Editor’s note: This review took longer than usual because ya boy just moved.
I’ve been a fan of Childish Gambino for almost a decade now. It’s pretty surreal to watch a guy go from quirky Lil Wayne knock off – “Weezy but Cheesy” in his own words – to turning into a musician whose creativity rivals that of Kanye and Prince in their prime. Fandom aside though, Bino’s new album, 3.15.20, was a tough one to digest…. at first.
Hear me out y’all, it’s about to get weird…
Much like dicks, there are two types of albums in this world: The showers and the growers. Showers really are upfront. What you see is what you get, with few surprises. Sometimes that’s not even a bad thing. Lil Uzi Vert’s Eternal Atake was a big fat purple eggplant emoji for the world’s ears.
And then there are the growers. At first glance these albums may be grossly underwhelming. Just one skim through at surface level will leave some dissatisfied the way I can only imagine Sean Hannity’s wife felt on their honeymoon.
These grower albums can take a long time to be appreciated, but eventually they hit a turning point where you will begin to understand the artist’s intentions, philosophies, and hopefully, feel what they felt when they made it. This, ladies and ghettomen, is 3.15.20
“But yo!”, you ask “I’m not there yet, what should I feel????”
I’m glad you asked. This album makes me feel like a small part of the bigger picture. With every listen I realize that this album is less about Donald Glover as a person, and more about the worlds and spirits Donald Glover feels connected to. It’s almost like the Matrix or Inception. It’s a dream within a dream, one where the Holy Spirit is felt all around you. All the happiness, joy, laughter, sadness, love and even aggression coexists in one rainbow colored nebula. Donald wants you to enter the singularity with him.
This is furthered by the fact that all of the album’s tracks blend together seamlessly. Even Bino’s voice is distorted or warped on most of the songs, allowing him to blend into the mix as another instrument. It’s nearly the opposite of everything pop. There are almost no quotables – except for Tik Tok’s new bop “Little Foot Big Foot, get out da way” – but somehow every track remains utterly singable once you learn the melodies.
I found joy in this album after my initial disappointment once I gave myself into the singularity, because once I did, I found a soundtrack fitting for life. It may not pop in the club, but I feel this Bino’s “Sweet Thang” crawling on my brain at home when doing chores, or when I’m chilling at the beach soaking in the sun, or when I’m on the road in a car filled with friends. The list goes on and on. It never ceases to make me want to sing, dance, and shout no matter where I go.
The point I’m trying to make is this: If you live with this album, it will live with you.
- My only real disappointment with this album is that the song “Human Sacrifice” wasn’t included. It’s such an obvious banger that definitely would’ve garnered him higher sales and airtime, but Bino being Bino, he probably cut it just to subvert expectations. Listen to it here and let me know what you think tho: Childish Gambino – Human Sacrifice
- If this is the last Childish Gambino album so be it. He’s had a great run. But I believe he may return with more music under his real name next time.