Review: Childish Gambino

Donald Glover currently holds the coolest career on the face of the planet. Writer, actor, comedian and now musician, at 28, he’s accomplished a lot in a short amount of time. Known for his current role on NBC’s hit comedy series “Community” as the community college student, Troy Barnes, Glover now has something semi-new to showcase — his alter-ego, Childish Gambino.

After releasing two albums, a mixtape and an EP, all for free download, Glover finally releases his first commercial LP Camp under Glassnote Records. Unfortunately, it’s not the greatest thing to marvel at, but it is funny, if you’re into that.

He’s constantly using his wit to his advantage, and sometimes it gets annoying, but with a few Casey Anthony, Human Centipede and Tommy Hilly references, you can’t go wrong.
When Glover isn’t trying to be funny, he’s pompously accrediting himself, which may or may not be sarcastic, but with lines like, “‘Man, Why does every black actor gotta rap some?’/ I don’t know, all I know is I’m the best one,” it can get old. The sad thing is, that was the only self-absorbed line I could find to print. All the other ones contain expletives. So that, in itself, says something about Camp; do not let your mom hear, even if she is tone deaf.

Speaking of tone-deafness, how many rappers can sing? Not too many. Kanye West? Maybe. But his vocal ability is mediocre at best, and that’s being generous. Glover, on the other hand, can sing. Although he’s no Frank Ocean, he can definitely hold a tune. Unfortunately, those tunes are corny.

“Hearbeat,” for example, has an almost monotonous, catchy hook that repeats “I want you to know that I’m ready to go / Heartbeat, a heartbeat.” OK. That, my friend, is cheesy. Really cheesy. But then again, Glover once warned, “I’m so Cheesy, yo / My swag’s got high cholesterol.” Touche.

Childish Gambino’s Camp is, more or less, a cliche, allegorical attempt at a profound hip-hop album. I say profound because it’s as if Glover wants his listeners to sympathize with, as well as relate to, his race-confused past, along with his pursuit to be accepted into the rap game. But then again, maybe it’s all a trick. For all we know, Glover might be yanking our chain, and this whole album is just another act to his comedy routine. Hmm. Wouldn’t that be childish?