Childish Gambino: Royalty
I've been a fan of Childish Gambino since late 2010 when another artist linked to his EP's single "Be Alone" on Twitter. It's haunting tune and lyrics stuck with me, and in truth it almost personifies Gambino himself: a story about an outsider finally treated with respect because of the success he's had. Afterwards it didn't take long for me to get into the rest of his music--and to my surprise, there was quite a bit of it.
I've seen the guy go from barely known artist to performing at Coachella and kids walking around my campus wearing shirts with his name on it. I literally played Culdesac (his first "true" mixtape), his untitled EP, and I Am Just A Rapper 1 and 2 for about a year straight with very little interference from other music. And when his album Camp dropped, it pretty much made that entire year one where my cell phone's mp3 player function was devoted to this one artist.
In truth, I thought he had pretty much fully evolved with his first official album release, but I couldn't have been more wrong. With CG's newest mixtape, Royalty, Donald Glover changes up his whole style. While nearly *every* other song he's ever done (outside of the Poindexter album) has been a solo endeavor aside from the occasional vocalist for choruses, Royalty gives us the exact opposite: a mixtape PACKED with guest-stars.
Normally, this would be a cause for complaint (like in B.O.B.'s case), but in Gambino's case he's earned the right to do a few collabs, and what a list of guest-stars he's racked up: With both new school (Schoolboy Q and Ab-Soul) and old-school (Bun B and two members of the motherfucking Wu-Tang, Rza and Ghostface Killah), there's something for pretty much everyone. There are a few songs that may fall flat, but even on those Gambino brings the same brilliant/hilarious lines you're used to. (My least favorite song, Arrangement, has probably one of my favorite lines ever: "Bank account looking like when little kids break shit: "Oooooohhh...." Fucking. Hysterical.)
I could probably spend a few dozen more paragraphs talking about this album, the different songs and how good they are and how some of Gambino's fans need to chill the fuck out and enjoy CG's experimenting, but I think it'd be better to just point you to the album and let you see for yourself. Pick it up at IAmDonald.com for free. Enjoy.