Childish Gambino’s highly anticipated album Awaken, My Love! is almost here. He’s dropped two interesting singles “Me and Your Mama” and “Redbone”. Both songs are completely different from what fans are used to hearing from Childish. The sly sixteens seem to have been traded in for psychedelic instrumentals and soulful vocals. In celebration of this new project, lets check out some of the things you might have missed during Donald Glover’s rise to stardom.
‘bino had a pair of albums as well as mixtapes before his breakout album “Camp” in 2011. The album took a different route from his usual sound, talking about more personal topics like bullying, alcoholism, and even suicide. The breakout single was “Bonfire” still goes hard today. “Backpackers” was always one of my personal favorites. Raw beats and rough lyrics are when I think that Childish is at his best. Check 0ut Camp here.
Next came one of the greatest mixtapes of all time. “ROYALTY” is some of his best work to date, and the features on the record are absolutely ridiculous. It’s hard to top Schoolboy Q, Ab-Soul, Beck, Chance the Rapper, Danny Brown, and he even had Blake Griffin on the intro. If you haven’t heard this mixtape, you’re missing out. Do yourself a favor and listen to it on SoundCloud here. My favorites on the tape are Black Faces, Unnecessary, Shoulda Known, Silk Pillow, and Won’t Stop. But hey, you might as well just listen to the whole thing.
There was no stopping with Because the Internet dropping the next year. The album brought Gambino into the mainstream rap world thanks to the help of “3005” which got him a nomination for Best Rap Performance. Sweatpants, Telegraph Ave., Worldstar, and Pink Toes were all major hits. In my opinion, “Zealots of Stockholm” is another underrated song with more raw vocals, but changing pace multiple times showing a darker side of Gambino’s music. If you’ve been living under a rock, be sure to check out the whole album.
Staying true to the mixtape world, fans were gifted the STN MTN mixtape which was followed by Kauai, an album, the next day. The two projects follow the same “story line” that was left hanging in Because the Internet. The projects weren’t necessarily a huge success, but still had some solid tracks like All Y’all, Go DJ, and his hit Sober. This was the last we really heard from Gambino and were glad to have him back in the hip-hop world.
Awaken, My Love! isn’t going to be like anything we’ve heard before from Donald, but try to keep an open mind. He knows what he’s doing. “They want the old ‘bino so they try to rewind, the new ‘bino too ahead of his time”.