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YMMV / Childish Gambino

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  • 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.
    • 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.
  • Archive Binge: Many get into Bino through his mainstream albums and EPs, but fewer dig deeper into his discography, unearthing the many free mixtapes he put out. That's not even getting into the slew of remixing projects he put out as mcDJ.
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  • Awesome Music: See here.
  • 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. Also his dancing in the "This is America" video.
    • Some of Bino's choices of remixing under the mcDJ name are testaments to his unorthodox taste in music, namely his projects in which he remixes a multitude of songs from Peanuts, Fiona Apple, and Sufjan Stevens.
  • 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 open letter on Instagram containing his biggest fears. And that's not mentioning how he's "blacked out" his social media accounts, except his Facebook and Soundcloud. Even his websites ("", "", and even "") 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.
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  • 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 both 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 Jerkass The Boy is) is autobiographical.
  • Ear Worm:
    • "Redbone".
    • "This Is America, don't catch you slippin' up..."
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: 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.
  • Epileptic Trees:
    • Almost everyone has their own interpretation about the video for "This is America". There are those who think its about the gun violence epidemic. That it's about racism and how its ignored. That it's about how great tragedies are common and easily forgotten. How Americans ignore the world around them. Some see it as a Take That! to the black artists singing about their money and their stuff while ignoring, or even causing, the suffering of black communities, basically accusing them of Uncle Tomfoolery. There are also a lot of people who say it's all the above and more, and that's just for the overall message.
    • While "Feels Like Summer" has a largely straightforward Green Aesop, a certain section of video has led to a lot of interpretations; namely, the brief section showing an unidentified man in a suit sitting on a bench eating vanilla and chocolate ice cream, which he puts down as it starts melting shortly after. Postulated identities for the man in the suit are usually Barack Obama, Martin Luther King Jr., OJ Simpson, or Andrew Gillum (the Democratic candidate during the 2018 Florida gubernatorial election), whereas the melting ice cream is usually seen as symbolizing either the deterioration or mending of race relations between blacks and whites, or the death of XXXTentacion (the ice cream's coloration resembles his signature hairstyle). Typically, the Gillum/XXXTentacion theory is the interpretation most follow, though nothing is for sure (especially as Gillum only started receiving significant attention about a week before the video's release, which would make it tricky to dedicate a section to him due to Animation Lead Time).
  • 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.
  • 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:
  • 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 Dark Horse, 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"
    • Making memes of the "This Is America" music video just for the sake of it.Explanation 
  • 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.
    • Bino's otherworldly screaming throughout "Awaken, My Love!".
  • 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.
      • In the same video, the unexplained sight of the hills in the background being on fire. The fact that nobody is freaking out over this just adds to the surreality.
      • 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?
    • Although "Redbone" is generally Sweet Dreams Fuel, the chorus is very unsettling. Stay woke / Niggas' creepin' / They gon' find you / Gon' catch you sleepin'
    • Pretty much all of "This is America", but particularly the ending, where Bino runs for his life through a darkened corridor with a crowd of seemingly furious people on his heels.
    • While "Feels Like Summer" is also largely Sweet Dreams Fuel, the lyrics don't paint a pretty picture of what's happening to the Earth at the moment, not to mention that the song puts heavy emphasis on Bino's lack of optimism towards the future.
    • The cover of "Awaken, My Love!", what seems to be a woman smiling maniacally with some strange headdress around her head (and what looks like to be designed as bones) all while the cover background is what looks like sweaty/wet skin.
  • No Such Thing as Bad Publicity: The video for "This is America" became viral on the internet due to its content and allegories, and also because of the advice to not make memes out of it only fueling further meme making.
  • 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
    • "This Is America" isn't exactly subtle, but plenty of people do agree with its message.
  • 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".
    • The choir-like sections of "This is America", though the succeeding events to each section put it back into Nightmare Fuel territory.
    • "Feels Like Summer", which is a largely laid-back track with a slightly sorrowful tone that doesn't take over the rest of the song's chillness.
  • Tear Jerker: See here.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: Admit it, the ending of "Telegraph Ave" did look pretty good.


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