Childish Gambino: Because the Internet (Glassnote) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Friday, June 14th, 2024  

Childish Gambino

Because the Internet


Dec 23, 2013 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

I confess, earlier this year I was a little worried about Donald Glover, the uber-talent behind Childish Gambino. In less than five years, Glover has gone from wunderkind television writer, to an up-and-coming stand-up comedian, to a lead role on a hip sitcom, and now a defiant hip-hop artist. After announcing he was quitting his gig on NBC’s Community, Glover posted a series of handwritten confessions about his fears as a performer, about letting people down (specifically Community showrunner Dan Harmon), and about his deeply personal insecurities. He seemed like an artist on the verge of a breakdown, and a superficial listen to Because the Internet reinforces those concerns.

Don’t get me wrong, Because the Internet is a big step for Gambino. It’s sophisticated. Glover has seamlessly improved on his rhythm and styling, leaving behind the punch-lines but keeping his keen knowledge of pop culture firmly planted throughout. There are clever references to everything from Kurt Vonnegut to Spider-Man, a play on the Twitter campaign to cast Glover as the titular character in The Amazing Spider-Man. Because the Internet is darker and more rich than his 2011 debut Camp, and proves Gambino is capable of elevating his career to that of a serious hip-hop artist.

But it turns out Because the Internet is so much more than that. After the album leaked, Gambino’s website posted a full-length screenplay meant to be read parallel to Because the Internet. A prologue in the form of a bizarre and aimless short film was posted on YouTube and establishes Glover as a fictionalized version of himself, confronting isolation in a crowd and his suppressed emotions. Now that the extent of his artistic vision is more apparent, it calls into question everything Glover has done over the last few months. Where does the album end and real life begin? Is Because the Internet an elaborate performance piece, a reflection of his real-life uncertainties about fame and success, or both?

No matter what, Because the Internet is ambitious and daring. The surrounding flutter of puzzle pieces adds depth, but the record still stands on its own as a bold statement on modern life and the cold distance technology places between human relationships. I’m less worried about Childish Gambino these days, but no less interested. (

Author rating: 7.5/10

Rate this album
Average reader rating: 9/10


Submit your comment

Name Required

Email Required, will not be published


Remember my personal information
Notify me of follow-up comments?

Please enter the word you see in the image below:

January 10th 2018

Social media in Iran is carefully controlled, but its usefulness - including in organising protests - leads many ordinary Iranians to see out ways around the censors. Most young people in Iran already knew how to bypass internet blocks by using proxies

February 15th 2018

Hello, Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs, and habits. Educational methods include storytelling, discussion, teaching, training, and directed research.

February 15th 2018

Hi, This is a wonderful article. Keep up the great work. Hello, Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs, and habits.

Setup Wireless Router
July 3rd 2018

This Is Great Information For Students. This Article Is Very Helpful I Really Like This Blog Thanks. I Also Have Some Information Relevant For Online router Help.
see The latest article
April 8th 2019

When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added”
checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get four e-mails with the same comment.
Is there any way you can remove me from that service? Bless you!

November 6th 2020

HI, Invisalign is presented as an easy alternative to traditional braces, but getting started isn’t as seamless as you might hope.