From community to camp

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TO Childish Gambino CD Cover INLSA Goodwood. 14.04.12. Fairbairn matriculants show off their suits at the school's Matric Ball event which was held on Friday evening at the school hall. Dressed in a white suit is Kovlan Moodley. Picture Ian Landsberg

Childish Gambino

Camp

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You may know Childish Gambino from the hit series Community, or from his stand-up comedy shows in which he uses his real name, Donald Glover – no relation. Get it? Never mind.

Now he’s Childish Gambino, an alias he picked up from a Wu Tang Clan app. Camp, which is filled with orchestral vibes, live instrumentation and raw, gritty bass is proof that Gambino isn’t an actor trying to rap.

He’s one of the best rappers out at the moment. From Bonfire to That Power, his lyrics are smart, witty and funny – “I love p****, I love bitches, dude, I should be runnin’ PETA.”

His rhyme style is part Eminem, part Kanye West and mostly, something critics can’t quite put their finger on. He’s better than Drake and J Cole at the singing/rapping combo and reminds one of Richard Pryor in his ability to be brutally honest about anything from race to masculinity to Truffaut and Asian girls.

Camp is littered with lines about being the awkward black kid, like, “No live shows because I can’t find sponsors/For the only black guy at a Sufjan concert.” It’s about time someone represented that part of the spectrum. – Helen Herimbi


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