Thursday, 6 January 2011

#7: Childish Gambino

Artist of the Day #7:
Childish Gambino

My first new act of this new year of ours going by the numer 2011 is going to be a comedian/actor/writer/hip-hop-hipster. Yeahhhhhhhhhh....

Hip-hop is a genre that has many many detractors who primarily focus on the mainstream mush of so-called 'Gangster-rap' which ignores the huge swathes of interesting, innovative and alternative rap music being produced nowadays. And I must mention that my new artist of today is not actually all that new. He is a comedian called Donald Glover who has found fame as part of Derrick Comedy (check them out all over Youtube), as a writer for 30 Rock (check it out if you get the chance) and as part of the cast of Community (CHECK IT OUT NOW BECAUSE YOUR SENSE OF HUMOUR DEPENDS ON IT). Aside from all of this, and much unappreciated, is his music career, having released three records for free on the internet, including his latest early in 2010, 'Culdesac'.

Donald uses the pseudonym Childish Gambino, keeping his comedic and musical stylings seperate to distinguish the distinct differences between his two immense talents. He uses his word weaving abilities to craft intelligent, geeky hip-hop that echoes Das Racist and the current wave of alternative hipster-hip-hop breaking through. His unique style of self-conscious boasting namedrops references from Tina Fey to Spider-Man.

Most of his work explores his inner thoughts as a young, gifted and black rising star, ranging from worrying explorations of his early years through to diatribes on his attraction to the beautiful women surrounding him thanks to his highly-earned success. Slow R&B-esque grooves take over on the likes of 'So Fly', with Childish sounding sweet and gentle as opposed to his charging masculinity on 'Put It In My Video'. Here he clearly states that every kind of female can come and appear in his video, using an amazing sample of The Stylistics (pushing my soul buttons) and blurting forth a wondrous line that accurately describes my every thought when in NY this summer in "Mixed girls from Williamsburg, that's my fucking Kryptonite".

Strangely, a sample of Adele forms the backbone for 'Do Ya Like', a sultry seduction song that oozes sex appeal and her soul voice works exquisitely over the stop-start style utilised by Childish on the aforementioned track (whether she knows it or not). There is a vulnerability in the music here yet somehow a sincere sense of bravado alongside the nervousness, with Childish Gambino managing to tread the line with flair, eloquence and a wisdom beyond his years.

Check out the music of Donald Glover (along with every damn thing else he does) before he goes skyhigh and becomes the new Kanye (quite possibly ego and all). Oh, and he also mixes the likes of Sufjan Stevens into oddly pitched dub and dance remixes. He couldn't really get any more awesome...

OH and his latest album 'Culdesac' is free to download HERE!

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