In 2008 Donald Glover debuted his music persona, Childish Gambino. Seven mixtapes and three studio albums later, Gambino is one of the biggest names in music and a Grammy winner. He’s career has sky rocketed to the top of both the music and film game. He’s set to play roles in the upcoming Star Wars and Lion King films as well as releasing his second series of the award winning Atlanta. On top of all this he’s set to release new music under the name of Donald Glover, retiring the Gambino name, but what are the best Childish Gambino tracks? Lets have a look.
10. So Into You (Tamia Cover)
Whenever Gambino performs on the radio, it’s a fun experience. This live cover of So Into You is by far and away one of Gambino’s best vocal performances ever, hitting notes I didn’t think he possibly could. It was at this point when a lot people realised how much Gambino had improved over the years, he’d transformed what it meant to be Gambino, he was more than a rapper at this stage, he was an absolutely phenomenal musical brain, and a next level singer and performer.
9. Stand Tall
An uplifting track from “Awaken, My Love!” a track that has themes of Gambino’s childhood, something the all rounder often bases his lyrics on. It’s a catchy track with a very fun hook. The funky production with the intro and later on the keys. This is ine if Gambino’s best vocal performances on the album, and his entire discography.
8. Pound Cake (Freestyle)
One of the greatest freestyles I’ve ever heard. A lot of ‘freestyles’ you’ll hear are often times written in advance, but this feels authentic and it definitely feels like it’s off the top of the dome. Gambino’s wordplay is unreal, with his freestyle lines often outdoing some rappers written lyrics. Mid track he stops to talk to Sway, before he returns to the freestyle. It’s 10/10 as far as a freestyle goes, and the amazing beat helps with that.
7. Pop Thieves (Make It Feel Good)
From the Kauai section of STN MTN/Kauai mixtape, Gambino showed off his R&B skills in one of his most chilled tracks ever. It’s reminiscent of some of the tracks on Camp. It’s a quality love song, something Gambino has displayed he’s capable of many times over. The outro has some spoken word from Gambino and transitions into Jaden Smith, who portrays a younger Gambino in the story of the song.
As far as pure bars and killer flow goes, this is probably Gambino’s finest rap work. He goes hard on this track making it one of his most famous songs. While it can’t be as highly appreciated as the more well rounded Gambino, it can certainly be appreciated for being an out and out banger. It’s one incredible music video, something you’ll get tired of reading the rest of this list.
If there’s one track that put Gambino into the mainstream, it’s this one. While he’d found moderate success with his debut album Camp, his major single from Because The Internet surpassed all his musical pieces previous. It’s impressive flow and insanely good hook made it his most well known song at the time. At the time of it’s release it was a huge track with a music video that helped it go that extra mile.
4. Me And Your Mama
When Childish Gambino announced his most recent album, a lot of people expected final form rap god Gambino, very few people thought his final form would be such a soulful album, and this was the surprising first single. The instrumental intro is near perfection, it builds and builds until it all comes together in a truly impressive fashion. It’s one of the most pleasant surprises I’ve ever heard. It confirmed Gambino’s transformation and proved his much more than ‘just a rapper.’
3. Telegraph Ave
For me, this is one of the biggest tracks in the evolution of the Gambino we know today. It showed off fantastic glimpses of his R&B side whilst maintaining a rap presence we’ve come to know and love from him. I’d say this Gambino’s most well rounded track. From singing, to rapping, to production. As always, top quality music video.
I said Telegraph Ave was a big part of Gambino’s evolution. Well perhaps this song was the most major part in the evolution in the rapping Gambino into the soul master we know today. This track was the highlight of Kauai section of his mixtape, in fact it was the highlight of the entirity of STN MTN/Kauai in general. It’s his greatest pure R&B track, and it has one of his greatest music videos to go along with it.
Soulful, psychedelic, and Grammy winning. Redbone was the centrepiece to Gambino’s most recent album “Awaken, My Love!”, and has been on repeat for millions ever since. It’s just over a year old and it’s as amazing now as it was on release, gaining a high level of longevity. It’s funky production was unique for it’s time, and Gambino’s high pitched vocals were some of his strongest ever. It’ not just the best Gambino track, but for me it was the strongest of the past year, which is quite the accomplishment.