Childish Gambino Because the Internet GLASSNOTE 24/40
(Guardian (UK) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Childish Gambino, the creation of US actor/standup Donald Glover, was initially seen by some as too plugged in to media circles to be persuasive as a rapper. His second major label album, which loosely links digital-age themes such as trolls and dial-up, perpetuates that impression. He rhymes about Martin Scorsese, Coachella and movie residuals, widening the gap between himself and "real" MCs; but Because the Internet is not to be dismissed. Gambino is observant and often funny, and his loose-limbed flow can sting. The internal conflict played out in Sweatpants is the kind of thing you'd expect of Kanye West - as he balances alpha-boasting ("I got more tail than PetCo" and so on) with the knowledge that he'll always have to justify himself to other black people ("Real nigga feeling/ Rich kid, asshole, paint me as a villain"). And so it goes: bleak references to partying ("I invite all these people to my house - get the fuck outta my house," commands The Party) interspersed with soul-searching, set to a dark, synth-based backdrop. Worth hearing. Caroline Sullivan
(c) 2013 Guardian Newspapers Limited.
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