Bro Rape Guy, Troy Barnes, Childish Gambino... Donald Glover has compiled an impressive list of aliases in a short period of time. He has broken out online through his comedy group Derrick Comedy with sketches like Bro Rape: A Newsline Investigative Report; he has broken out on television with notable writing credits for shows like 30 Rock and The Daily Show, and has a lead role in NBC's Community; and now Donald is on the cusp of breaking out through his music under his rap moniker, Childish Gambino.
It's been nearly three years since Childish Gambino released his first album under the name, titled Sick Boi. At the time his raps came across as gimmicky and without any true depth. Fast forward to today, and his latest EP (appropriately titled: EP) kicks off with a chorus that proclaims "I don't wanna be alone", and an opening verse that states "Hard for a pitchfork, soft for a Rockefeller/ Music was my side chick, but now we're moving in together/ Always felt misunderstood, I guess I have to tolerate/ My swag Jehovah Witness, dude, it never take a holliday". This openness is a sharp and honest departure from the shallow depths he waded in before.
EP has five tracks that dip right into the core of Gambino, with topics ranging from his relationships with women, to his own confident swagger, to a variety of other topics. Throughout the album you can feel a Lil Wayne influence through Gambino's cadence, flow, and a hint of a "wheeze". Childish Gambino sometimes refers to himself as "Cheezy", a play on Lil Wayne's "Weezy" alias. The similarities don't stop there, as Childish Gambino, like Lil Wayne, utilizes punchline rap as a means for getting his message across. Punchline rap can come across as extremely corny, but Gambino mostly makes it work throughout the EP showing creativity in his writing. Lines like "Do this and I just might wife you/ Let me poke you mom, write-chyou" show a knack for wordplay ("let me 'pokemon', 'Raichu'").
While past releases left a bit to be desired, the solid all-around production and lyrical contributions from Donald make Childish Gambino's EP an overall winner.
Childish Gambino "Freaks and Geeks"
You can visit Donald Glover's website, iamdonald.com, to learn more about his tv work, his music, and his clothing project, among many other things. Donald will be jumpstarting his comedy/music tour "IAMDONALD: DONALD GLOVER + CHILDISH GAMBINO" on April 16 in Ames, Iowa, with multiple stops on the West Coast along the way. Tickets and info here.
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