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Donald Glover has done it again. As one of the few jacks of all trade in today’s ever so competitive show business, he’s juggled legitimate careers as a stand up comedian, musician, and actor with seemingly effortless prowess, whilst maintaining creative integrity and individuality. His latest project, a studio album released under his rap moniker, Childish Gambino, is a step out of the norm, something to be expected of Glover. His unique blend of peculiar references and synth driven beats have become a fixture in the underground hip-hop scene and because the Internet continues on his style well. The title of the album is “Because the Internet.” This is a statement within itself, considering the colossal influence of the Internet in the lives of people today.
The album cover bears only a Hawaiian shirt clad Glover flashing a smug face to the camera, adding to the mysterious element of the project. This type of simplistic imagery provides the album with a cryptic shroud that also drapes over some of the tracks in the album. The 5 second intro track “The Library” is simply a few electronic sounds, followed by a sudden burst into a James Brown sampled, 808 Heavy Banger, “Crawl.” “Crawl” is followed by one of the brighter spots of the album, the aggressive track, and “WorldStar.” The song title is an ode to the notoriously ratchet site, WorldstarHipHop, something that goes hand in hand with the Internet themed album. The melody of a Chance the Rapper backed tune, “The Worst Guys” is highlighted in a filler track. The following 4 tracks, “Shadows,” “Telegraph Ave” (ode to my hometown of Oakland), “Sweatpants” and lead single, “3005,” are undoubtedly the strongest points of this album. The 10 tracks in succession are a little boring, and it concludes with life: The Biggest Troll, an ode to Internet trolls. Overall “Because the Internet” is a unique blend of production and flows, and it gets a solid 8 out of 10 from me.