Gambino is a mastermind, fuck a bitch to pass the time
Mass appeal, orange rinds, smoke your green, I’m spendin’ mine
The beat is witches’ brew, but beware this hit is potent
e.e. cummin’ on her face, now this poetry is motion” – Freaks and Geeks
Needless to say this isn’t music for the easily offended. And it’s not normally my cup of tea either, but Childish Gambino has something I want. He’s got fire.
Donald Glover, A.K.A Childish Gambino
No, i’m not a pyromaniac, I just have a thing for sparks. Don’t ask me to point them out for you, I can’t see them. But if you ask me to feel them for you? Well, you’ll have a hard time getting me to shut up.
I’ll be the first to admit “EP” is by no means a masterpiece. It carries many of hip-hop’s less appealing staples (excessive cursing, misogynistic language etc.) and some of the lyrics really are cringe-worthy. But I guess you have to take the good with the bad. Certain parts of the mixtape piss me off and pleasure me in equal measure.
“I don’t fuck with fake bitches except for when I fuck with fake bitches
Canon 5D to take pictures of these girls who wouldn’t talk to me a year ago
49er chick askin’ for money, she get zero, though
Here I go again talkin’ money, women, and clothes, and cars, right?
You could switch all of my words out with Plies’, right?
People sayin’ we’re the same, please, come from under me
We are just some rappers, got no luxury of subtlety
No subjects when we’re rappin’, we say it like we hear it
I put it on a track but I hope you get the spirit ‘cause
I don’t wanna be alone” – Be Alone
Yet there are other occasions when I can ignore the non-conformist lyricism and whole-heartedly agree with what Glover has to say.
“The ride is easy when the dollar’s there to grease the wheels” – Be Alone”
“Like when these niggas call me “faggot” and “we homies now”
But we are not homies, I just keep you around ‘
Cause all your talkin’ is the noise I need to kill this sound
Have all these voices tellin’ me no one can help me out
We are alone I’m just the only one to figure out” – Be Alone
So whilst I find myself simultaneously loving and loathing the lyrics, the backing tracks and arrangements are right up my alley. The production makes me think of a paired down Kanye West. All of the tracks make great use of momentum and pacing.
There’s something about this EP that I can’t quite put my finger on. The lyrics are great in places but shoddy in others, the music is smooth and suits its purpose, yet the whole thing seems so much more grandiose. The only conclusion I can draw is that Glover himself is responsible.
“EP” can be downloaded from here for free. I recommend it to those of you who don’t mind explicit language and guilty pleasures.
About Childish Gambino
Childish Gambino is a musical side-project of Donald Glover. Glover is an American actor, writer and comedian.