A former star of the hilarious TV-show “Community,” Donald Glover seems like a funny persona. But after hearing about his ventures into rap music, my expectations were pretty low for the results, as actors venturing into music usually end up with very sub-par results.
Glover’s debut album as Childish Gambino, “Because the Internet” meets those low expectations by tripping over bad lyrics, repetitive instrumentation and boring production.
But the album starts out all right. After an unnecessary intro, “Crawl,” the first actual song on the album, features atmospheric vocals and an entertaining beat, and variations in the song structure keep things interesting for about three minutes while the song runs its course.
Those are about the only entertaining minutes on the album.
Glover drops pop culture references in just about every line, such as referencing Internet memes, Whole Foods and smoking weed, often resulting in overstuffed verses and unfunny attempts at humor.
Not only does Gambino sound like Lil Wayne’s little brother on every song, but the lyrics don’t flow well. Each verse seems to be more concerned with injecting references to the Internet and social media instead of actually making sense musically. Glover’s lyrics consist of repeating the “N” word multiple times in a verse and throwing those references in-between the word that all rappers seem addicted to using.
For example, “the girls you brought, where they from, where they from? We playin’ Playstation,” is an actual line from the ridiculous track “The Worst Guys,” featuring Chance the Rapper. The song makes no sense, and Glover sounds like a half-drunk Chipmunk trying to sound intellectual and funny at the same time.
The production could save this. Maybe changing up the beats of a few songs or trying out some different instrumental parts would have been a good idea. The whole album seems like it was made off of the same basic drumbeat and layered with the same synths with almost no variation on effects or instrumentation.
“Because the Internet” ends up sounding like what Weezer’s “Red Album” would have sounded like had MGMT and Lil Wayne made it. It is an uninspired, overly long, forced album with only one enjoyable track, and that song is only good due to the lack of any other strong songs on the album.
At least this is better than Nickelback.