Donald Glover is a lowkey legend. His acting career is just starting taking off, and in the midst of it all, he's about to release his third record as Childish Gambino, entitled Awaken, My Love. Not only is the record a surprise, but it seems to be a departure from his original sounds, as well.
The first single he's shared from the record is called 'Me and Your Mama,' an expansive six-minute long track that blends blues and rock in a dark and aesthetic way. There's a lot of passion and sensuality packed into the one track, and that core message takes many paths.
The song is introduced with a sparkling pianos akin to Radiohead's 'Daydreaming' with various sounds pounding the bass and a higher one that swims through the falling stars the piano creates. The ethereal choir chants "I'm in love when we are smokin' that la-la-la-la-la" over the intro, referencing Gambino's addiction to marijuana and the implications it has on love.
The song proceeds into its hook and verses, thick guitar carrying them through with bluesy, southern genius. Gambino sings passionately, screaming with both sensuality and pain as the song slowly but thoughtfully progresses. The R&B flair combines beautifully with the old-fashioned blues rock vibe the song has, and Gambino electrifies the song even further with his delivery. The song's intensely emotional core gives way to a peaceful instrumental conclusion that revels in a blues improvisational piece that you hear in black & white, the synths adding a modern touch to it.
The song can be interpreted in two ways. One takes a look at a bigger picture that encompasses the album, while the other takes a personal delve into the track's lyrics. Taking a look at the tracklist for Awaken, My Love, it looks like Glover is writing to his son. Songs like 'Baby Boy' and the similarly titled 'The Night Me and Your Mama Met' are found in the tracklist, and the title itself seems to be a call to his newborn son. Perhaps this album will be a life lesson, of sorts; maybe 'Me and Your Mama' is a sort of warning. The song itself is about love, or rather, how difficult it can be. Glover tells his girl in the first verse: "They wanna see us fallin' apart! / You know that I love you! / So let me into your heart," begging her to let him in, regardless of what everyone else wants. He goes further in a reference to Smokey Robinson and Outkast in the bridge, chanting "Girl you really got a hold on me / So this isn't just puppy love," claiming he knows his love is real and more than just an idea. He wants her.
Childish Gambino is about to change the game. December 2nd is when Awaken, My Love drops, and 'Me and Your Mama' really shows it. It's a brilliant song, bringing Pink Floyd and James Brown together into a simplistic but powerful track. Donald Glover is a artistic genius, and it's about to show.
Rating: 89 / 100