I had never heard of the rapper Childish Gambino up until about two months ago. But, after hearing only a few songs, I could tell he was more talented than your average rapper. As I listened to his album, Camp in closer detail, I also came to notice that he wasn’t just talented in his rapping style but also in his lyrics. Childish Gambino, also known as Donald Glover, is a writer, comedian and actor in addition to being a rapper. He has appeared on and written for shows such as 30 Rock, Community, and Parks and Recreation. Evidently, Donald Glover has some pretty impressive writing skills. His rhymes are so unbelievably clever and it’s almost impossible to not be jealous of this quadruple threat.
At the University of Connecticut, the concert committee on campus, SUBOG, announced in late September that the performer for the fall concert would be Childish Gambino. Every single floor seat for the concert sold out in under 3 hours. I was so unbelievably excited to see him live after hearing how incredible he is in person. It is safe to say that Childish Gambino did not disappoint.
A rapper named XV started the show off and really got the entire crowd hyped up. He engaged the audience immediately and interacted with everyone during each song. XV definitely had a lot of stage presence and was rather reminiscent of Kid Cudi at times with his quirky beats and unconventional writing style. I highly recommend checking out his newest EP called Awesome EP!, which features Pusha- T on the title track.
As soon as XV left the stage, everyone started chanting, “GAM-BI-NO!”. Then, the lights dimmed and the crowd went absolutely insane. Gambino took center stage surrounded by his band. I have been to many rap concerts before. Most recently was the “Watch the Throne” tour with Kanye West and Jay-Z, but I had never seen a band play with a rapper before. Gambino’s band consisted of a drummer, violinist, pianist, guitarist, and a very skilled bassist. This element truly brought a unique feel to his set. Childish Gambino rapped his most famous songs including “Bonfire,” “Fire Fly,” “You See Me,” “Heartbeat,” and “Freaks and Geeks” to name a few. He also played a handful of new songs that everyone went crazy for. Childish Gambino is a performer and an incredible one at that. My personal favorite part of the show was when he went a cappella and started freestyling. I would definitely recommend checking out all of Childish Gambino’s albums, EPs, and mix-tapes including his album Camp and his latest mix-tape, Royalty.
Brilliant and talented rappers are hard to come by nowadays, but Childish Gambino is definitely only going to start receiving more recognition and acclaim as his fan base expands. No one quite says it better than Gambino himself in “Bonfire” when he asks the age-old question: “Why does every black actor gotta rap some?” to which he responds, “I don’t know, all I know is I’m the best one.” Childish Gambino is the shit. No humblebrag.
Becca Greenberg is a freshman at the University of Connecticut studying Human Rights and Political Science. She is an actress and singer/songwriter from New York City. She is a big country music fan but loves rap, classic rock, and indie.