Awaken, to a New Album! Childish Gambino’s “Awaken, My Love!”


Maya Goldberg

Alessandro Ferri ‘17 has a strong opinion on the new album.

On December 2nd, 2016, Childish Gambino, also known as Donald Glover, released a new album called “Awaken, My Love!” Before its release, the album was predicted to be a huge hit, since Gambino had not released an album in three years. The album has been incredibly controversial, since Gambino is known in music for his rap, but this album has been called “soul”, “r&b,” and “rock,” none of which parallel his usual works. Some people were enraged and disappointed, while others were appreciative of the risks he took, and were impressed by the outcomes.

The most profound change that Gambino established for his music career was the new and unique genre this album takes on. This is the origin of most of his album’s controversy, since all of Gambino’s fans love him for his rap, but this style was unusual and involved no rapping whatsoever. Several varied opinions on this change were expressed.

“I love Donald Glover, but I was slightly disappointed that he did not rap in this album, because his lyrics have been so complex and have so many layers to them, but there’s none of that on this new album so I’m just not as interested,” said Milo Truppin ’17.

Maya Goldberg
Milo Truppin, ‘17 was slightly disappointed by the new album.

Other students disapproved of the album as well, but had different critiques about the genre change.

“The new genre sounds really similar and repetitive to me, and the background music was too different, which was strange. I did not like it,” said Liam Gordon ’17.

When asked to be more specific in what they thought changed in Gambino which led to this new music, Eliot Giannoni ’17 responded, “In this album he had a really strong emphasis on instrumentals instead of vocals, which to me feels like Childish is trying to be a certain kind of musician that he is not.” Although the album received many criticisms, there were many people that truly appreciated the new sound and attitude that Gambino added to his music.

“I think it’s great that Childish Gambino is expanding his musical talents, and I think he’s trying to appeal to more people by not just doing rap, which I really appreciate,” said Koyuki Yasui ’17. Several students seemed to agree with her as well, stating that the change in genre was refreshing and unique, and that Childish Gambino pulled it off.

Some believed that whoever was disappointed in the album was simply expecting rap, which led them to dislike the change. However, those who were just excited to hear more music by Childish were pleasantly surprised.

Although the album is controversial, many students had similar opinions on their favorite songs. The most popular songs seem to be “Redboneand “California.”

“This album made me think he is trying too hard. My favorite song is ‘Redbone,’ though,” said Alessandro Ferri ’17. Gordon also found “Redbone” to be his favorite.

Giannoni, although disapproving of the album, stated, “Some songs are really good though, such as ‘California.’”

Michael Heilweil ’17 agreed with Eliot when he said, “My favorite song is ‘California,’ but even that one is strange.”

Yasui had a slight change in favorites when she stated, “I really like ‘Me and Your Mama.’ ‘Redbone’ is kind of basic but I also like that one.” Clearly, although there are many criticisms of the album, there were some hits within it.

“I think it’s great that Childish Gambino is expanding his musical talents” said Koyuki Yasui ’17.

Overall, the controversy over the album is what makes it such a hit. It is unique, and Donald Glover changed the game for rappers everywhere.