SPOTLIGHT ON… Childish Gambino

Since Kanye went mega-ego-popstar a few albums back, rap has been without a crown prince of the geek persuasion (I’m not counting Lupe Fiasco). Almost out of nowhere, Childish Gambino has arrived. Gambino a.k.a Cheezy is the stage name of American comic actor (and star of the brilliant sitcom Community, which I’m going to keep recommending ‘til everyone is watching it) Donald Glover, who’s been plugging away with his hip-hop side project since 2008, giving away all his music for free from his blog, an admiable decision for someone without a a huge amount of fame of money to fall back on.

Whilst his earlier albums Sick Boi and Poindexter often veer into Lil Wayne-lite parody (Glover has also dismissed his earlier work as that of “a decrepit Drake”), his more recent work, such as the I Am Just A Rapper mixtapes, Culdesac album and his untitled EP have all gained cult classic status with a quickly growing fanbase. Gambino’s tracks are often littered with hilarious one-liners, showing just how talented he is at comedy, delivered at 100 mph, backed by some rather slick beats. For example, choice hilarious lines include “You can’t go H.A.M, you’s a Jewish nigga”, “Is it too soon for Japanese girls to tsunami?" and "I’m heading West like I’m fuckin’ blowin’ Kanye”, and they’re just from Break (AOTL), a reworking of Kanye West’s All Of The Lights. Of course, typical hip-hop bragadoccio is there (“An elephant never forgets, so my dick remembers everything" and "My dick is too big, it’s a big bang theory" popping up in Freaks & Geeks alone), but more often than not, Glover bears his soul lyrically, stating on My Shine "in fact, I swear the track I lie on’s my last track”.

He also has a damn good singing voice, as evidenced on My Shine, Be Alone, and the fierce Lights Turned On. Switching between family matters, bullying, suicidal thoughts, alcoholism, relationship troubles, homophobic taunts and sex (boy, is there a lot of sex), Glover’s song topics make a very refreshing change from the stock hip-hop idea of being in the club. Currently, Glover is working on his fourth as-yet-untitled LP, due in September. I’d suggest now is a perfect to time to hop on this bandwagon.


  • The entire Untitled EP
  • New Prince (Crown On The Ground) (from the I AM JUST A RAPPER mixtape)
  • Break (AOTL)
  • Jamie xx’s Rolling In The Deep remix, featuring Childish Gambino

All of Childish Gambino’s music is free to download from his blog, IAMDONALD


With his fourth as-yet untitled LP dropping in September, Donald Glover is in the form of his life. The I Am Just A Rapper mixtapes, Culdesac and untitled EP have made Gambino an underground sensation. This untitled song, debuted here at Glover’s ComicCon show, is set to figure on the upcoming album and follows down the same path as “Freaks & Geeks”, albeit a bit rougher and rockier. Naturally the punchlines come thick and fast: "Made the beat, murdered it, Casey Anthony", "Man why does every black actor gotta rap some?/ I dont know, all I know is I’m the best one", "I love pussy, I love bitches/Dude I should be running PETA" as well as a shout out to ToeJam and Odd Future's Earl. "Gambino is a mastermind" is a line from “Freaks & Geeks”. On this evidence, that’s not an overstatement.

Even more Childish Gambino news…

I probably should’ve waited five minutes and combined the two Gambino posts into one. Oh well. Donald Glover has just announced the title and, what we presume is the artwork for his fourth album. "Camp" will be released in September and its artwork, shown above, follows the same leafy theme as the preceding EP. A pre-album trailer has also been made, available to view below, featuring the album version of the song Glover debuted at ComicCon.




New Childish Gambino is always a good thing. New Childish Gambino on a new version of J. Cole's best track? Even better. This reworking of “Who Dat” comes as a way of honouring the late Spencer Datt, who features here and was brother-in-law of hip-hop DJ Peter Rosenberg, who died recently at the age of 18. Cole and Datt are pretty great, but Gambino absolutely kills it with his verse, a punchline coming virtually every second (pick of the bunch "I shit green like vegetarian assholes"). If anything, it only serves to increase the anticipation for Gambino’s upcoming album “Camp”, released in November.


Freshly dropped on Donald Glover's blog, "Bonfire" is the first track to surface from the upcoming Camp. Previously aired live at this summer’s ComicCon, the track goes hard with the requisite fuckload of punchlines (pick of the bunch; "I love pussy, I love bitches/Man, I should be runnin’ PETA" and "Made the beat then murdered it/Casey Anthony") and a disorientating beat encompassing tribal chanting and rock guitars. Camp can’t come soon enough.


New Gambino tracks are always welcome here at Hitsville and it’s safe to say Donald Glover is on his way to becoming a Hitsville Hero in the very near future. With Gambino’s fourth album Camp dropping in the near future (the tracklist and official artwork finally revealed here), this writer is pretty excited. "All My Shine" is the second song to surface from the record, after the excellent “Bonfire”, and takes a more introspective position than that last track. Glover takes a look at his love/hate relationship with fame, taking aim at the usual haters and disbelievers as well as Pitchfork and his own problems and neuroses. It’s starkly honest and in the opinion of this white middle class suburban hip-hop loving white guy, further cements Childish Gambino as the best rapper around.


I know with the amount of Gambino-related stuff we post, Hitsville must seem like the unofficial Donald Glover website, but it’s not without good reason. "Bonfire" was the first track to surface from Glover’s upcoming fourth album Camp, and now we’ve got a proper video for it. Warning; it’s not what you’d usually expect from an underground rapper/comedian


Apologies for yet another Childish Gambino post, but discovering new material is always worth sharing. This verse comes from DJ Sosupersam’s This Way Up mix, released a week ago, and features Gambino going pretty hard over Hudson Mohawke’s Twistclip Loop, dropping his usual flow for something even more tongue twisting.

Gambino and NPR, it’s a hipster’s wet dream. Camp is Donald Glover’s fourth album, and first to be commerically released, through Glassnote Records (the previous three were given away for free on Glover’s blog).
Click here to listen to Camp on

Gambino and NPR, it’s a hipster’s wet dream. Camp is Donald Glover’s fourth album, and first to be commerically released, through Glassnote Records (the previous three were given away for free on Glover’s blog).

Click here to listen to Camp on