Post Classifieds

Ryan's Review: "Camp" by Childish Gambino

By Ryan Rutledge
On November 10, 2011

Score: 9/10

Donald Glover is a modern day triple threat. He has his own role on the show Community, he's a very funny standup comedian, and by night he's famed rapper Childish Gambino.

Since 2008, Glover has released 3 albums and 3 Eps, but he didn't blow up until last year with the fierce single "Freaks and Geeks" off of his EP entitled EP quite appropriately. A few months back, if anyone remembers, I gave Childish Gambino my first single of the week for his track "Bonfire" off of the release I'll be reviewing this week: Camp. "Bonfire" is obviously a great song, but does it stand alone on his first commercially released album?

This album is just Donald Glover; there's no one else featured on this album and the only other vocals on this album are from a chorus that appear in a couple of songs. To make an album this entertaining featuring yourself alone is an impressive feat, so for that Glover holds my absolute respect. Now, while Glover does boast a lot of his rhymes are self deprecating and more about his struggles when he was a kid growing up and being bullied for separate reasons. In fact, a lot of his lyrics are based off of his childhood.    

In the last track on the album "That Power" Glover goes into a 4 minute first person stream of consciousness story of his 13 year old self on the bus home from summer camp talking to a girl he likes, he tells her how he feels about her and how in the end what he thought was "destiny" turned out to be the opposite only to be humiliated  by her telling everyone what he said. He ends the song saying that he "didn't go onto the bus a boy and come off a man, he went onto the bus and never got off". You feel for how hurt he is in these songs.

In the albums opening track "Outside" he has a great juxtaposition of somber lyrics about his tough childhood ranging from being bullied to being abandoned by his cousin and best friend. But the chorus brings a ray of hope with a campfire like tune sung by a chorus. It's something I guarantee will be stuck in your head.  That's not to say all of these songs are "touchy feely" sensitive songs though.

Glover has a bite and when it comes out, he does nothing short of blow you away. You already know what I've said about "Bonfire", he's straight vicious in that song. I honestly didn't think he could top it. Then I heard "You See Me" and I was proven dead wrong. He absolutely destroys in this song with no looking back.

The last verse of this song is one of the most impressive verses I've ever heard in rap. Glover starts off fast, then when you think he can't go any faster with his rhymes he goes EVEN FASTER.  The beat in this song is very heavy but simple, it has a looming bass beat and horns that dwell under his rhymes that compliment it all perfectly.

All of his beats are really well constructed in this album. Glover makes everything work on this album so well, he can switch from an R&B song to his hardest rap on a dime. A lot of his beats contain strings and pianos and they sound lovely to be frank. He also has some club songs like "Bonfire", "Heartbeat" and "Firefly".  This album has a nice sampler feel when it comes to beats and tempos, there's essentially something for everyone on this album. If I can just go back to his lyrics for a second as well, he has so many references thrown into his songs you might want to keep Wikipedia or Urban Dictionary open while you listen so you can catch them all.

There's really nothing to complain about on this album, there are a few songs that feel kind of "samey" but they work well nonetheless. Glover is somewhat refreshing compared to most mainstream rap these days and Camp is a glowing example of the great things going on in the indie rap scene.

Songs You'll Love:  "You See Me" "Outside" "All the Shine" "Bonfire"

Tracks you can skip: "Letter Home" "Kids"


Get Top Stories Delivered Weekly

Recent The Critic News Articles

Discuss This Article



Log In

or Create an account

Employers & Housing Providers

Employers can list job opportunities for students

Post a Job

Housing Providers can list available housing

Post Housing

Log In

Forgot your password?

Your new password has been sent to your email!

Logout Successful!

Please Select Your College/University:

You just missed it! This listing has been filled.

Post your own housing listing on Uloop and have students reach out to you!

Upload An Image

Please select an image to upload
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format
Provide URL where image can be downloaded
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format