I’m one of the few white, lyric-loving hip-hop and Community fans that doesn’t love Childish Gambino. I respect the dude for all of his accomplishments and I’ve snickered at a few of his one-liners, but I’ve never put one of his albums or mixtapes on heavy rotation.
Perhaps it’s just because I’m missing this year’s Coachella festival and I don’t care for watching full live streams of certain sets from a distance (I’ve heard Radiohead put on a great set, but the streams just don’t even get close to the actual festival experience), but this clip of Childish Gambino’s performance captured my interest.
I was first introduced to Speak! in the wake of the Odd Future hype frenzy that took place earlier this year, and I immediately followed his continual internet updates. Like his compadres in the now world-renowned LA hip-hop collective, Speak makes unapologetic, dark, humorous, angry, vulgar, drugged-out and rebellious hip-hop. He hangs with the up-and-coming rappers that create similar sounding music— Speak was the ghost-writer for Kreayshawn’s infectious viral hit “Gucci Gucci,” and all songs on his latest album were recorded, mixed, and mastered by Odd Future’s Syd Tha Kid. He’s also a part-Mexican, part-Jewish rapper that dresses in thrift-store garb and displays an impressive beard. His hilarious twitter account consists of WWE references, boasts about sleeping with American Apparel models, drug-related anecdotes, and angry rants about popular hip-hop. He calls himself the “34th best rapper alive” as well as “The Craigslist Killer” and “Art Goon.” In short, almost everything about the persona Speak has created (either intentionally or unintentionally) is captivating and intriguing. It’s easy to become a fan of the rapper without ever hearing his music.
Donald Glover is probably having a mixed week. Saturday, he played a show that people who are Donald Glover would have to consider a major success. The show was good, and I’ll get to that in a moment. The rapper/comedian/actor sold out the Nokia Theater at LA Live, while doing only the first of those three things under his Childish Gambino moniker. Tuesday marks the release of Camp, his first full-length album, the future of which looks promising given the small-sample response that was this show. Today, though, NBC announced that the third season of Glover’s show, Community, would be shelved indefinitely at midseason. NBC has promised all 22 episodes of the show’s third season will be filmed and air at some point, but still, this is not great news for the critically acclaimed and audiencely unwatched series. I can’t say I feel bad for Glover in particular – dude figures to be OK – but that has to put something of a damper on an otherwise celebratory occasion. Anyway, Saturday’s show.
So many artists fancily dance around the topic of death, but Carey Mercer bluntly addresses it with the title of his latest album. Blackout Beach is the side-project of the member of alt-rock band Frog Eyes.
Childish Gambino— Camp
Camp is the highly anticipated forthcoming studio album from the half-comic half-rapper. Although Childish Gambino rose to fame as actor Donald Glover via a role on Community, he’s proved his serious lyrical talent on his hip-hop releases.
Exactly one week from now, the country’s best hip-hop festival will begin in San Bernardino, CA. The lineup includes Ms. Lauryn Hill (pictured above from a previous festival), Nas, Erykah Badu as headliners as well as many prominent hip-hop acts and several members of the Wu-Tang Clan. There’s actually no performer on the list that wouldn’t be worth seeing at the festival. However, here are some sets that you just shouldn’t miss if you’ll be in San Bernardino next Saturday.