“So Fly” takes a slower approach than his other songs. The beat and voice used is very simple, direct, and slightly somber. Once again, Gambino’s singing voice is put in the spotlight. The song itself centers on loss, regret, and knowing that it’s for the best to be apart than to try again. Many of the feelings resonate strongly with the listener and really sinks into not only the mind, but also the heart.
His love letter to all types of women in the world is one of his most playful songs. The twanging sitar in the background adds an air of light-heartedness to the song. And despite the some of the harder edges of his style comes out his goofy demeanor also mixes itself in as he says “I eat more pussy than Alf.”
This was my first introduction to Childish Gambino when I initially heard in my friend’s car en route to breakfast in the afternoon (long story). When he first pops into the song half way through, the style was a fresh surprise when I first listened to it. It came off as a prototype of Childish Gambino’s rapping technique as he rolls through his lyrics. Much of what he develops later on, are shown as a frame work during this impressive single.
This is one of his slow jam styled songs. While his style is reminiscent of Lil Wayne at his quicker songs, the slow rhythm really allows his voice and lyrics to shine through in a softer bend than his other songs. Throughout the lines his wordplays are playful but still retain his serious undertones (“She got ironic tattoos on her back/That ain’t ironic bitch/ I love Rugrats!”). In addition, the violins in the background give the song a classy air that really helps build the atmosphere of the track.
While much his style is strictly rapping, from time to time he breaks out a more R&B/pop vibe with his vocals. In “I got that Money,” his vocal variety is played up, showing off his surprising singing voice. As opposed to certain other rappers who sing talk, he actually holds a pretty solid note or two. During the second half of the song when he switches up to his rap style, it still retains that softer subtler tone of the first half. With the solo guitar playing over the track teaming up with the clubhouse snares and synth rhythms, this track makes for a very enjoyable set that I can listen to on repeat (like I’m doing right now actually).
Coming as the second song that features Adele’s vocals, “Do Ya Like” acts as a perfect mixture of Childish Gambino’s slow-jam voice and his rapping style. The overall feeling is a more refined edge as he works through a slower more deliberate style. The beat on the back is also more subdued with a basic drum snare and Adele’s voice on loop serving as the back bone.
For the most part, none of the tracks in any of Childish Gambino’s songs has a “skit” track. What makes this final song on the CD so strong is that after the song is done, an anecdote told by Donald Glover comes at the end detailing a story from his younger days. While it does inject humor and those awkward moments that come from adolescence, the end of the story comes and really shows the mixture of humor and embarrassment that seems to linger in his life and approach to life in general. All in all, it makes for a strong and memorable end to a strong Album.
Many of Gambino’s songs work with great use of word play and rhyme-play. With this track, these skills definitely come to the forefront. Mainly it’s the mixture of speed and word pacing that makes this one so good to listen to. But what really puts this one over the top is the Twista-esque barrage at the end that truly puts his rapid-fire skills on full display.
This was the flagship song for Gambino’s latest album “Camp,” and for good reason. What makes this song such a standout is how strong he comes out right from the start. The overall sense of surprise that the same guy who made the comic “Kick Puncher” on Community is spouting lines like “You’re my favorite rapper now/ Yeah dude I better be/ Or you can fucking kiss my ass/ Human Centipede” all the more of a pleasant contrasting break from his other side. Much like how it’s a joy to see Bruce Banner transform into The Incredible Hulk, it rocks the ears to hear Glover shift into Childish Gambino.
Featured on the “Side D” EP, “Freaks and Geeks” comes off as an official manifesto of Childish Gambino. Most of Donald Glover’s more signature style facets are on full parade throughout the track: hard lyrics, geeky wordplay, nerdy references, and fast and loose delivery.