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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Music Review-Artist’s sophomore effort showcases musical growth

Because+the+Internet%2C+Childish+Gambino
Because the Internet, Childish Gambino

By Matt Fulkerson/sports editor

Because the Internet, Childish Gambino
Because the Internet, Childish Gambino

Because the Internet, Childish Gambino’s sophomore studio album, is a vast improvement over his two-year-old debut and allows the artist to display his growth as a musician.

When actor and comedian Donald Glover (best known as Troy from the cult NBC series Community) first announced he would release an album in 2011 under the name Childish Gambino, many assumed it was nothing more than a vanity project. Although Camp may not have swayed his detractors, the album let the artist display his unique voice in the world of hip-hop.

At times, Camp was unfocused, and Glover seemed unsure of his place as he tentatively waded into the music world. Because the Internet displays few of these traits, instead showcasing an artist who knows what he wants to say and how.

The high-concept, multimedia experience seems directly aimed toward college listeners, featuring an online screenplay with embedded videos meant to be read and viewed while listening to the tracks. While this technique may come across as hokey, the videos help to make sense of the often-abrupt turns Glover takes throughout the album.

The hook-driven tracks “Shadows” and “3005” are perhaps the best songs and the most likely candidates for radio and club play while still remaining intensely personal.

In “The Party,” Glover channels Marvin Gaye with a strained yet passionate falsetto before moving into an impressive and angry flow that showcases his obvious gift for rhyme.

Some of the choices Glover makes immediately date the album, among them the abundant use of Internet slang and reliance on the trappings of dubstep. 

On the final track, “Life: The Biggest Troll,” what appear to be missteps clearly become intentional decisions as he questions his place in the world and whether he can truly be defined by his past before exclaiming, “Because the Internet, mistakes are forever.”

When Glover announced he would be leaving Community to focus on his music, many were understandably upset about the loss of an integral member of the ensemble television show. As long as he continues the growth displayed in Because the Internet, perhaps one day he can be forgiven.

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