10 Thoughts About Childish Gambino’s “Awaken, My Love!” Album » VSB

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10 Thoughts About Childish Gambino’s “Awaken, My Love!” Album

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Last Friday, Donald Glover,  who is having the best.year.ever. under his nom de plume (the cool kids all have them, get you one), Childish Gambino, dropped a project titled, Awaken, My Love! There’s a better than fifty percent chance that you’re aware of this because I skimmed the social medias and it was littered with talk of this new album by me and you, your mama and your cousin, too. I have thoughts about it; here are my thoughts about it.

1. Let’s just put this out there upfront, I’m not really a Childish Gambino fan. I LOVED “Freaks ‘n Geeks” because I didn’t see it coming. Make no mistake, I know and recognize that he can spit. I just feel like after listening to much of his music (early on, at least) I didn’t find myself enjoying it much. Which made me less enthused for most of his projects, mixtape or album. Which is fine, everybody can’t love everything and everybody hates Chris. So I have given half-assed listens to most of his work since the beginning. I’m almost never going to say, “oh shit, Childish Gambino” and rush to check out a project. So, it was with a disinterested interest that I decided to listen to Awaken, My Love! since Facebook would not shut up about it.

2. With that being said, holy shit! I’ve been listening to this album literally non-stop since Friday. I’ve listened to it in the car, in the house, at the job, eating corn on the cob. I could listen to it here or there. I’ve listened to it everywhere. After my first listen, I was “eh” about the entire project. In fact, (and this is no comparison of the artists, but of my reactions to them) I felt the same way about Frank Ocean’s Blonde album at first. Then I started to listen from a musical end and even now, months later, Blonde is my “I can’t think of nothing else to listen to” fallback album. On my second (!!!) listen to “Me And Your Mama” I had a *mind*blown* moment and was like, “holy shit, where have you been my whole life?” It’s been a while since I’ve enjoyed an album as much as I’m enjoying this. It’s tickling my fancy.

4. My first thoughts upon listening once I realized how much I liked it: How many drugs, what kind of drugs, and how frequently was he using said drugs during the creation of said body of work? Seriously, from the odd voices, to the musical instrument choices to the movement and change-ups, you just don’t make some of these decisions sober. Shit, I’m not sure if you can. For instance, the voice and accent he uses on “California” while grating to many entertains me greatly, but I’m pretty sure he was smoking some of the finest quality herb and drinking the brown liquors when he decided to fiddle with that voice and he and his similarly high engineer were like, “fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck, that’s awesome! You sound like the love child of the Dalai Lama and a black squirrel named Jesus who pronounces his name as Hay-seus because sacrilege” and the rest is history.

5. This album is funky as fuck. Funky as some chicken; it’s good to the bone and finger licking. Though, (and not to be rude), Childish Gambino does not eat fast food. That’s the immediate takeaway some two minutes into the intro song, “Me And Your Mama” which abruptly changes into some straight Funkadelic-style-and-feel music that made me do the gas face. It’s dirty. It’s clean. It’s polished and gritty. It’s sound effected. It’s effective. If you’re a music lover, even if you don’t love the sound of it, it’s probably difficult to not appreciate the depth involved here.

6. This is definitely a Black album too, following in the vein of Black ass albums released lately (dating back to Kendrick Lamar’s Black ass To Pimp A Butterfly, which I wouldn’t be surprised to find was an inspiration). However, this is 70s Black, which means it has that Sly & The Family Stone resonance which means it will be enjoyed vigorously by the white people which means headbands, dirty locs while playing the bongo and reciting slam poetry. Basically every white person in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, will love this album and alternate between this and A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie on the Sunday walk to brunch.

7. My favorite tracks are “Me And Your Mama”, “Have Some Love”, “Boogieman”, “Zombies”, “Riot”, “Redbone”, “California”, “Terrified”, “Baby Boy”, “The Night Me And Your Mother Met”, and “Stand Tall”. Yeah, those.

8. You know what else came to mind when listening to this album? Organized Noize. In fact, if Outkast’s “Funky Ride” and “Stanklove” were expanded into a 48-minute long ONP helmed-jam session where Sleepy Brown, Joi,  and André vocally riffed the entire time, I feel like this album would be a definite possibility.

9. There are very few albums that I actually want to see performed live; this is one album I’d REALLY like to see performed live. It seems like it would be a great time. Here’s the caveat: I would not like to go to a Childish Gambino show where he’s performing this amidst his other songs. I only want to see this and only this live.

10. Ultimately, I think it’s a worthy listen and one I recommend with all five of the pimpslaps I’ve been allotted by Willie Dynamite. No matter what, if you like that funk, this is an album you’ll enjoy. You will be imbued with the spirts of Funkadelic past and that’s almost never a good thing. Don’t be terrified. I’m spinnin’. I’m spinnin’ I’m spinnin’ you up.

Panama Jackson

Panama Jackson is pretty fly (and gorgeous) for a light guy. He used to ship his frito to Tito in the District, but shipping prices increased so he moved there to save money. He refuses to eat cocaine chicken. When he's not saving humanity with his words or making music with his mouth, you can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking her fine liquors. Most importantly, he believes the children are our future. You can hit him on his hitter at panamadjackson@gmail.com.

  • I listened to some of it this morning. I got a Prince/Parliament/heavy southern vibe from what I’ve heard so far.

    ***Edit*** Glover looks like the dude from My Name is Earl’s black cousin in that picture up top.

    • cyanic

      He looks like Benny from Total Recall repurposed by a Becky interior designer.

  • Brooklyn_Bruin

    All the cool kids are on this album, hard. I am no longer a cool kid.

    Curious as to how Donny lovers feel about Bruno’s lp?

    • CrankUpThe_AC

      It is phenomenal. Not a single bad track.

    • Glo

      I love em both.

    • I dig it. I appreciate this new wave where artists are making albums they would have the most fun performing

    • BJenks

      Heard that Bruno album fire, I just haven’t gotten around to it yet.

    • PhlyyPhree

      I like Bruno’s album also. They were both heavy on the nostalgic feels but they’re both good.

  • wakakaja

    While the album is good, I’m not sure why I don’t love it? I kinda feel like if you’re going to tread where someone else has, you better bring something different, and I’m not sure what different is here. If I wanted to hear Maggot Brain or Bootsy I’d listen to that, I’m not sure…. I’m not sure what there is new here. I don’t know. I’m confused. I need to listen more.
    But also, he must really love that girl he had that baby with because Jesus, she must be flattered.

  • CrankUpThe_AC

    Childish Gambino stan here. This guy is definitely on the millenial music lover’s Mt. Rushmore (Kendrick, Cole, Drake, and Chance are the others). Dude just speaks my language.

  • cyanic

    Saved it on my free Spotfiy. The retro feel is something I’m not in the mood for. Will wait to form a solid opinion.

    • Brooklyn_Bruin

      Speaking sense.

      I was hoping for an album of Sober (newish sounds) and what I got was the funk that I don’t prefer over James Brown’s funk.

      • HouseOfBonnets

        In his defense he warned everyone that this was gonna be way different from any of his previous work. So I kinda had loose expectations.

  • Other_guy13

    This album is dope and I agree. When I first heard it, I was like, “this album Black AF”. There were a lot of funky sounds and vibes going on. I thought it was a mixture between Prince and George Clinton. Just very smooth and extremely high. It’s not for everybody but in the end…what Childish Gambino CD really is?

    • I feel like people would’ve embraced a rock album more rather expected it…but at the end of the day he’s a n*gga from Atlanta who people seem to be caught off guard when he says or does some black sh*t

  • Trill Mickelson

    I tried to get into Childish Gambino’s music like a month ago and wasn’t really feeling it. The first track I heard was “Freaks & Geeks” and that BANGS — I still listen to it almost daily — but nothing else stood out to me. I feel like I should at least check this one out though and see how I feel.

    • Other_guy13
      • Val


        • Other_guy13

          Don’t think so

        • PhlyyPhree

          On this song? Can’t tell.
          There’s a little, and I do mean LITTLE bit at the end of this album.

    • HouseOfBonnets

      Lights on
      Stn mtn

    • Freaks and Geeks
      Break (AOTL)
      Telegraph Ave
      Southern Hospitality
      Sway Freestyle
      Favorite Song

      I feel like that is a solid sample size…if u not feeling that, you just aren’t into him.

  • tipartsy

    I get high and sit in the tub and listen to Me and Your Mama over and over again. And it’s perfection. I love the whole album.

  • I am a Childish fan (if you pretty much pretend anything before EP didn’t happen) and I love this album. Best way I can put it is, he made his son a Funkadelic album, this is his Between the World And Me, this isn’t the same man who made songs about fat people and Asian women. I almost wish he went by a new moniker to further emphasize how different he’s become. And I hate moniker changes. My only two gripes is the accent on California and Stand Tall went a little too off the rails.

  • QueenRaven23

    I love the album. I listened to it in the car and realized it put me in a good mood. It’s one of those “I’m burning my sage, cleansing my body, balancing chakras” type of album that I can listen to at all times. But I definitely want to see it live. I can’t chose a favorite song. The album is a complete high for me

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