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Childish Gambino disappoints in ‘Because the Internet’

Brian Walker

It’s hard to figure out actor, comedian, and rapper Donald Glover. The triple threat really is at a point in his career where he is so talented in all of his professions, that it is hard to predict what he will do next.

After leaving the show “30 Rock” and adopting a more minimal role on “Community” he has taken a break from acting to work more on his music under his Wu Tang generated alias Childish Gambino.

At first it was hard to take his switch from comedian to hip hop artist seriously. It wasn’t until his first album, “Camp,” released over two years ago that I became a believer. His slick verb choice and witty punch lines gave his music style, and his surprising ability to sing only showcased his versatility.

The following summer he dropped “Royalty”. The free to download mixtape was fire. Gambino easily tops his freshman album with something that costs nothing to the public. At this point I’m craving more. And up until last week when he released his second studio album “Because the Internet” I was starving.

Sadly his sophomore album did not fulfill my appetite. I feel his previous work being so great had set my expectations too high as “Because the Internet” in my opinion is only “okay”. The album does have its high points. “Sweatpants,” a song about his critics being obsessed with him rather than worrying about their own lives is clearly the best song on the album. His use of storytelling still shines in his music.

In “Life: the biggest troll,” Gambino raps about how the internet has created a portal to a place where people adopt a second personality, making nobody themselves anymore. The message behind the song is that the internet has lead to a world full of catfish and trolls, making it hard to trust anyone anymore.

My biggest problem with the album is that it is too soft. The Drake like beats do not match the fierceness and intensity he has showed in his previous work and his lyrics mirror this. The lows of the album are drenched in techno and a heavily autotuned or synthesized voice.

I am still a fan of Donald Glover. One mediocre album does not change my high opinion of him. I still listen to his older songs on a daily basis. I am just thankful he put out something new to listen to.

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Childish Gambino disappoints in ‘Because the Internet’