Reviews: Childish Gambino – Culdesac

Marching band drums lead into an ominous, orchestral explosion. A voice declares ‘Yeah, yes I’m on top! I’m going this hard, and no I won’t stop’. The flawless production, the confident flow – this is the kind of combination you don’t hear everyday. Hero, the second track from Childish Gambino’s debut LP Culdesac, is the kind of song you’ve always hoped to hear; horns layered over strings over bass over a thumping beat and the kind of flow Eminem wishes he could still spit – intelligent, perceptive, snarky and effortless-sounding. The music doesn’t take a backseat – the production is beautiful and works in tandem with Gambino’s vocal work.

It’s not just a one-off – every track on Culdesac is filled to the brim with style, originality, well-evident talent and the kind of energy that used to propel Kanye West (or Mick Jagger) around stage like a strutting rooster. The lyrics themselves evoke comparisons to Kanye, Lupe Fiasco and Eminem – a mix of impudence, cynicism, confidence and self-awareness, Gambino is a masterful rapper and and even better writer. This guy, quite simply, has got it going on. For those who don’t know, ‘this guy’ is actor, writer and rapper Donald Glover – former writer for 30 Rock, member of sketch comedy team Derrick Comedy and star of NBC’s single-cam comedy Community. An unbelievably talented dude, Glover has put together the best hip hop album of the year.

It’s impossible to express how good this album is through words alone – head to to hear the album for yourselves (free of charge).


review by Ben Vernel

One Response to “Reviews: Childish Gambino – Culdesac”
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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Ben Vernel, Ben Vernel. Ben Vernel said: @MrDonaldGlover hey man, just put up a review of Culdesac: […]

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