Infinite threat comedy writer-actor-stand up comedian-DJ-producer-rapper Donald Glover released a new mixtape under his Childish Gambino moniker last week.
The release came only about seven months since the hard working entertainer released the first Childish Gambino album, Camp, in November of last year, though the distinction between “album” and “mixtape” at this point seems kind of arbitrary.
While Camp saw Glover turning to his longtime collaborator – and composer of all the music for Community - Ludwig Goransson for all production duties, on the new mixtape, Royalty, Glover does the bulk of the production work himself, also under the “Childish Gambino” alias.
In addition, Royalty boasts a murderer’s row of guest rappers and producers. As AV Club Toronto (of all places) puts it, it’s “a lineup that will substantiate all your ‘Donald Glover splits the difference between Ghostface Killah, Beck, and Tina Fey’ arguments.” In addition to Beck, who raps on one track, co-producers another with Childish Gambino, and produces a third, and Ghostface and Tina Fey, who (naturally) rap on two separate tracks, pretty much every buzzed about millenial-aged rapper appears on the mixtape, including Schoolboy Q, Ab-Soul, and Danny Brown. Bun B and RZA contribute verses as well.
As the above guest list probably makes clear, Glover/Childish Gambino continues to express the duality of nerdy comedy writer/”real rapper” in his work. Nowhere is this more apparent than on the Beck-produced track “Silk Pillow,” where he makes a reference to former Pele mistress/hostess of a Brazilian children’s telvision show Xuxa. If, like me, you happened to have lived in Brazil as an adolescent in the late 80s, let’s just say this was an especially unexpected and resonant reference to hear from a rapper.
You can download Royalty here.