Lets take a moment and appreciate the music that Childish Gambino has released in his new ten years of avid rapping and production. I remember his sound from the “Sick Boi/Culdesac” days as that rap I wish I could’ve had in high school. Though a couple years too late, his music always held a personal note with myself and several others, especially the black nerds of the world. We needed that representation in a cliche rap world.
The “3005” artist has recently made references to his last album being his last one [wimpers emotionally] and as I am excited and saddened to hear it, it only makes me recollect how his ventures usually catch a little bit of shade from his “core” audience for being a little bit out of his seemingly native element.
As Donald sores into mainstream media’s elite status, he collectively has done so with the help of his many talents. Rapping was never his number one priority.
The question we need to ask ourselves is: Why do we not give multifaceted creatives the ability to navigate different sounds and perspectives?
Lets talk about it.
You have actual fans in any genre that will wholeheartedly support their favorite artists’ music no matter the context of it in most cases. A true music aficionado grows with the band or artist it loves.
“If you cant love me at my Yeezus, than you don’t deserve me at my “College Dropout“
Sometimes being a core fan means understanding the replication of their old sound isn’t just something that can come back at will of that base audience. Humans change, and grow based on experiences and situations.
Literally every commercial release of Glover’s albums had some odd pushback:
Camp was too “emo”
Because the Internet didnt have enough “rap”
Awaken My Love was no rap and more singing in a 70’s set schema, a turn off to baseline rap Gambino “fans”
I want that old ‘Bino back..
We see the same patterns with artists like Linkin Park. They’ve been told to go back to the Hybrid Theory days for years now, as if they haven’t heard that a million times. Often, an artists first resonating release with a fanbase becomes the favorite, and little to nothing can top it. Same with greats like Lupe Fiasco, N.E.R.D, Fall Out Boy, ect. All of which are still great in their own right. Their debut albums are usually acclaimed as their top works that they’ll never match the level of depth on again. And maybe they don’t need to, as their gems were from a time period that needed it the most.
Aside from music, lets not take from Donald’s many other career accolades such as writing, producing, comedy, acting, and production; he’s shown a well rounded spirit for several years now. If you haven’t seen his “Weirdo” stand up special, go do that right now. His show, “Atlanta” has earned Golden Globe Awards and has opened up more opportunities for black producers and directors to own the market instead of just fitting into the general Hollywood mold.
Rap is, if anything, the more cliche of the aforementioned talents Glover possesses, but as with most rap fans, once you have committed to a particular demographic it is hard to get around a topic basis or style without conflict. The problem lies where the bulk majority only sees the “rapper” dynamic, and only cheers in that select instance.
As I conclude, I am excited to watch the progression unfold as he ends the Childish Gambino chapter and continues onward onto more creative ventures. This last album should be phenomenal as will the next season of Atlanta.
Stay woke, yall.