Childish Gambino a.k.a. Donald Glover released a surprise album Sunday night at 3am. Dropped in the midst of a pandemic, Childish Gambino offered a 12 track distraction from the overwhelming news about the Coronavirus. The album was only released for 12 hours on a site specifically made for its release call DonaldGloverPresents.com. After it was taken down it was
given a new release date of March 22nd but keeping the title 3.15.2020 because that was the date the content was first released to the public.
One of the first things that stood out about the album is that only two songs have actual titles, “Algorithm” and “Time." The rest of the songs are just time stamps of the sequence in which they are played like a YouTube video. The album has no cover art it is just a blank square. This is because the visual that came out on DonaldGloverPresents.com was extremely graphic with a
deep meaning behind it. The illustration is of buildings on fire with a crowd of people panicking in Front of the burning building. The picture is supposed to be a representation of the state of the world around us.
Donald Glover has a very unique and creative way of mixing sound effects. Auto tune and pure vocal genius to create a musical experience that make you feel as if “Life, is it really worth it? The algorhythm is perfect, mmh”. A quote Taken directly from The first song with a title on his album “Algorhythm”. The song starts off with a techno vibe but then around 1:08 changes to a lighter temp. The most meaningful line in the entire song in my opinion goes overlooked by most which is “Pressure is to evolve, take a bite of the apple”. The first part of the verse refers to how people are constantly pressured to evolve to keep up with a rapidly changing society. The second line in the verse is a reference to the biblical story of Adam and Eve. Just as Adam and Eve were pressured by the serpent to eat the apple, people are pressured to keep up with society.
Childish Gambino is a very well rounded artist who can make a catchy and groovy vibe that also has a deeper meaning. A very well known example is the song “It Feels Like Summer”, hidden titled 42.26 featuring Ariana Grande. Released two years the album in mid July of 2018, the song is about the climate control while the cartoon Visual has a more complex meaning. The video duplex is a cartoon Donald walking down the street with the who’s who’s in media acting out some things that lined up with current events in 2018. An example of one of the beings is Beyoncé, wearing a RIP Fredo Santana shirt to commemorate the rapper who passed away earlier that year.
The song “It Feels Like Summer” is a call to action against controversial topics such as population control in climate change. The project 3.15.2020 is Gambino’s interpretation to the world in which we live today.