If Childish Gambino’s Camp was a coming of age story about a young boy, his newest release, Royalty, is definitely about a man who has found his calling. The production in Royalty has definitely grown by leaps and bounds, Gambino’s own production on most of the album leans to a darker more raw sense, along with Boi-1nda, Ludwig, Myke Murda, skywlkr, and Beck (yes….Beck) the album pops in your ears.
Gambino’s flow has also become more cocky and intense than Camp. You can tell he really believes that he is the man now. (Which in my mind, he is.) It shows instantly in the opening track “We Ain’t Them.” It’s a thanks and an opus to pretty much announce that he is here to stay. He clearly states, “…more swag, pulled back on the punch lines…” After that he goes in to each track making a statement.
One of my personally favorite tracks on the album is “Unnecessary.” It features Schoolboy Q and Ab-Soul, two of my who-to-watch list artists this year. He even got some hip-hop legends to join the mixtape this time around in RZA on “American Royalty” and Ghostface Killah on “It May Be Glamour Life.” Both solid tracks as well.
Danny Brown and his killer flow join CG on “Toxic,” which samples none other than Britney Spears song of the same name. Track is serious fire.
Beck not only produces a track, he also semi-raps on it as well on “Silk Pillow.”. Beck’s usual use of synth, abstract instruments, and distortion are prominent in both tracks (“Silk Pillow” and “Bronchitis”) and mixes nicely with Gambino’s own production.
I don’t want to give the whole album away, because the musical experience wouldn’t be what it is until you listen for it yourself.
If you are a Childish Gambino fan, you are going to love it no matter what. Beware though! If you are expecting an album sounding like Camp….this sounds nothing like it.
If you are on the fence about getting it, go download that shit right now.