Album Review: EP by Childish Gambino

Posted: August 2, 2011 by eptarheels23 in Album Review, Music
Tags: , ,

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So today I’m going to do a review on the five song EP by Childish Gambino and since it’s relatively short I’ll include each song to listen to. It has actually been one of my most played projects of the year so far, despite being just a short EP. It also came in at number eighteen on my Top 25 Albums of the Year (So Far). If you haven’t gotten familiar yet with Childish Gambino, he is actually Donald Glover. The rapper/actor/comedian/writer known for his work with the TV shows 30 Rock and Community and Derek Comedy. In my previous article of him, I stated that I really loved his EP, but didn’t really go into depth about it. So here is that opportunity. And since the EP is only five tracks long, I threw in an extra at the end. So hit the jump for the review and stream each track!

1: Be Alone 5/5

I point blank love this track. It starts off with a rockish feel and Gambino just singing “I don’t want to be alone!” but then that gives way to him just singing to almost no beat at all, almost acapella like. You can really get a grasp for Donald’s talent when you see him singing (pretty damn well too) and then dropping hard hitting bars the next. The second the beat drops though, this is a hard hitting track. He tears it apart on the first verse dropping lines such as “My swag Jehovah Witness, dude, it never takes a holiday” and “Set the game ablaze, I’m an Arcade Fire”. He then continues with the rock tingled chorus and proceeds to kill the last verse. My favorite line from the whole track is in that second verse where he goes “Here I go again, talkin’ money, women, and clothes and cars, right?
You can switch all of my words out with Plies’, right?”. Hahaha, but no you can’t Donald. You’re a million times better than Plies could ever dream to be.

2: Freaks & Geeks 5/5

This is the best Gambino track to date. The beat is crazy and CG completely rips it to shreds. His incredible flow is on display through out the entire song as he picks up his flow and slows it down sometimes like Nicki Minaj’s verse on Monster. His lyricism is also on display as the track is filled with witty one-liners all over. Your going to have to listen to it many times just to catch them all, but that won’t be to hard because the track is amazing. Lines such as “and my clique make that dinero, so it’s time to go meet the f*****s” show off how clever he is. Gambino plays on dinero (Spanish for “money”) by referencing Robert De Niro, who starred in the movie Meet the Fockers and Fockers sounds like f*****s, but you knew that since the movie came out. You are seriously going to have to listen to this track many times to catch everything.

3: My Shine 3.5/5

This is the one track on the entire EP that is not going to be on constant repeat for me. To me it just feels like a more uptempo, worse version of Be Alone. Once again he does drop witty lines left and right such as “Gambeezy make it work somethin’, let me check the syntax, don’t add an eezy to my name, ’cause it has never been that”. This line is very clever because he uses his oft-referred to nickname “Gambeezy” is in the same fashion as Lil Wayne/Weezy, Kanye/Yeezy, etc. However, Gambino wants to “proofread” the lyrics’ syntax (the way words combine to form phrases, clauses, and sentences). Upon doing so, he has a problem with the nickname because his path to success has never been “easy.” You can expect the usual Childish Gambino on this track, it just work all that well with me.

4: Lights Turned On 5/5

This is a great uptempo track that shows of Donald’s versatility as an artist. This track is once again filled with clever one liners by CG. While it’s not the best subject matter, just about him getting girls to get with him, the way he goes about it is hilarious and amazing at the same time. Lines such as “Have you ever made out with a Gap Ad?” and “let me poke you ma, Raichu” show off his skills. The first lines is great because he is actually in a Gap Ad, great pickup line by CG there, and the second line is a play on pokemon and poke you ma and Riachu is a Pokemon. My favorite line in the song however is “I’m chillin’ with this Asian chick I met in Chicago, she look like the Social Network chick, except for her ass is twice as thick, man”. he’s referencing Brenda Song from the movie The Social Network and just the way he goes about it is incredible to listen to.

5: Not Going Back 5/5

This cut starts off relatively slow with CG bringing you in by singing and then he starts rapping. It slowly picks up pace and Donald rips the track to shreds with his lines. Some of the best lines include “I’m the boss Michael Scott, y’all b*****s are just Phyllis”, “my life is simple, live easy and Bruce Willis” (he starred in the movie Die Hard, what’s the opposite of that?) and “Jewish girls eat my meat, it’s not kosher”. Another great line is “couldn’t see me as Spiderman, now I’m spitting venom”. This line references his almost successful twitter campaign (#donald4spiderman) to win the role of Spiderman. Unfortunately, he didn’t get it, but now uses wordplay with Spiderman’s alter-ego/nemesis “Venom” and the acid that spews from his mouth while rapping. This is a great overall listen from Childish Gambino.

6: Break (AOTL) 5/5

This is the extra track I’m throwing in there on the EP, call it a “bonus track”. It is actually a remix to Kanye West’s All of the Lights. And it is almost completely different, the beat is change a lot but it still has the basic sound. I think CG did this track a hundred times better than Kanye. Once again in typical Childish Gambino fashion his drops clever lines all over such as “you can’t go ham, you a Jewish n***a”. I also like CG’s version of the beat more than Kanye’s, it seems to be changing a lot and it really adds to the overall feeling of the track. This is my second favorite CG track after Freaks & Geeks.

Overall this is an extremely impressive EP from Childish Gambino. If it had like five or six more tracks thrown on it, even if they were on the level of My Shine, this would have been one of my favorite albums of the entire year so far. As I was writing the review for this, I looked up some of the lyrics to these songs just to makes sure I got them write, I discovered lines I had never seen before and I’m more impressed than ever with Donald’s witty lines. He is the best one-liner artist in the entire game. Every track is filled with them and it makes them all enjoyable. So download the EP below (I’ll also throw in the DL link for Break (AOTL)) and support one of the best rappers out there today.

Download: Childish Gambino – EP
Download: Childish Gambino – Break (AOTL)

  1. […] I went on a surprise trip to the Bahamas. Since it was a surprise I wasn’t prepared and the Childish Gambino EP review was the only article I had already done. I would have prepared a bunch more, but again it was a […]

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