The Joup Friday Album: Childish Gambino – Camp

81NzJqyL8IL._SL1294_The weather has been kind, and I’ve spent the majority of my time outside. One of my new neighbors is a nature preserve, and the sounds and smells that brings is an unexpected and very welcome bonus to the house. I’ve spent hours getting things ready for a proper garden. The lawn is getting there. It’s boring, but it feels good to literally lay roots down somewhere.

It’s been a really, really good week.

You know who else had a pretty good week? Nix that, you know who is having a pretty good month? Donald Glover.

He’s wrapping up a solid second season to his Emmy award-winning show Atlanta, was the host AND musical guest on Saturday Night Live this week, has been pushing his role as Lando in Solo: A Star Wars Story coming out on May 25, and STILL had time to drop a new single under his musical stage name Childish Gambino. I played in some dirt and couldn’t even squeeze in some laundry. This review seemed overwhelming, for crying out loud! I don’t know how this dude does it.

I’m not going to pretend I picked Gambino’s first major release because I wanted to talk about it. I promise I’ll get to it, but did you see the video for “This is America?!?”

Seriously. Check it out.

“This is America” was directed by Glover’s Atlanta creative partner, Hiro Murai. It’s not just a catchy, powerful tune with a gut-punch of a video, but the whole thing is just beautifully shot. Who would have thought we’d get this level of creative quality from one of the weird, nerdy guys from Community?

Alright, alright… back to the album. I’m going to be quick about this.

Childish Gambino’s first major release, Camp, is just fine. I remember it when it came out, and was really impressed that a dude I liked from television and stand-up put out something that was so fun. We saw him touring on this album. It was a blast. Tracks like “Heartbeat” and “Bonfire” get a crowd going. It was more of the same, and that’s definitely the criticism it received. Pitchfork gave Camp a 1.6 saying “he scripts a slightly off-brand, fictional version of Kanye West being played for laughs.”

Woof. If they only knew then what we know now.

Camp is a lot fun, a little cheesy, and most definitely childish. It’s not some perfect hip hop album, and Glover’s other Childish Gambino releases are definitely better. At the same time, I liked seeing him perform it, and it’s an acceptable album for the beginning of summer. Also, it was the first album that popped up when I searched on YouTube, and I’m not as ambitious as Donald Glover.

Seriously. Dude is 35 and already has an Emmy and Grammy.  At this rate, he’s going to EGOT by 40. I can’t compete with that.

Have a good weekend, everyone. Chester.

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