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Childish Gambino: Camp

Download “Camp” here at Amazon for only $5.99

It’s a big week for Donald Glover. The internet is responding violently to NBC’s decision to pull Community (on which Glover plays college student Troy Barnes) from their winter schedule and he released his first commercial album under the moniker Childish Gambino. Glover is a writer through and through. He worked as a staff writer on Tina Fey’s 30 Rock before he got hired on Community and his background in wordplay is all over his music.  People have been petitioning to keep Glover’s show Community on the air all week, and many arguments for the show’s quality talk about Glover’s unique comedic voice. I would argue that voice is much more loud and clear here than it ever comes through in the muddled mess that Community has become.  Community uses pop-culture references to make the show feel high-brow and smart (there is literally no other reason to reference My Dinner With Andre), Childish Gambino uses touchstones to relate to his audience. Lyrics about being the only black kid at a Sufjan Stevens concert, feeling like Carlton from Fresh Prince and not getting praise from Pitchfork’s site give us a clear picture of Glover’s experience. He’s not using these to impress you, or to prove how cool he is, he just wants you to know how he feels. While Community wants you to intellectually “get it”, Glover’s music wants you to feel where he’s coming from. He has less to prove and is able to say more because of it.

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