Good morning. It is Friday, December 2, which means the new Childish Gambino album, Awaken, My Love! is now out and streaming across the usual platforms, and means that Donald Glover has yet another thing — beyond creating and starring in one of the years’ best TV series (he also directed a couple episodes), landing a role in Star Wars, throwing a massive multimedia event in Joshua Treefor 10,000 people, and tempering people’s desire to cringe every time they see the name Donald (#notallDonalds) — to add to his list of achievements for 2016.
You may have already heard the first two singles he released from the album — “Me and Your Momma” and “Redbone,” but now the album’s 11 tracks all lie here in front of us. In November, Billboard published a piece on Glover’s big year, and particularly the album. In it, they noted that the actor/musician had mostly abandoned rap for “trippy funk rock indebted to ’70s visionaries like Funkadelic and Sly & The Family Stone.” Glover said he was inspired by the music his dad played when he was a kid, describing how he now wanted to tap into something he couldn’t fully grasp about it at the time:
I remember hearing a Funkadelic scream and being like, ‘Wow, that’s sexual and it’s scary.’ Not having a name for that, though; just having a feeling. That’s what made it great… It felt like people were trying to get out of their minds, with all the things that were happening — and that are happening right now…How do you start a global revolution, really? Is that possible with the systems we’ve set up? There’s something about that ’70s black music that felt like they were trying to start a revolution.