By: Ralph White III, Contributing Writer
After presenting his sophomore album, “Because the Internet,” Gambino decided he was not done shaking up the game. He gives us more witty lyrics and insight into his life in his new mixtape, “Stn Mtn/ Kauai.” The mixtape is actually split into two parts. One part is “Stn Mtn,” representing the artist’s hometown, which is the actual mixtape, as you hear DJ Drama on the ones’s and twos’s while Gambino raps over instrumentals of rap songs of this year, including some of his own creations. The other part is Kauai, Hawaii, representing the place where “the boy,” the main character we follow in the sophomore album and play Gambino wrote, and grew up with melodic tunes such as “Sober” and “Pop Thieves.”
He is not Childish on this mixtape, but rather just Gambino, as seen on the cover of the mixtape. Dropping the adjective from his stage name was perfect timing. If you have kept up with the triple-threat comedian, rapper, and singer, you know he has been very aggressive in achieving the goal of being in the “top five” of rappers. I do not blame him, for he has been receiving a lot of flack from artists such as Charlemagne and Lupe Fiasco, who state he is not a part of the rap community (all while loving his music, #fake).
In this mixtape, Gambino releases a musical mural of the Atlanta in his mind all while showing love for his hometown. Gambinon’s Atlanta, from the first song “Dream,” shows crucial points of culture that have diminished from Atlanta, stating he would make radio stations 97.5 and 107.9 the same as they were before 2001 and bring Freaknik, the spring break turn-up of the Atlanta-Based Colleges and other Historically Black Colleges and Universities, back.
Jumping forward into the mixtape, he returns to the screenplay setup of “Because the Internet,” giving more understanding of “the boy” of the album, with Jaden Smith doing a little spoken-word as “the boy.” I love this, for we see reasons for some of “the boy’s” behavior from the album in the mixtape. Mixed emotions of love and nostalgia come up in “Late Night in Kauai,” with “the boy” missing times with his crush and friends, which some say is a reference to the same crush from Gambino’s first album, “Camp.”
In all, Gambino’s first “Gangsta Grillz” mixtape is a must listen to in order to understand the mind of Gambino. Who knows? This may lead into the anticipated EP of Gambino and Chance the Rapper.