Donald McKinley Glover, also known as Childish Gambino is an American actor, comedian, director, songwriter, singer, and rapper. His rise to fame began back in 2009 with him writing scripts for the hit NBC comedy series 30 Rock. While writing scripts for the series, he then dove into making music as well. In 2008, the Wu-Tang Name Generated artist released his debut mixtape “SickBoi,” which featured songs such as “I’m a Winner,” and “Love is Crazy.” After Sick Boi’s success, the artist then released his debut album in 2011 titled “Camp.” Glover’s fan base for his music expanded even further, and he released his second album “Because of the Internet” in 2013, then following his “STN MTN/Kauai” mixtape in 2014. Two years later, Glover returns, announcing his upcoming FX Series “Atlanta,” which debuted in September 2016. After the success of the first season of Atlanta, Glover released two singles for his third album titled “Awaken, My Love!”.
After the releases of the two hit singles “Me and Your Mama,” and “Redbone,” Gambino brings a lot of excitement and confusion to his fans. The two singles give you a good idea of what you are going to expect for Glover’s upcoming project. For starters, Childish Gambino does not rap on the album whatsoever. It may be a shocker to some fans, but Glover shows that he can do more than just rap. With the sound of funk coming back derived from artists such as Chance The Rapper, Kendrick Lamar, Anderson, Paak, and more, Glover takes his approach on the resurrection of funk. Sampling classic tracks of the genre from the 70s with a touch of autotune, Glover’s sound as an artist evolves from his previous projects.
The album begins with “Me and Your Mama,” which is the first single Gambino released for “Awaken, My Love!”. The track displays heavy drumming, with smooth piano keys, and a strong guitar riff, that is honestly enjoyable. The second track, “Have Some Love” has a funky, and catchy vibe to it, along with Donald’s auto-tuned voice over the track. Even though the auto tuning over roads works, and especially over the instruments, because of the production on “Awaken, My Love!” is superb, and is one of Donald Glover’s best projects production wise, it may get somewhat annoying. As a listener, it was tolerable for songs as “Zombies,” “Redbone,” and “Baby Boy,” it felt like Glover was overdoing the auto tune. As an example, the track “California” is a very well produced track, but the auto-tuning does not fall into place. The songwriting standouts in each track. From being black, and feeling as if he’s the boogieman on the track “Boogieman” to a very soft, and sweet song dedicated to his brand new son in the song “Baby Boy.” The production is unyielding on each track, modernizing the dying genre of funk, and making it enjoyable for the fans, and new listeners of Childish Gambino. The only weakness in “Awaken, My Love!” is the repetitive auto tuning in Childish Gambino’s voice. Overall, “Awaken, My Love!” is by far Glover’s best musical project, and it is something to listen to if you are in a very chill mood just wanting some music that provides nothing but good vibes.