Review: Childish Gambino’s “Because the Internet”

Review: Childish Gambino's

Mesa Serikali

Childish Gambino’s much anticipated sophomore album “Because the Internet” was released December 10 2013 under Glassnote Records. Gambino gained a lot of attention with his debut album “Camp” in 2011 and his mixtape “Royalty” in 2012. The album features guest appearances from Chance the Rapper, Jhene Aiko, and Azealia Banks. Along with 2 singles, Gambino released a short film titled “Clapping for the Wrong Reasons,” an interlude to the 75-page screenplay to go along in promotion of the album. The screenplay does not come with the album, but can be found on the website becausetheinter.net.

“Because the Internet” features 2 singles, “3005” and “Crawl.” “3005” really showcases Gambino’s ability to incorporate Pop influences into a catchy Rap song. It is a cute, sappy love song, that you’ll find yourself humming later on. Similar to the song “Heartbeat” on this debut album “Camp.” This song isn’t a stretch from what Gambino has done in the past but it doesn’t take away from the quality. “Crawl” the second single on the album has quite a different, more unique sound, very different from “3005.” The song has more of a harsh tone, that you might hear on Kanye West’s “YEEZUS.” It takes a while to grow on you, since it is very different from the classic Gambino you’ve heard before. Gambino still keeps that playful style of rapping with lines like “I still put it down like the family dog” and references to “Ain’t nobody got time for that.”

One of the most innovative tracks on the album is “Sweatpants.” This song is classic Gambino style that is undeniable. It has a simple but at the same time unique and unforgettable beat. Childish comes off as very childish in this song, but it makes the song’s beat much more infectious. He coins the verse, “Yeah, you got some silverware, but really are you eating though?” and many other clever bars. This is easily one of the best songs on the album. Another song that really stood out is “Worst Guys” featuring Chance the Rapper. Don’t be fooled, Chance doesn’t really have a verse, he is more of “Chance the Hype Man” in this song. Repetitive chorus “All she needed was some” goes back and forth from the two, and is sure to get stuck in your head.  The song has more of an indie rap sound, incorporating guitar, hi-hat, and other softer sounds. It may not be a stretch from past Gambino, but you can never go wrong with a classic.

This album features a variety of both more hip-hop beats, like “Worldstar” and “Sweatpants” and then towards the end of the album has more of an indie rap sound. It showcases Gambino’s singing skills along with his clever rap abilities. Tracks like “Shadows,” “Telegraph Ave. (Oakland by Lloyd),” and the beautiful track “Pink Toes” featuring Jhene Aiko, who compliments the song very well, are great for easy listening and even display some R&B influences.

This album included many songs that, if you didn’t read the screenplay along with listening to the album, were unnecessary and a little confusing. It features a lot of interlude type tracks, that are a couple seconds to a minute long. The track “No Exit” was not a favorite. It was an okay song, but was overshadowed by the other great tracks on the album. It doesn’t stand out much, other than the fact that it was the only song that didn’t catch any interest until the end of the song. The beat has some nice parts, and the verses are okay but very short.

Overall, the album was very different from what I expected from Childish Gambino. It rose high above his debut album “Camp,” with better production, and very new, unique styles.  You can tell he put a lot of work into this album and his screenplay. He really reaches out to many different feels and styles of music, that you can’t not find one song that you find interesting. Even though this album as a whole can be a bit confusing if you don’t read the screenplay, or listen his previous album, “Camp,” you will still be able to find songs you can add to your playlist. Whether you are a pop, indie, rock, R&B or hip-Hop fan, there is a song that incorporates one or more of your favorite genre. Listen to the album and even give the screenplay a look if you are a Childish Gambino fan. If you’re new to Gambino, you have a lot of new material to explore. Childish Gambino is really expanding his talents and evolving as an artist and he does it well. You just can’t pass him up.

If you have an opinion on the album, the screenplay, or anything “Because the Internet” related be sure to comment below or share this review on Twitter or Facebook to win “Because the Internet” merchandise. While supplies last.  Be sure to tag @theCSPN or @mesa_pisa.