On Nov. 10, Childish Gambino released Me and Your Momma and then Redbone a week later. The two songs come as precursors to Gambino’s fifth studio album, Awaken, My Love, and offer listeners a curious look into Gambino’s exploration of a new style.
Me and Your Mama, is a funk inspired piece, with soaring guitar lines and echoing vocals. The beginning of the song starts off as a calm interlude. “I’m in love and we are smokin’ that la-la-la-la,” Gambino sings. Then the piece turns into a violent declaration and Childish sings until he is hoarse, “You know that I love you, so let me into your heart!”
Gambino’s second track, Redbone, sounds like a song from an 80’s vinyl (in the best way possible). Composed of a slow rock beat and cruising keyboard lines, it offers a meditative departure from the aggressive lyricism of its preceding track.
Perhaps Gambino’s new style is a welcome departure from his older projects. Me and Your Momma landed at #3 on Spotify’s Global Chart and #4 on the Viral Chart. Awaken, My Love is Gambino’s return to music, which comes almost three years after his most recent project, STN MTN.
Redbone and Me and Your Momma offer a different Gambino than the one who sang of courtside Clippers games and house parties on tracks Worst Guys and 3005. Me and Your Momma is minimalistic in construction and does away with pre-choruses and verses, emphasizing the excitement created by the rapper’s haunting falsetto and track producer Ludwig Göransson’s background instrumentation.
In an interview with Billboard, Gambino (Donald Glover by birth) explained that funk music was influential in creating the album and recalled its effect on him as a child. “I remember listening to songs my dad would play — albums by the Isleys or Funkadelic — and not understanding the feeling I was feeling,” he reflected.
Awaken comes on the heals of several developments in the rapper’s life. The Dec. 2 release date is preceded by the critically acclaimed first season of Gambino’s FX Show Atlanta, which follows the ascent of a local rapper. Furthermore, in 2016, Glover announced the birth of his daughter, and that he would be playing Lando Carlissian in the upcoming Star Wars film.
Fans are eagerly awaiting Gambino’s reintroduction to hip-hop on Dec. 2. As he begins to take on several new projects, Awaken could be the shining intersection of Gambino’s creative ventures.
Originally published at gw.therival.news.