Music Review: Childish Gambino – Royalty


Childish Gambino is one of those rising artists that I really admire. However, as he has been rising the depth and attributes that made me like him seem to be fading into the rap fad.

Rap can be one of two things, it can be inspiring or it can be cliche. I don’t normally do music reviews primarily because music is incredibly subjective. Some people like rap songs about being hood, getting women sexually and being rich. It can reflect to them a world in which they wish to hold. Others, like myself, love the underdog story behind the lyrics.

Early Gambino was an ideal that you can’t be judged based on what you have. In his lyrics Gambino often hints at his past of growing up poor and having to work like hell to get what he has now. I can relate and appreciate these lyrics. He will often refer to being himself and rap about not wanting to be like everyone else. Another thing I incredibly respect.

The music behind the lyrics isn’t often anything new, but when the music is good it is REALLY good. Like in Heartbeat or Bonfire or most of Camp for that matter where his songs were backed by a choir and a full band including a violinist.

Lyrically in Camp there was the occasional off-topic “humble brag” about women, clothes cars and what he has. That’s fine usually, my problem is that it’s not Gambino, not the original notion of him that I devised. The notion of inspiration that is gets lost and buried in attempts to lingo and assimilate the mainstream world of rap. How is he being himself when he sounds like every other rapper?

That’s my notion being affected though, different people could’ve got something else completely from early Gambino, what he was or who he is now. Royalty, his new mixtape, he is joined by several different guest rappers, none of these rappers really stand out in anyway. Swank and Kilo Kish were probably my favorite guest apperances.

The last few tracks are significantly better than the first half of the album, where nothing really sounds that original. Each song you just wait for Gambino to get on the mic and blow you away lyrically, which when he gets on nothing he says really stands out. Just the brags about what he has now.

As I said, the last few tracks were pretty good, my favorite track on the album would’ve had to have been RIP mainly for the musical mashup of Kravinsky. I also enjoyed: Shoulda Known, Bronchitus, Make It Go, and Real Estate.