album review because the internet

Childish Gambino Ages with Grace

Friday, December 13, 2013 Kimberly Manning

The first time I was introduced to Donald Glover, he played a spelling bee announcer in a Derrick Comedy video that my friends and I watched on repeat. Years later the goofy comedian, actor and musician became best known for his role on “Community” and his hip hop moniker, Childish Gambino. His first full-length release, “Camp,” was filled with witty one-liners and indignant stories with a pop-fused layer of catchy beats to soften the blow. Glover isn’t as forgiving this time around. 

“because the internet” hits you hard with matured melodies and complex tunes--especially in comparison to Childish Gambino's previous release. Glover blends R&B vocals and synthetic beats with a lyrical style that is still reminiscent of “Camp," but it's the versatility of the album that makes it one you can pick up time and time again to find something else to fall in love with. 

The first single, “V. 3005,” is easily (and obviously) the most radio-friendly track on the album, and it's the sliver of style leftover from “Camp.” Fans of Childish Gambino’s debut may initially cringe in fear of the infamous sophomore slump because it doesn’t hook you as quickly as its former, but it only gets better with age. And trust me--that's not a bad thing.

“because the internet” is constructed like a modern hip hop album, featuring both low-key tunes and high-octane anthems that span the 19 tracks. Glover collaborated with the likes of Chance the Rapper and Jhene Aiko, giving the album a whole new level of depth and variation. 

Childish Gambino had some negative critics of “Camp,” but he came back with a punch and a kick with “because the internet"--although that won't change the attitude of everyone. It’s becoming more apparent that this multi-faceted artist is growing into his own and not shying away from eclectic and off-beat stylings. 

- Kimberly Manning 
Music & Events Blogger

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