[REVIEW]: Childish Gambino – Royalty

Talented actor/comedian/rapper Donald Glover put out another new Childish Gambino release in mixtape form on July 4th.  The highly anticipated Royalty mixtape has been made available for free download via the rapper’s blog, http://iamdonald.com/childishgambino.

Throughout the past few months, Gambino has been releasing songs from the tape one by one online as teasers.  He has also performed several new songs during his recent tour, which hit Boston on June  21st.  My review of that particular show can be found at http://musicallydiversified.com/2012/07/05/childish-gambino-boston-bounce/.

Childish Gambino had just released his full-length major label debut, CAMP, last November.  He has undoubtedly kept very busy, seeing as Royalty consists of eighteen solid songs.  With that said, this new release sounds slightly different than the rapper’s previous bunch of releases.  Gambino does not sing much on Royalty.  Even his rap style has changed into a more atypical hardcore rap style, instead of his usual loose-ish sing/rap style.  One way to describe it is to compare his style on this release to Drake rather than to the usual “nerdy Lil’ Wayne” comparison.

Despite the moderate change in style, there are some notable tracks on Royalty, including “Toxic,” which features a verse from Gambino’s tour opener, Danny Brown, over a sample of Britney Spear’s song of the same title.  “R.I.P” is proof of this new “hardcore rap” sound in Gambino’s flow.

While I enjoy much of the Royalty mixtape, I honestly hope it is more of an experimental venture than a taste of a newly evolving Gambino sound.


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