For Fans Of
In the time since his debut full length ‘Camp,’ Childish Gambino (Donald Glover) has made some moves to try and destroy the fun-loving, happy-dumb, image that the character Troy from Community has created for himself. Becoming a recluse, scrolling his depression on hotel napkins and showing the world, releasing weird Gus Van Sant-like films, and of course, leaving the show that brought him fame to focus on his music career.
All the signs point to something that will be, for lack of a better description, more "artistic" on the new record ‘Because The Internet.’ The song titles and structure suggest Gambino is in his own world that listeners will have to try to understand. The album title suggests an embrace and exploration of the thing that essentially created Childish Gambino in the first place.
Gambino has taken the "Kanye West" approach to his production. Sporadic song changes, no real set structures, the new-age hip-hop which is more like musical bursts rather than beats and rhymes. There is just as much singing as rapping, such as ‘I. Flight of the Navigator’, which takes some serious cues from Frank Ocean with its soft croon and nonsensical imaginative lyrics.
Glover is still on the ball with his raps, especially in the previously leaked ‘Sweatpants’, referencing various internet themed pop culture points where possible, however it seems like the idea of an album spawned from, and based on, the internet language could have pushed these themes a little further. Instead, we delve deep into Gambino‘s dark mind, get kicked out of his house parties on ‘I. The Party’ and live like it is the end of the world on the club based ‘II. Earth: The Oldest Computer (The Last Night)’.
It’s a shame that some of the brilliant tracks released before the record such as ‘Centipede, Yaphet Kotto’ or that hard ass beat from the short film, didn’t make the cut. But, this record is less about songs and more about the whole piece. Like Gambino says in the closing track, "That Camp was a million years ago, sing me a different song."
This is hip-hop for fans of music, not necessarily fans of hip-hop. At times sad and disturbing, and confident and brash at others, ‘Because The Internet’ makes leaving Community seem worthwhile. Do your thing boy, don’t stop.
1. The Library (Intro)
2. I. Crawl
3. II. Worldstar
4. Dial Up
5. I. The Worst Guys (feat. Chance the Rapper)
6. II. Shadows
7. III. Telegraph Ave. ("Oakland" by Lloyd)
8. IV. Sweatpants
9. V. 3005
10 Playing Around Before the Party Starts
11. I. The Party
12. II. No Exit
13. Death By Numbers
14. I. Flight of the Navigator
15. II. Zealots of Stockholm (Free Information)
16. III. Urn
17. I. Pink Toes (feat. Jhene Aiko)
18. II. Earth: The Oldest Computer (The Last Night) [feat. Azelia Banks]
19. III. Life: The Biggest Troll (Andre Auernheimer)