Despite his popularity, Childish Gambino is still one of the most underrated artists in the music business. Exhibit A: Because the Internet
An Atlanta native, Childish Gambino has grown slowly in popularity. If you don’t listen to rap, you probably have never heard his name before in your life. I’ve heard his works being referred to as “urban poetry,” which is really interesting because that’s what it is. He doesn’t just yell into a microphone (doesn’t really yell at all) and doesn’t sound like a drag queen on the point of blacking out.
If you haven’t heard of Childish Gambino, you may have heard of Donald Glover from the TV show Community (hint hint: they’re the same person!). Childish Gambino is Glover’s alter rap ego, and when he released Because the Internet in 2013, the album truly embodied a character/identity. Along with the new album, Glover released a screenplay with it so that a story could be followed along with the music. He’s still making new music videos for his songs, which is incredible. This is one of the only artists who will take long lengths of time to focus on making a truly good album rather than cranking songs out as fast as possible so the public doesn’t get bored.
Sure the public doesn’t want to get bored. But we don’t want to hear crap music. I haven’t heard good, new music in a really long time. Thanks, Justin Bieber – we don’t know “what you mean,” but we’re pretty sure we understand that you’re “sorry.” Congrats.
Glover uses Because the Internet to reflect on his wild experiences as both celebrity and common man (mostly celebrity). Whether he’s poppin’ pills at Coachella or sprawling out on the couch in desperation for a cuddle buddy, Childish Gambino covers all the bases with a unique, edgy voice. All of this are mixed into a little bit of indie pop and indie rap into a hard R&B beat that is impossible to not swing to. When he was younger, he was actually one of the best jazz saxophone musicians in the nation, and if you listen closely to some of his songs, he incorporates some rhythm and technique from this style of music as well.
As a matter of fact, Because the Internet is a direct continuation of his first album, Camp. In the first album, Childish Gambino talks about an experience of a boy who was rejected by a girl at camp and was mocked for it. A few years ago, I attended the same camp that Glover refers to (since he went to this camp as well) and where the “boy” is described to have fallen in love. The cool thing about Because the Internet is that it shows a lot of growth from Childish Gambino as “the boy” to something much more than that into his wild, new celebrity lifestyle.
He even points out that life is just a huge fucking troll in his accompanying screenplay. With simple clothing and style of his appearance, Childish Gambino has become well-liked. Go ahead and listen to more of it! The greatest thing about Artist of the Month is that I can choose the artist, usually one who has released something new recently. Then again, I still get to choose the artist, and it’s worth beginning to raise the praise for the man who started a truly unique form of music.