Culdesac, Reviewed

I've noticed that Donald Glover has been involved in a lot of projects recently that I am a fan of. After starting out as a staff writer on 30 Rock he moved on to the cast of Community in one of the funniest roles on the show. Because of this track record I even watched his feature-film debut (with his cohorts in the sketch group Derrick comedy) Mystery Team, which was pretty good (as evidenced by its acceptance into Sundance).

Even with all this goodwill stored up, I was still skeptical at the prospects of his most recent album Culdesac, recorded under the guise of Childish Gambino. Expecting something along the lines of a Lonely Island comedy-esque hip-hop album, I was pleasantly surprised to find instead, as Gambino puts it, "more Nas's Illmatic than Eddie Murphy's Delirious."

Alternating between uptempo, breezy rhymes & soft, high-register croons, Glover uses the persona of Childish Gambino to make sense of the life of someone young, gifted, famous & rich. So, while not a comedy album by any means these are still the writings of a talented comedian, and as such there is an abundance of quality punchline rhymes ("I'm in love with you / but this is not tennis // and baby stays stacked / like she bad at Tetris..").

While some of the R&B tracks fall a little flat for me, the album is solid from start to finish and definitely worth a listen -- especially since it was released online as a free download (@

Overall I give Culdesac 3 out of 5 stars, although I wish that Glover had included a downloadable version of the Mystery Team-centric track, "The Stand" (posted below).


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