Monday, November 14, 2011
Album Review: Childish Gambino- Camp
Donald Glover is a funny muthafucka cuh. His comedic work has always entertained me, and he is an excellent writer. I think it was a year and a half ago I first found out this guy was a rapper too, and I was a little skeptical about it. Once I found out his rap alias, Childish Gambino, I decided to dive into his music, listening to his free EP and his mixtape Culdesac. Many people will say that he is a melting pot of different styles, as many people hear a fusion of Lil Wayne, Drake, and some Kanye in his rhymes. He has discredited for his music time and time again. Freaks and Geeks was laughable to so many people. All I ever hear (mostly) about Gambino is "who? You mean that guy on Community?" or "This kid is not an actual rapper." Gambino, the man and the rapper, can care less what we think tho, as his music (while egotistical at times) is very therapeutic, and he has shown us the real him through his music numerous times.
Enter Camp, his latest work that has a lot of people buzzin. So much so, that people asked me to review it and decide if its whurlin. I listened to Camp when it initially leaked, right around the time Take Care did as well. I liked Camp in the beginning, and I still do. One of the things I like about Gambino is, despite what detractors says, he knows who he is. His music serves as a window to who he is as a rapper, a successful comedian, a child, a friend, and just overall as a man, and I respect the hell out of that. He's a walking contradiction. He's egotistical, yet surprisingly humble. He struggles with the stereotype of what it means to be black, yet he brags and boost about materialistic things like black rappers have been known to do. He is searching for love while also fuckin two Asians he just met. Its a lot to handle as a listener trying to follow the world and doings of Donald Glover. But it is a trip I think that is worth wild.
Songs like Letter Home and Heartbeat, however milky they may sound, so Gambino's genuine conscious side to life and women, and his other introspective songs like Outside really drive home Gambino's woes with how he feels like an outsider by his own race at times, and an outsider by his own family.
Although he does try his hand at some light singing (enter Drake comparisons) Gambino does have lyrical barrages on this project. He really has a great amount of one liners, much like Wayne does......but Gambino's is a lot more impressive. Songs like Backpackers, where Gambino is just shittin on his haters with impressive wordplay and wit, You See Me, Sunrise, just great rhyming in my opinion. Gambino has improved with his rhyming enough in my mind to NOW make him a credible emcee in hip hop.
The production and just flow of the album is probably the best part of Camp. The story goes...Glover got the composer for The Community to come in and assist in the album's production and mixing, and I must say...like, love, or hate Gambino....the production is phenomenal. The beats cater to Gambino's style so well, all the songs flow well...might be the most cohesive work I've heard all year. Gambino's mind and thoughts and lyrics may be all over the place, but these beats and just overall mixing keep everything grounded and together. I really have to applaud it.
Camp is definitely whurlin cuh. Its a shame that with all these great projects that have come out this year, this month especially, Camp will be overlooked, not cause of the quality of music, but because of who is making it. Gambino's biggest hurdle with his music, is Donald Glover. I have learned to separate the two, but many people won't and he may end up always being that funny black guy that just so happens to rap. He may never be taken seriously because of it. Drake was able to escape that stigma, but mostly because he stopped acting anyway. Theoreticall, if Glover keeps delivering great music like Camp, he will be accepted as a good rapper. But it seems as if he has to make his rap gig a full time job, and not be a jack of all trades. But thats what makes him...him imo. Gambino has always traveled through different realms, with his music and his life in general. I hope he improves with his music, but I hope he never changes.
btw, this outro is on some movie shit...
Camp really is whurlin tho b...