In recent history, I have resisted Childish Gambino in all forms no matter how beloved the source encouraging me to like his music (Awkward Black Girl, NPR, Pitchfork and all other internet purveyors of music). In line with the release of Donald Glover’s Childish Gambino, NPR streamed the entire album, which I listened to a couple of times but nothing really stuck, for me at least, the way I immediately gel with songs that eventually become my jams. I couldn’t claim membership of the cool club of folks that love his music with an ardent indie passion.
I appreciate that his lyrical content is meatier than mainstream rap offers nowadays but given the likes of Young Jeezy (ref: I Do) and Kanye (ref: his entire oeuvre excepting Theraflu; not really sure what that was about), there are ‘poppy’ rappers who manage to deliver beats and content. Mr. Glover and his Sufjan references (as much as I love some Illinoise) didn’t quite win me over.
On this hazy, sun-drenched Sunday, listening to the radio, Childish Gambino’s Fire Fly came on and I immediately got it: the beat, the lyrics, the flow. I admit defeat: I’ve crossed over; I’ve joined the hipsters; I’m in with the in crowd (I think?); my kinship with Awkward Black Girl is more pronounced than ever. Oh, and in the age of spotify, etc., terrestrial radio continues to prove its utility.
P.S. There’s a great article on Kanye West, “American Mozart” in The Atlantic. Fans & non-Fans should check it out.