Childish Gambino Essentials

Childish Gambino Essentials

Donald Glover is the kind of guy who makes the rest of us wonder what we're even doing with our lives. Actor, writer, director, comedian, hip-hop artist—he manages to do them all, not in a dilettantish, jack-of-all-trades kind of way but rather in a let's-win-Golden Globes-and-headline-Coachella kind of way. Stand-up chops, slick wordplay and a goofy nasal delivery powered his early Childish Gambino mixtapes and indie albums, but by the time he released 2013's hazy, sunny Because the Internet, he'd come into his own as an MC and singer, largely shedding his jokey persona for a more serious approach. His range and cultural impact have only widened as his subject matter has grown darker, more ambitious, and more curious. "Awaken, My Love!”, which yielded the falsetto-driven hit “Redbone,” is a neon funk-soul odyssey in the vein of Sly & The Family Stone and George Clinton. And 2018's politically charged “This Is America”—a gospel-assisted commentary on gun violence and racism that pulls no punches—not only earned him Grammys for Song and Record of the Year; they were also the first hip-hop wins for either category.

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