Childish Gambino puts out a hit-and-miss second album

Sam Boyd, Sports Editor

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Because the Internet, the second official album from popular rapper Childish Gambino (real-name Donald Glover), is a surprise to say the least. Gambino replaces rapping on many of his tracks with his soft coos as if to imply that he has matured past the angry romantic he was in Camp. Songs like “crawl” and “3005” still have the heavy beats and fast raps that we have come to expect from Gambino, but other like “Pink Toes” are much slower and offer a new side to the rapper that we only briefly glimpsed in Camp: a Drake-like knowledge of love and loss.

The album goes against the grain of most rap albums which are heavy on featured artists. Because the Internet includes only Chance the Rapper, Lloyd, Jhene Aiko and Azealia Banks, most of who are not prominent figures in the modern rap image. Perhaps Gambino is giving other up-and-comers a chance to rise to fame. Unfortunately, Gambino is still the main star on this album, still maintaining the spotlight with his ability to switch from the strong, weird rapper to the insecure, lovely singer.

Almost 58 minutes long, the album does seem to drag on, especially to the fan expecting nonstop hip-hop from start to end. Instead, Because the Internet seems to feature one or two pure rap songs followed by three or four instrumental heavy works that end with Gambino’s almost insecure singing. Much like Kid Cudi’s recent albums, Gambino gives the listeners a taste of what they have come to love but the majority of the album feels like an experiment. Gambino is testing the waters within the art of music making. But most of his “art” might go over the heads of listeners who were expecting more songs like “Bonfire.”

Childish Gambino’s second album went for the more Kanye West feel of pushing the boundaries of rap music into a pure art form. He replaces his goofy but romantic raps for a more creative approach, and he does hit home with his overall tale of life, love and loss. Unfortunately, this drastic change in musical styles may have been too shocking to enjoy upon the first couple of listens. It’s not bad, it’s just different.

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