A Breakdown of Childish Gambino’s Discography

2016 has been a huge year for my boy Donald Glover, more famously known as Childish Gambino. From getting a lead in the upcoming Star Wars movie to releasing a new album, he definitely left his mark. But before Awaken, My Love!, who was this guy? Is he even a rapper? 

Each of Childish's albums possesses a distinct vibe, which is what I want to focus on in this breakdown. Of his three previously released albums, I will be analyzing the top songs, best lyrics, and the overall feeling of Glover. 

CAMP (2011) 
Ah, Camp. As Gambino’s first true album, it is the most rap-heavy. He dives straight into his experience in the black community. This influence can be seen in songs such as “Outside” and “That Power”. The former is one of my favorite tracks on the album because of how real the lyrics are: 
“But when you leave the hood they think that you look down on ‘em, the truth is we still struggle on a different plane, 7 dollars an hour, WIC vouchers, it’s all the same”

One of his most remixed songs, "Heartbeat", appears on this album as well. I can see why; the beat is addicting and the comedic lyrics are, at times, delivered in a sing-songy manner:
“So I’m chilling with my girlfriend, but she not my real girlfriend, she got a key to my place but, she not my real girlfriend”
 And nobody can forget about the anecdote at the end of the album in which he recalls an experience on the bus ride home from summer camp. Compared to the other songs, Glover’s voice is so calm while telling this short story that I fell asleep to it once. 

The execution of this record is so smooth and catchy that you'll often catch yourself mouthing the words.  

Alright, hands down his best work. The iconic pink and orange album cover goes well with the overall theme of the tracks. Scattered with 5-second “songs”, Glover tells a story by carefully placing his songs in a certain order. Some of the best, besides the famous “IV. Sweatpants” and “3005”, are: “II. Worldstar”, “II. Shadows”, “III. Urn”, and “III. Life: The Biggest Troll”. 

Before I start revealing the beauty of this album, I just wanted to point out that the temptation of putting all the tracks under the best was REAL. Anyways, “II. Worldstar”. If you liked how Camp played out, then there is a 99% chance you will love this as well; like a lot of his songs, it has a humorous aspect combined with a powerful message at the end. Similar to “II. Shadows”, it ends in an instrumental solo, which overall gives it a great feel. I included “II. Shadows” on this list because of one part that never leaves my head (and I mean that in a good way):
Tuesday afternoon, I ain’t got sh*t to do, but fall in love with you”
But that is only one reason why this track is dear to my heart. Give it a listen and you’ll see exactly what I mean. 

“III. Urn” is purely Donald singing his heart out, producing a smooth R&B track that is both addicting and mesmerizing. My favorite song of his is the last track. I often feel as though this one is overlooked and I’m not sure why. It begins with a sound that will surely give you nostalgia and proceeds with Glover doing his thing, getting better by the second. It’s an amazing track because it truly is a journey into his world. 

KAUAI (2014)
I’ll be talking about the EP version of Kauai, which includes seven tracks. Right off the bat, I want to say that must listens are: “Sober”, “Retro [ROUGH]”, and “The Palisades”. All of the songs are top-notch. This album is the musical equivalent to the word "tropical". 
“Sober” is the kind of song that has a happy beat yet will make you feel sad for some reason. “Retro [ROUGH]” and “The Palisades” contrast with the first song mentioned due to the fact that Gambino actually raps in these. Both are extremely catchy and the execution of the lyrics is so, so good. In “Retro [ROUGH]”, Glover raps: 
“How we walk in the room, and the girls they notice, ‘cus they know you bogus, I’m the man you noticed, and..” 
If you listen to this song, he proceeds to sing in his lovely voice right after this part and to me, it is ART. Same for “The Palisades”; it creates a good time from a great beat and lyrics that accompany it well.

Kauai is drastically different from Camp, but they all have their own thing going on. Featuring Jaden Smith and more, this EP is a must listen. 

By Daisy Acosta

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