A long time has gone since we’ve heard from Childish Gambino; it’s been 3 years since Because the Internet (2013). In loo of his musical silence, he’s been busy working through acting and directing his show “Atlanta”, a must see American comedy series that tackles real issues in a lighthearted way. But after a musical hiatus, Gambino returns with his newest album, Awaken, My Love!.
Once again, Donald Glover experiments quite a bit and divulges into different aspects of music; this time, the Soul/Funk genre. He has taken his musical persona, Childish Gambino–and proven that he is capable of–to yet another depth of a genre unexpected from the rap artist that most fans expect.
This album is far from his previous work. His funky psychedelic rhythm and poetic lyricism are a beautiful tribute to his son and the lessons on life. Although this isn’t the Gambino fans are used to, his songs are far from nonsensical. They’re a far cry from what he’s experienced and the desperate cry to spread more love. Donald’s framework for this album screams for attention to be brought to the under-discussed lack of encouragement and support for your neighbors that our world has been overlooking– a topic in both Atlanta and Awaken, My Love!.
Between his musical messages and his more obvious conversation starters through television show Atlanta, Gambino is setting himself to be a spokesperson for the socially oppressed. His punches exude what we truly believe is right from wrong. The final track, “Stand Tall” embodies a voice for those naysayers, “Keep all your dreams, keep standing tall. If you are strong, you cannot fall.”
Take some time and listen to this album for therapy. It’s more than what many of us would have asked for. Challenge yourself to take something away from this soulful trip down to funky town.