Label: Glassnote Records, Universal

The discussion around Childish Gambino is mostly that people are surprised he’s as good as a rapper as he is. Ever since he stepped on the scene, actor/comedian/writer Donald Glover had to prove rapper/producer Childish Gambino wasn’t a joke. Over the years, with his various mixtapes and debut album Camp, he’s been able to prove he’s an artist you should take seriously. This new album exceeds the loftiest of expectations. 

Because The Internet is unlike any other rap album this year. Musically, it's as ambitious as something Kanye might do. Kanye, as well as Drake and even Frank Ocean, are important influences on all this. On occasion, Gambino sounds a bit like all of them (The way he enunciates the lines “The girls that you brought man, where are they from? Where are they from?” on “The Worst Guys” he sound so distinctly like Kanye).

But none of that takes away from songs like "III. Telegraph Ave. ("Oakland" by Lloyd)," "II. Zealots of Stockholm (Free Information)," and the Chance The Rapper assisted "I. The Worst Guys." It only leaked last week, but it’s some of the most engaging, rewarding music we’ve heard all year. —Insanul Ahmed