Childish Gambino, aka Donald Glover, released his latest mixtape earlier today. Listen to STN MTN (pronounced "Stone Mountain") above via Audiomack, as part of DJ Drama's Gangsta Grillz series. Also, cop the official free download from Gambino's stonemounta.in website. You can stream KAUAI now right here on Zumic.
With this mixtape, Gambino may be shifting from a friendly emo rapper to one of the more arrogant and angry rhyme-spitters in the game. The 11-track, 40 minute collection of tunes is a self-centered celebration of Donald Glover, with allusions to Gambino's home of Stone Mountain, Georgia and neighboring Atlanta.
As we've come to expect from 'Bino, this mixtape is built around a concept: he's in a dream where he runs Atlanta and his songs are played on the radio (in case you're wondering, his biggest hit, "3005," peaked at #11 on the rap radio chart). He explained the concept in an interview with Complex earlier this week:
It’s a Gangsta Grillz mixtape that goes into an EP. The Gangsta Grillz mixtape is like a dream, and the dream ends when I wake up in Kauai. And they go into each other. It’s one complete project, but you can download the mixtape and you can go buy the EP. The money from the EP goes to help with keeping Kauai clean, and also helps with getting audio and visual devices for cops policy... and to pay for mixers and stuff.
We hear beats mostly built on samples from southern rap, including Ludacris' "Southern Hospitality," Rich Kidz ft Young Dro's "My Partna Dem," Kari Faux's "No Small Talk," Future's "Move That Dope," Maeo's "Nectel Chirp," and Lil Wayne's "Go DJ."
There's a clear break in the album at "Childish Gambino @ The Atrium" which is a parody of a radio promo, playing "3005" along with a sample of Kanye West saying, "What does that mean?... What the fuck is he talking about?" taken from a Nike commercial.
The end of the STN MTN veers more towards R&B. "U Don't Have to Call" begins with a little skit about strip clubs and then shows Gambino doing his R&B croon thing for the first time on the mixtape. When the keyboard comes in, this song sounds great. "Candler Road" also features Gambino singing, pairing out of tune keyboard sounds with Gambino's out of tune vocals. "All Y'All" starts with a rap and then segues into a ballad about smoking weed.
There are a lot of strange elements to this mixtape. On "No Fucks Given," it's peculiar how he sings, "I came here to do my own shit," as he sounds like a carbon copy of Chris Brown. Later in the song, he seems to copy the flow of arguably his biggest rival -- Drake -- on "Worst Behavior." This is followed by "No Small Talk," which sounds a lot like Kanye West's flow on "Bound 2."
With obnoxious beats to match his obnoxious bars, Gambino is obviously going for the bad boy image. The question is: How good is he at being bad? Let us know what you think in the comments.
For Childish Gambino's latest music, news, and tour dates, check out his Zumic artist page.