Album: Childish Gambino, Camp (Glassnote/Island)

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The Independent Culture

Like Drake, Childish Gambino started out as an actor, before shifting into hip-hop and other careers including comedy scriptwriter (on 30 Rock) and stand-up comedian: his recent American tour featured one set of stand-up followed by a second half of music.

Vastly talented, he brings rare articulacy to the thorny subject of black self-image, particularly the problem of breaking down the barrier of ghetto authenticity. "White kids get to wear whatever they want, but when it comes to black kids, one size fits all," he frets. "I always wanted to get picked for the cool team/But on my own is how I should be," he realises. And he's certainly on his own musically, thanks to production collaborator Ludwig Göransson's inventive use of theatrical musical strategies to animate Gambino's concerns.

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