Follow me on Twitter and you know my affections for Childish Gambino run deep.
Last March I downloaded “EP.” Five songs that were explicit and radically offensive, and I have never listened to an artist in my life the way that I listened to Childish Gambino’s EP. I am not a huge huge fan of rap (duh) and I am not a huge huge fan of unknown rappers, but holy hashtag there was something about this dude.
Turns out, Childish Gambino is the Wu-Tang Clan name that was generated online when Donald Glover typed in his name. Donald Glover is an NYU grad whose face is familiar from his work with Derrick Comedy, writing for 30 Rock, Comedy Central stand-up, and playing Troy on Community.
Donald has been rapping for years, and once I listened to EP I unearthed mixtape after mixtape of tracks that were hilarious and brilliant. Childish Gambino’s music is lyrically intense. The jokes are comical but the wordplay is sheer genius and his cultural references are so spot on for me personally that I completely connected with his music, even though a lot of the subject matter is completely foreign to me.
When he played at The Paradise in May, I completely embarrassed myself as that girl standing in the audience shreiking along with every word with everyone around me wondering why and how I learned all these lyrics. As I mentioned, I have truly never listened to an artist or any music as repeatedly as I did Childish Gambino in those first days. Over and over and over. I’m still not sick of any of it.
I aggressively tweeted at Donald Glover (an avid tweep– no wonder I love his work!) after the show, and the nature of the venue is such that if psychotic fans (read: me) stand outside long enough you’re bound to at least watch the artist walk to the bus parked by the curb out front.
Being obsessed with his music I integrated my need to meet him into every lyric I could think of, and the night ended with me on the tourbus helping execute a postshow show at 1am, after a 2 hour set at the Paradise, performed in the foyer of a Cambridge mansion to a crowd of fortunate college students. #dreaming
With the release of his first “official” album CAMP on November 15th, Donald returned to Boston as Childish Gambino to play the House of Blues and when the entire band remembered me and our fun late night performance, I was in heaven and knew that Gambino is truly a mastermind.
Listen. or don’t if you’re easily agitated.