Childish Gambino – Riot

childishgambinoI like to connect the posts: from Twilight Zone the song to Twilight Zone the TV show to Sly and the Family Stone….from Run the Jewels “Thieves” including a MLK Jr. quote about rioting, to the Sly album (There’s a Riot Goin’ On), now to maybe the funkiest album I’ve heard in quite some time, Awaken, My Love by Childish Gambino (Donald Glover) and the song I chose for today, “Riot.” That’s the thing about music, it connects everything and everyone. Yeah man, that’s like so wild how, like, how without even thinking about it, all those songs lead from one to another, like it was meant to be….(to be read in the voice of Chong from Cheech & Chong.)

Awaken, My Love is clearly an homage or at the bare minimum heavily influenced by mid-70s era Funkadelic. Lots of layers of sound, lots of funk and lots of psychedelic. Most of the songs on the album would fit right in to One Nation Under a Groove or Hardcore Jollies. And the parts that don’t sound like Funkadelic lean heavily toward mid-80s era Prince. The song “Redbone” might best exhibit the blend between the two, with the slow-jammy bass-heavy groove of George Clinton and the falsetto vocal stylings of Prince. I listen to this and can’t believe it was made in 2016.

Childish Gambino, if you don’t know is the musical stage-name for the actor Donald Glover, best known for his roles in Community, Atlanta, Girls and other TV shows and movies. His previous albums have been hit and miss, and have hewn close to the hip hop genre for the most part. So, I was pleasantly surprised that he has taken a step back into the past to bring it into the present. I can’t help but be awed and jealous of Mr. Glover. Acting, Writing, Directing, Rapping, Singing, stand-up comedian. He’s got to have something he can’t do, right? Maybe he is a terrible cook.


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