By Chris Pike
Childish Gambino’s third album mixes a lot of different aspects of hip-hop to create a relatively unique sound and style.
The first track that sticks out is “I Be On That.” While the subject matter is typical hip-hop fanfare (money, cars, clothes and women) Gambino offers clever rhymes like “I be steady gettin’ paper/call a nigga Dunder-Mifflin” to counter the lack of depth.
Listeners will soon see that Childish Gambino isn’t a one trick pony as songs like “Got This Money” and “So Fly” not only change the pace of the album in terms of content, but also style wise, adding hints of R&B and soul to what people may think is an exclusively hip-hop record.
The album quickly hits its stride hereafter with songs like “Do Ya Like” and “I’m On It” and finishes strong with “Put It In My Video” and “These Girls.”
Each of these songs have beats that fit perfectly with Gambino’s flow. “Put it In My Video” is especially entertaining as it is not only Gambino’s expression of his love for all types of women, “Light skinned girls you can put it in my video/dark skinned girls you can put it in my video/thin girls you can put it in my video/thick girls you can put it in my video.” But, again, turns on the cleverness with lines like “girls chase me like they think my dick is Justin Bieber.”
Not everything about the album is good though. Some of the songs feature much heavier beats that not only feel out of place, but a little bit awkward.
The lyrical content on some songs also feels stale. Many songs mention his family life as well as his former job as a writer for the show 30 Rock and not in a creative way.
All in all, Culdesac isn’t a perfect album but deserves a listen or two, especially for people who are looking for someone new and fresh in the hip-hop world.