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The Unparalleled Versatility Of Childish Gambino

It's time to retrace this genius' musical history
by Emmanuel Calingacion | Jul 12, 2018
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If you haven't heard it yet, singer-songwriter Childish Gambino just dropped two hot tracks that he calls the "Summer Pack." The aforementioned songs are aptly entitled "Summertime Magic" and "Feels Like Summer," which harks back to his beachy tropical 2014 album Kauai. Take a listen:

For those who still haven't figured it out, and have been asking themselves the same question over and over again, yes, Childish Gambino is the bizarre musical genius alter-ego of Donald Glover, the actor, comedian, writer, director, and producer.

But we need to put the spotlight on Bino first, especially after his stylish yet provoking anthem, "This is America." Looking back at this man's track record (pun intended), it's easy to recognize that his use of tones and melodies always reroutes into something fresh and different from its previous musical identity. Just when you thought you could label Childish Gambino with a certain type of beat and rhythm, he changes it up in the next album, proving that the eccentric artist can pretty much perform any type of genre he wants and when he wants it. This, of course, doesn't mean that he puts up pop music like Justin Bieber, or rock like Linkin Park, or jazz like Cecile McLorin Salvant. No. He makes his own brand of pop or rock or jazz the Childish way.

His music has its own life and identity that many try to imitate but never duplicate. Childish Gambino is the artist that redefined a musical generation, and here are some songs to prove it.

On a track on his fifth mixtape Culdesac, Bino sampled Adele's "Melt My Heart To Stone" and gave birth to "Do Ya Like."

In his sixth mixtape, stylistically named R O Y A L T Y, the hypnotic rhythm, and deep beats dictated Childish's "We Ain't Them."

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In his first EP, simply called EP, Bino goes into straight rapping, with his track "Freaks and Geeks."

Childish goes crazy on his debut studio album, Camp, where every track sounds totally different from each other. From the EDM craft of "Heartbeat," to the pop-R&B fusion in "Fire Fly," to the revamped sample of Grizzly Bear's "Two Weeks" into "Outside," Bino’s music is as versatile as its creator.

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Because the Internet is Gambino's second studio album and it didn't disappoint in adding a different flavor into the artist’s plentiful mix. His collaboration with one of his best friends, Chance the Rapper, led to "The Worst Guys," a chill song that sprinkles in a little bit of electric guitar riffing. The storytelling in his track "Sweatpants" is as creative and uncanny as they come. The punchline-infested bars Bino drops in his track "3005" is backed by ultramodern and quirky synth board work.

When his album Kauai came out, everybody had expectations as to what it would sound like, especially since it’s named after an island in Hawaii. Childish didn't disappoint with tropical and breezy tracks like "Sober," "Pop Thieves," and "Retro" that are not only reminiscent of island love affairs, but also of city lights in the nighttime.

And of course, who could forget the critically-acclaimed album that debuted at number one on the R&B charts, Awaken, My Love!. His song "Me and Your Mama" is a mix of melodic, absorbing instrumentals and power-packed vocals. Then there's "California" that fits in a specific reggae genre only inhabited by Bino. Lastly, and it certainly is the best, Bino's "Redbone" is the stuff of musical dreams, full of exceptional falsettos and distinctive instrumentals.

And arguably the best single Childish Gambino has ever created: "This Is America." Really, what else can we say?

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