YMMV / Childish Gambino

  • 8.8: The masters of this trope, Pitchfork, gave Camp probably its lowest professional review (1.6). Rather appropriate, since at least one song on the album makes fun of Pitchfork.
    • Likewise, The Needle Drop gave it a similarly oddly extreme rating of 2/10, lower than Chief Keef's album. The comments on the video are pretty entertaining.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: On "Zealots of Stockholm (Free Information)", there is a brief clip of a woman saying "I'm a freaky bitch. 5 foot 8, 390, and I am a freaky bitch."
  • Broken Base: "Awaken, My Love!" seems to have fractured Bino's fanbase two singles in due to the radical stylistic shift. The fact that there is reportedly no rapping on the album according to those who have heard the full album doesn't help.
  • Crazy Awesome: Bino's dancing in the "Sober" video. Bino in general in that video.
  • Creator Breakdown: A lot of people think he's had one while working on Because the Internet, due to his demeanor in interviews, quitting Community, and posting a rather disturbing post on Instagram containing his biggest fears.
    • Not to mention how he's "blacked out" his social media accounts, except his Facebook and Soundcloud. Even his websites ("childishgambino.com", "iamdonald.com", and even "becausetheinter.net") have been "blacked out". Whether this is because of the implied breakdown leading to his Reclusive Artist aspect or is a part of the idea of because the internet's theme, is unknown.
  • Critical Dissonance: A weird example. At the beginning of his career, critics generally liked him while the musical community considered him a joke rapper for people who didn't really take hip-hop seriously. Now it's the reverse- because the internet was the subject of huge excitement following its release (even reaching #4 on the annual RapGenius best-of-the-year poll), but was received with a shrug by critics. "Awaken, My Love!" seems to have finally achieved but critical and commercial acclaim, being his highest charting album to date.
  • Critical Research Failure: The Allmusic review of because the internet, while largely positive, seems to have been written under the impression that "Sweatpants" (i.e. the song designed to demonstrate what a spoiled Jerk Ass The Boy is) is autobiographical.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: See here.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Gambino himself within the indie/alternative rap scene.
    • "The Longest Text Message Ever" and "Lights Turned On" in terms of songs (the former never appeared on an album and the latter was the penultimate track on a free online EP, but both are fan favorites).
    • "Shadows" has been gaining a status as arguably the most underrated song on BTI.
  • Epic Riff: The recurring distorted, pitched voice sample in the background of "Lights Turned On." The synths count as well.
    • "All the Shine".
    • "L.E.S." has an epic violin riff, of all things. The ominous synth line in the chorus qualifies too.
    • There's a weird, near-incomprehensible vocal snippet that recurs throughout "Zealots of Stockholm"'s industrial middle section. And it is awesome.
    • "Sober" has the recurring keyboard riff as well as the guitar in the chorus.
    • "Kids" has xylophone and violin riffs.
    • "Redbone" has a Tame Impala style guitar instrumental with bends and slides closing it out.
  • Even Better Sequel: because the internet is a lot more sophisticated than anything he's done previously, incorporating elements of industrial rap, trap, psychedelic, and ambient music. Lyrically, it's a lot more diverse as well, without the repetitiveness that earned Camp criticism.
    • Bino expressed some fairly interesting thoughts about why Camp and because the internet are so different in this Westwood interview (around the 4-minute mark).
  • Fanon: The idea that the Boy's real name is Childish Gambino is one that's fairly well supported by because the internet and generally accepted by the fandom, but never actually confirmed by Donald.
  • Fridge Brilliance: The non-album track "Yaphet Kotto" samples "One Tender Moment." What band is that song by? Manchild.
    • "Sweatpants," which is essentially The Boy's theme song and sums up his attitude toward life, features an up-and-coming rapper named Problem.
    • The name of "Pink Toes", a song in which we see The Boy's life after he becomes a drug dealer; according to the Urban Dictionary, "pink toe" is slang for a young white girl. "White girl" is itself slang for cocaine.
  • Growing the Beard: Since he's a relatively new artist, there's plenty of debate over where exactly this occurred. A significant portion of the fandom believes this happened around Culdesac, but there are plenty who won't listen to anything before EP and Camp. There's even a faction of fans who got into him through because the internet and dislike everything that came before it.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • Love It or Hate It: Camp and ROYALTY. People who love Camp tend to hate ROYALTY for being such a straightforward hip-hop mixtape, and people who love ROYALTY tend to hate Camp for focusing so heavily on Gambino's childhood issues.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "Roscoe's wetsuit."Explanation 
    • EH EH EH EH ONOMATOPOEIAExplanation 
    • The amount of mashups that have been made with "Bonfire" is kind of scary.
    • Bino's subreddit has turned "the library" into a tongue-in-cheek Ensemble Darkhorse, with many jokingly claiming that it's his best song. (For those who don't know, it's a five-second opening track consisting of a single sound effect.)
    • Stunt on these hoes.Explanation 
    • "What Redbone would sound like if X"
  • Most Wonderful Sound:
    • Jhene Aiko's singing on "Pink Toes", as well as her heavenly harmonization before her verse.
    • The xylophone riff in "Kids". Hell, that whole song could qualify as this.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • because the internet becomes increasingly claustrophobic and surreal as it progresses, but it first takes the turn into eeriness with "ii. no exit." The videos accompanying the album exude this trope in their final moments: "v. 3005"'s teaser for "zealots of stockholm" features an empty amusement park with a solitary shadowed figure standing still; while "iv. sweatpants" features everyone in a diner slowly turning into Bino doppelgängers.
      • Blink and you'll miss it, but the teddy bear in the "v. 3005" video blinking.
      • The final track "iii. life: the biggest troll", especially with the Last Note Nightmare of Gambino pleading with the listener to help him.
      • The BTI lenticular cover GIF will easily scare anyone the first time they see it, with Bino's face getting distorted to indistinguishable extents before returning to normal. Even scarier is how if you see the cover online, you don't know if it's a still image or a GIF...
    • The Gainax Ending of the "Telegraph Ave" video.
    • The surreal and abstract nature of "Clapping for the Wrong Reasons". While it showcases The Boy's life as he lives in his mansion, there's just something off about it, which sort of hits halfway where the Boy goes to the bathroom to see his nose bleeding and instead finds a tooth with string attached through it inside it.
    Do I know you?
  • Signature Song: "Freaks and Geeks," and arguably "Heartbeat" and "Bonfire."
    • "3005" is really starting to cement its status as this with newer fans.
    • "Redbone" is now perhaps his most popular song to date.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: "Hold You Down."
    He said I wasn't black because I had a dad
    ...I think that's kinda sad
    Mostly cause a lot of black kids think they should agree with that
    If you're a father, you should stick around if you could
  • Surprisingly Improved Sequel: because the internet may actually mark the end of his longtime divisiveness as a rapper. Even Pitchfork grudgingly liked it (though ultimately giving it a 5.8, due to the implied reliance on the accompanying screenplay to enjoy the music.)
  • Sweet Dreams Fuel:
    • "Kids". The instrumentation alone is more than worthy to fit here, but Bino's singing and rapping just adds a new dimension.
    • "Pink Toes". "Rainbows...sunshine..."
    • "Pop Thieves", which can easily be a new archetype for what R&B should sound like in the 2010s.
    • "Dial Up".
    • The subdued beginning and ending sections of "Me and Your Mama".
    • "Redbone".
  • Tear Jerker: See here.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: Admit it, the ending of "Telegraph Ave" did look pretty good.