childish gambino - "awaken, my love!" / by Zack Free

donald glover has hit his stride. fresh off the success of atlanta, his critically acclaimed fx series, the renaissance man (finally) comes into his own musically on “awaken, my love!” forgoing completely the cornball-isms that have defined his career as childish gambino, glover expands his vision to include acidic funk and throat coat soul that draws liberally from legends such as parliament ("zombies"), curtis mayfield ("baby boy"), and prince ("redbone"). this is not to say that hip hop has taken a back seat; musically, “zombies” and "california" include sly winks to ol’ dirty bastard’s “brooklyn zoo” and n.w.a.’s “express yourself,” respectively, and the introduction to “me and your mama” sounds like 8ball & mjg in space. “awaken” adds yet another color to glover’s coat of many, and successfully leaves us wondering where he’s headed next B+


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