A pop culture polymath, a Rolling Stone cover star, a rap game Ferris Bueller; Donald Glover has undergone several mind-altering metamorphoses throughout his career. Not only has the Los Angeleno rewritten the rule book on acid rap under pseudonym Childish Gambino: the brainchild behind 2013’s Grammy-nominated album Because of the Internet – comprising viral superhits “Sweatpants” and “3005”; but 2016 has witnessed the Community starlet gain a notorious reputation as one of Hollywood’s leading actors and screenwriters.
With Glover’s critically-acclaimed TV series Atlanta – delivering fun and epigrammatic humour in equal measures – being commissioned for a second season; and Disney Lucasfilm casting the actor as a young Lando Calrissian in the Star Wars franchise’s upcoming Han Solo Anthology (set to be released in 2018), the multi-talented polyglot has catapulted himself to the highest zenith of stardom.
Childish Gambino alludes to his recent success on his latest single “Redbone”; a musical aphrodisiac taken from the upcoming third studio album Awaken, My Love – released Dec 2 via Glassnote Records: The second taste of new music from the artist since 2014’s dual mixtape Kauai/STN MTN.
“Redbone” is a sultry slow jam which parses infatuation, decades of empyrean soul, and socio-political consciousness. Delivering a myriad of slap-bass punctuations and feminine vocal charms reminiscent of Prince’s Camille, “Redbone” enacts as a perfect serenade, potent enough to sedate any listener. Gambino squeals “Daylight, I wake up feeling like you won’t play right, I used to know, but now that shit don’t feel right” as he yearns for the affections of an unrequited love – showcasing his most amorous vocal performance to date. Although the composition appears minimal throughout, its sombre production continually morphs and meanders, before spiralling uncontrollably into a funk firebomb, exploding with palpitating synth chords, nocturnal piano keys, and atmospheric tones.
Listen to ‘Redbone’ below:
Written and published by James Macdonald.