Childish Gambino is an all-around entertainment mogul. He has mostly done work in stand-up, written comedy, and acting under his birth name, Donald Glover. Since 2011, however, we've all known and loved him as this eclectic and artsy party tunes making rapper/singer, Childish Gambino.
On October 2, after announcing the delay of his highly anticipated EP with Chance the Rapper, Gambino, once again, shocked the world with a surprise release of mixtape, STN MTN, just hours before his release of EP, Kauai, on iTunes.
When listening to the full 11-track STN MTN/Kauai mixtape/EP, the listeners are given an opportunity to truly experience the multiple sides of Gambino- a lasting impression of which is amazing!
STN MTN gives a more typical and expected Gambino sound- with clever flows and rhyming over catchy beats in addition to structurally solid instrumentation. Using beats from others, as well as some produced by himself, Gambino did a great job blending the different sounds and influences of his collaborators. STN MTN starts off with "Dream/Southern Hospitality/Partna Dem"- a quick-paced and lyrically driven mashup. Here Gambino takes us to the street of his home in Atlanta, Georgia referencing events and motifs common to the Southern city. "No Small Talk" is the third track of the growlingly popular mixtape. Featuring fellow 30 Rock actress, Kari Faux, this track while extremely catchy is also slightly repetitive and similar in sound to the work of Juicy J.
Acquiring majority of his popularity from his upbeat and high-energy material, the expected "party songs" off the mixtape include, tacks- two "F***s Given", five "Move That Dope/Nextel Chirp/ Let Your Hair Blow", and ten "All Yall". Track eight, "U Don't Have to Call" demonstrates Gambino's growing versatility featuring an acappella verse and monologue from Cody Chestnutt. Candler Road", track nine, mixes a more traditional Southern flow and fresher ATL flow while Gambino lyrically expresses his satisfaction of perfectly timing the release of his personal brand and sound into the hip hop world. The eleventh and final track of STN MTN is one that is probably extremely familiar to most hip hop fans. In "Go DJ", Gambino puts a 2014 twist on Lil Wayne's 2004 hit.
In Kauai, Gambino transports us to the beachy island shores of beautiful Kauai- beginning with chill, laidback "Sober". Immediately leading into literal sounds of waves and seagulls on the second track, "Pop Thieves (Make It Feel Good)". In this second track, Gambino uses a bongo solo to lead into a mini monologue and rap feature by Jaden Smith.
Track three and four, "Retro" and "The Palisades", are the two upbeat tracks found on the 7-track EP, Kauai. "Retro" features very sharp piano rhythm and an electronic hum as well as a chorus sung completely by Gambino. "The Palisade" uses an optimistic guitar part for the main instrumental focus, with both Gambino and feature, Christian Rich, singing the entire track. This track also feautres a mini musical break roughly one minute, fifteen into the track. Here Gambino silences all instruments, keeping the pace of the song moving solely with finger snaps and his own voice.
"Poke", track 5, features Steve G Lover and displays both the rap and R&B sides of Gambino- majority of the track being a medium paced R&B chorus with solid rap verses. "V. 3005 (Beach Picnic Version)" ends this incredible journey. This remix of Gambino's previous worldwide his is relaxing and chill, transcending the listeners again to the beachy shores of Kauai- with audio clips of waves and birds placed intermittently throughout. This version is a more musically expressive take on the extremely popular original displaying Gambino's overall growth as a musician.
This entire mixtape/EP is nothing short of amazing and definitely a must hear for all. The SNT MTN mixtape can be found free for download multiple places online. However, the EP, Kauai, can be found at number seven on iTunes Top Albums and must be purchased. All proceeds attained are donated to help preserve the island of Kauai.