• James Hewlett

The Ultimate Childish Gambino

I started this media week on one particular subject with Westworld and I’m going to end on a specific one as well. This time it’s the discography of Donald Glover’s musical career, commonly known as Childish Gambino.

I used to make playlists way more frequently, some based on genre some on artists some based on events. I don’t do it nearly as much any more, other than my year long one I always am adding to, but now and then I’ll dig into one and do a deep drive. It’s a fun process for me, especially when the artist is a particular favourite like Gambino, who I’ve been following since he first started releasing music online for free.

This set of playlists came about through having a conversation with my friend Harry, who is just as big a fan as I am and we’ve been to a few shows together.

We were discussing the latest release, dropped inauspiciously last week without any build up or fanfare and lacking any sort of artwork or track titles.

We were going over the highs and lows of the album and of the evolution of Childish Gambino and how Donald Glover has changed drastically as an artist over the last thirteen or so years. The word that kept coming to mind was uncompromising. He has always been an artist who has done what he wants to do, not what was expected, what would earn him the most money or acclaim. Some of it resonated with a wide audience, some of it is panned by a lot of people but it has always been done on his terms and love him or hate him you can’t do anything but respect that.

I decided I wanted to make a Best Of playlist as he has often said that this latest album will be his final one. Wether that means he’ll sporadically release individual tracks as and when going forward or will release more music but not under the Childish Gambino monicker or is leaving music behind completely remains to be seen, but it felt like a great time to look back at the full discography, not just the four officially released albums, and make a greatest hits.

The problem I came upon quickly was that there was too much that needed to be included and I didn’t want to make a stupidly long list. I like keeping these things to a tight twelve to fifteen track limit, like an album in themselves, so I decided to take the iTunes approach and split it up into Essentials, Next Steps and Deep Cuts. Three stages, each fifteen tracks long and roughly an hour in length. I curated down from nearly sixty track options to forty five and arranged each in an order I think flows nicely.

I loved every minute of working on this and I hope you check out some of the songs you may not recognise. They should all be available online, even if they’re not on an official album or single released just dig a little and you’ll find them!

See you tomorrow, don't forget it's Monday! Oh yeah, I cut my grass yesterday, spring has sprung. That first photo, I took that. That first ever UK show was something else. I'll never forget that gig.


©2017 by James Hewlett.