Before I get in depth with the review of this album let me just get some things out of the way first. To the people who gave up on hip hop and rap back in 2012, you have made a grave mistake and it’s not too late to join back in the fun. And to the people who think Childish Gambino is “too weak” or “soft” for rap, well then, you need to listen to his new album because he proves many of his critics wrong.
Let’s take it back to September. Fan really hadn’t heard much from Gambino, but from out of nowhere on his YouTube page he releases a 24 minute long short film called “Clapping For The Wrong Reasons.” Now, I’m a huge fan of Gambino, but even I was like “the fuck was that?” It was just a bunch of events that happened with snippets of music being produced in between, and sure it was artistic, but I didn’t really take much from it.
But for now let’s just put that aside and I’ll get back to it in a second.
A month later he announced Because the Internet with a little music video on his YouTube called “Yaphet Kotto.” It was just a short freestyle with Gambino in his pool as the camera ever so slowly pulls away from him and ends with the captions “Because The Internet, This Holiday Season.” And at that moment, the entire fan base lost their minds.
The album itself is pretty good. I would definitely say that Childish Gambino shows that he is improving more and more with every song and he still has left over ambition to use just to give the fans some more. I will say that during my first listen through, I didn’t really know what to think. I didn’t think it was bad, but at the same time, was it good? I couldn’t tell. But I kept listening over and over again and every single one of the songs grew on me, they were all done in a way that made you want to hear what was coming next. The only analogy I have for it is that it was like watching Breaking Bad, you just want more. It’s one of those albums that you listen to in its entirety and that’s the only way you want to listen to it, you don’t want particular songs, you want the full thing. Every single track flowed into the next in a way that felt all so natural, and the lyrics in many if not all the tracks really did steer away from the main idea that the album Camp gave us. It’s not about love or getting girls or talking about his dick, this one cuts the crap and gets to it, he lets us know that this is about him, his career and how he is good at what he does and he’s not going to stop.
Albeit there are parts of the album that are classic Gambino and he keeps it true to who he is; witty and smart. The album has tracks that feature artist such as Chance The Rapper, Kilo Kish, Jhene Aiko, Andrew Auernheimer, and Macklemore, and even though that’s a strong supporting cast of artists, that’s the only place where the album felt incomplete to me, all the artists only had small parts in each of the songs that they are featured in and I wouldn’t have minded a solid verse from Chance The Rapper or Macklemore.
But that’s just a minor complaint. This album has truly proved to me that Childish Gambino is a genius, not because of the sound, but for another reason. When I first heard it and the album sounded “off” I looked into it and on twitter I discovered that Childish Gambino himself confirmed that the album comes with a link that leads listeners to a script. Once on the page, you read through and realize certain songs are in chapters. The script also comes with little video clips that are silent because you are supposed to play the song while watching and that way everything in the album makes sense and by the end of it all you find out that the album and script together are in fact an interlude to the events in his short film Clapping for the Wrong Reasons and now that makes sense too. In the year of what seems to be raps revival with great albums such as Born Sinner, Magna Carta Holy Grail, Yeezus, and The Marshall Mathers LP 2, Because The Internet really is the icing on top of the cake, which is rap music. It’s just so damn smart in nearly all aspects.
Favorites Marked with **
1. “The Library (Intro)”
2. “I. The Crawl”**
3. “II. Worldstar”**
4. “Dial Up”
5. “I. The Worst Guys” (featuring Chance The Rapper)
6. “II. Shadows”
7. “III. Telegraph Ave. (“Oakland” byLloyd)”**
8. “IV. Sweatpants”**
9. “V. 3005″**
10. “Playing Around Before The Party Starts”
11. “I. The Party”**
12. “II. No Exit”
13. “Death By Numbers”
14. “I. Flight of The Navigator”
15. “II. Zealots of Stockholm [Free Information]” (Featuring Kilo Kish)**
16. “III. Urn”
17. “Pink Toes” (featuring Jhené Aiko)**
18. “Earth: The Oldest Computer (The Last Night)” (featuring Azealia Banks)**
19. “Life: The Biggest Troll [Andrew Auernheimer]”**
Link For Script: