Childish Gambino’s Latest Album, 3.15.20, is New Flavor For Your Ear
On March 15th, Childish Gambino, musical alter ego of actor Donald Glover, shared a surprise drop of his 4th album, 3.15.20, only to have it mysteriously disappear hours later. Now officially released, if we ever needed an album to lift our spirits, it’s during our current state of affairs. Here are 5 highlights to this masterful 12 track LP, which includes unlisted features from SZA, Ariana Grande, and 21 Savage.
“Time” – This song finds Gambino in reflective mode as he ruminates about the social limitations, that most human beings are faced with on a daily basis. He sings “Maybe the stars in the sky are really dreams/Maybe the whole world is not exactly what it seems”. The production carries a gentle vibrancy and carries a nostalgia of an early Michael Jackson classic.
“19.10″ – The buoyant tone of this segment of the album, feels like the start of a summer jam party. Hypnotic drums work in tandem with soulful chirpy instrumentation.
“32.22″ – This track finds Gambino in war-like mode as the beats bang and crash in a kamikaze fashion. It’s slightly reminiscent of a vintage Kanye West medley, with its aggressive potency. The delirious nature of this track is represented as if, he is almost incoherent throughout the track. He appears to be making a point, that people are no longer concerned with lyrical artistry, but purely with dope beats.
“35.31” – Arguably the most outlandish Country-inspired track on the album, it brings a heavy dose of social commentary. Once the beat kicks in, it’s hard not to smile as Gambino spits lines like, “He was only sixteen, he was lookin’ at three/Now he lookin’ at nine, pray to God he don’t speak”. It’s quite brilliant that he is able to articulate the perspective of a hopeless teen, with little left to do, but hussle and grind in the streets for survival. Although the lyrics are dark and menacing in patches, the bullish, soulful production transcends this to a whole other level.
“47.48” – Here, Gambino delves into his funk and blues roots to deliver this stark, yet hopeful song. It’s beautifully captured in the second verse as he sings “Little boy, little girl/Are you scared of the world/Is it hard to live/Just take care of your soul/ Let the beauty unfold/You’ll get through it”. The song ruminates a poignant and urgent message to stop the violence.
It is an utter masterpiece of an album with top class arrangement, which makes every song seamlessly connect. However, this also makes us want more and with that being said, it’s an easy contender for Album of the Year.