I’ve been listening to Childish Gambino’s mixtape the past two days and was planning on writing a blog post. Then I found this pretty spot on review of “Royalty” by Rap Genius below. I feel like he says it all about this tape.
The more things change, the more Childish Gambino’s commitments to Asian women and pop-culture references stay the same. The style wrapped around those CG mainstays is evolving for the better, though. For a successful comic cat who’s decided to fight for rap legitimacy, Royalty is a pretty sure-footed step in the right direction. Gambino’s determined to talk about his roots despite his present success, and to employ a style that some find incongruous with his hipster TV writer persona. If you think he’s being tongue in cheek when he injects street swagger into his lyrics and delivery, this tape won’t change your mind outright but it might induce you to take a second look.
Partly that’s because of the supporting cast. “Star-studded” is an understatement here, and Glover probably hopes the likes of Bun B, Ghostface, Beck and Danny Brown will convince doubters of his legitimacy. But ultimately it’s up to you to decide if Gambino’s efforts to balance nerdy punchlines, hoodish braggadocio, and introspection are successful. It’s a bit uneven, but Royalty is a far more consistent piece of work than last year’s Camp. CG’s ability to throw multiple cadences and a variety of rhyme schemes behind his punchlines has brought him the opportunity to build a real rap career, and it’s clear that he’s doing his best to seize it. via Rap Genius on Huffington Post
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