Childish Gambino’s multimedia album has imaginative sound

Because the Internet incorporates a 73-page multimedia script that includes multiple Internet references.

Childish Gambino press image

“Because the Internet” incorporates a 73-page multimedia script that includes multiple Internet references.

As an actor, stand-up comedian, and rapper, Donald Glover (known to many as Childish Gambino) has shaped a diverse career for himself. The only piece lacking in his life was releasing an appealing and unique album. Because the Internet is just that: it unveils an exceptionally distinctive and artistic style unlike any other.

Gambino took a completely different approach with Because the Internet, hoping to deeply inscribe his name in the hip-hop world with a rare experimental album. The imaginative album is made up of 14 songs, with 5 short interludes intertwined between the tracks. The melodies perfectly tie the album together, shaping a creative story for listeners through Gambino’s sound.

The album is accompanied with a 73-page multimedia script that includes an abundance of Internet references blended in Gambino’s rhymes. The project doubles as a music album and a theatrical play or short film, with the screenplay including brief videos, colorful illustrations, and dialogues between various characters.

Produced by Gambino himself, Because the Internet samples an assortment of genres, as he expresses his range as an artist. The first single on the album, “I. Crawl,” is climbing the iTunes charts. Its upbeat tempo mixed with Gambino’s witty lyrics serves as an anthem for a listening group made up of both indie-rap and mainstream rap fans. The bouncy and electronic “V. 3005” is an amusing and catchy tune sure to lure music lovers onto the dance floor whenever it is playing.

Glassnotes Records

Unlike most hip-hop albums, Because the Internet only has two features from other artists. “I. The Worst Guys” features Chance the Rapper’s squeaky voice on the chorus, drawing the attention of Chance fans, while focusing on the musical artwork created by Gambino. The other single, “I. Pink Toes,” features close friend and business partner, Jhene Aiko, who drops her beautifully polished voice on the track.

A larger vision and reputable experimentation are what shape the album into the artwork it is. Gambino does not take a one-dimensional approach with this album; rather, he allows fans to interpret the album in numerous ways. Listeners can view the album as a solo project or as a multimedia masterpiece.

The album sheds light on Gambino’s feelings and views regarding modern culture. He does a preeminent job illustrating one’s loneliness amongst people in today’s society, while concurrently finding love and connections with the Internet. “II. Earth: The Oldest Computer (The Last Night)” depicts a life where people can only express themselves through “retweeting the tweets and regretting the mentions,” as people are wireless survivors who can only be alive through being alone.

Desperately in search of finding his true identity as a musician, and coming off of two lackluster albums, Childish Gambino has revamped his style and has come extremely close to grasping what being an artist means to him. In doing so, he constructed an album sure to be considered when discussing album of the year honors, as its imaginative and vibrant sound has made an explosive impact on the hip-hop/rap game.