Musical Mentions- Three Reasons Childish Gambino’s Album is Such a Win

musical mention headerHey music lovers,

It has been too long since I have made a musical mentions post. I had a number of topics to talk about but not enough time. No more excuses! I have been in love with Childish Gambino’s album Because the Internet for the longest while and I must, nay, I need to talk about it! *clears throat and composes herself* So here are three reasons Because the Internet is such a win.

SUBJECTIVITY: If I was some kind of highly intelligent music aficionado, I wouldn’t be blogging in the confines of my bedroom. Just ride the waves of amateur musical geekdom with me and be cool.

Reason 1: Telegraph Avenue (Oakland by Lloyd): Don’t worry. If I was just going to use the songs as reasons, there would be at least fifteen reasons. This song isn’t the most honest one off the album but it is still conveys raw emotions. It’s also pretty relatable from my vantage point. I’m at that quarter life crisis, where everyone around me is getting married and having babies. It is terrifying because I’m still scared/have no patience for kids. I’m trying. No. Nope. No, I’m not.

Not right now.

Not right now.

In this song, Gambino grapples with the ‘nesting’ stage of his old flame’s life. She wants to get married, have children, grow old. He…he doesn’t know what the hell he wants. But he’ll try to make it work, even if it’s a place called Oakland.

"The only one I know is you, so the fuck I'm supposed to do? In Oakland"

“The only one I know is you, so the fuck I’m supposed to do?
In Oakland”

The song is also an ironic piece of work. The anger and bitterness he feels at living in Oakland is set to some slow and serene instrumentals—the kind used for love songs.

So don’t hurt yourself trying to find a connection between the instrumentals and the lyrics. You just have to accept this isn’t a traditional love song and become amused at his misery.

Reason 2: You realize Childish Gambino is f-ing insane…and you respect that:

The videos for this album have bordered on weird. But Telegraph Avenue took the cake with the last scene of the video. It was at that moment when I realized Childish Gambino was insane. Yes, let’s emerge as an octopus with a hero complex on the Hawaiian beach during twilight. Then, we’ll call it artistic license so that everyone doesn’t think Gambino is just simply bat shit crazy.

Should have know when he dances like this...

Should have know when he dances like this…

But hey, what an ending. Now that scene will be forever seared into the minds of teenagers and young adults who still listen to mainstream music to remind themselves of their age. As you marvel at the ending, you realize that you’re respecting his madness. And its okay.

Reason 3: The Unpredictability of the Beat Transitions: With his recurring death theme, I think the unpredictability of the beats was a deliberate attempt to reflect how no one can anticipate what life will throw at him/her next.  A wild cacophony of beats is sometimes a huge risk, especially for an artist doing his sophomore album. Lately, mainstream artists are playing it safe with just one steady beat throughout the song.  They know what their fans like and they try to cater to that.

Does this look like a guy who gives a rat's ass? Nope.

Does this look like a guy who gives a rat’s ass? Nope.

Childish Gambino does not give a rat’s ass what you like or what you prefer. He came here to make his statements on an album and walk away in sweatpants. His fans (me, me!) understand this  and are identified by the way they enjoy adapting from one beat to the next.  Shadows and What kind of Love are two great examples of these transitions. Go listen!


Have another reason Childish Gambino’s second album is speaking beautifully to the masses? Write it in the comments section below.

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