph. As a master wordsmith, Glover requires your attention. He’s like an 8-letter word play on a triple word score in both directions. While it’s easy to pick up on his confidence as a comedian, rapper, and entertainer he emotes with a certain depth and vulnerability most rappers wouldn’t dare to explore. But that’s because he’s more than a typical rapper, which actually seems to pin him to a very specific audience. His style might not translate well for everyone, but anyone not ashamed to admit they consume television, sports, music, movies and the endless stream of web content and Internet memes will easily get his references, similes and metaphors.
Brimming with intelligence, this Gambino has a firm grasp on who he is as far as media goes. Relating “it seems we’re all friends here, only I don’t know you like you were me last year” Glover is very aware of his recent rise in popularity due to his role as Troy on Community (Thursday nights on NBC). But despite his bragging rights (and skilled performance thereof) he’s also very humble. He gives you tracks to shake your ass to coupled with honesty about his insecurities, former loves, and fears, but mostly you have to listen to what he’s saying. Layered in meaning and void of irony, Glover delivers in a way that only a skilled writer with real life experience could.
As far as his live shows go, they’re a combination of stand-up comedy and music. Apparently, the kind of music that kills butterflies. A full band backs him on stage, creating versions of the songs that are similar to what you can hear on his albums but very different in delivery paired with funny videos and live skits.
While for some, Childish Gambino (Glover’s musical alter-ego) isn’t for everyone, everyone should at the very least give it a listen. For free dot com, you can’t beat the price and what you get is far more than what a lot of artists are even able to sell.
If you want to get into this stuff head over to www.iamdonald.com where you can download his music for free. Start with his most recent and accessible EP (here) featuring the track Freaks and Geeks and growing fan-favorite Be Alone and work your way back through Culdesac to the first albums Poindexter and Sick Boi, both of which have been floating around on the Internet since about 2004. Yeah, he’s been doing this a while, you just weren’t listening.
Support the artist, go to a live show.