Mixtape Review | Childish Gambino – I AM JUST A RAPPER

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This mixtape was released on January 5th in 2010. Unlike with the previous two projects, Donald didn’t produce every track himself. He’s just rapping over other peoples’ songs. I guess I’m expecting this to be a lot better than Poindexter & Sick Boi, but I’m not gonna get my hopes up. This mixtape only has 7 tracks, so if it ends up being trash it thankfully won’t last too long. Alright, here we go… Man, I can’t wait until I get to Culdesac…

Track 1: New Prince (Prod. Derek Miller)

Okay, it’s starting now… Oh my God… I… I’m… I’m so happy… The Sick Boi delivery is gone. He actually sounds like Childish Gambino instead of Lil Wayne. THANK YOU. Jesus fucking Christ. It should’ve never been a problem in the first fucking place. This is so much better. This beat is trash tho… Jesus Christ… This is actually really bad… Mostly because of the production. He’s rapping over a song called Crown On The Ground by Sleigh Bells. It doesn’t even sound like it’s mixed properly. The verses were decent, but they don’t make this shit worth listening to. I’m not feelin’ this one. This is wack. 2/5

Track 2: Bitch, Look At Me Now (Prod. Chris Taylor)

He’s rapping over a song called Two Weeks by Grizzly Bear. He just did Chance The Rapper’s ad-lib again. It’s starting to seem less like a coincidence. Maybe Chance really did get that from Donald. The first verse was cool I guess. He had some dope punchlines, but his flow is pretty underwhelming. “I’ve always been this good; you just weren’t listening.” That’s just not true at all. I mean, I guess he technically WAS this good lyrically. Pretty much everything else about his music was awful tho. The second verse was pretty nice. This is a decent song. I wasn’t in love with the production tho… This sounds pretty amateurish since he’s just rapping over other songs. It’s definitely not bad tho. I just don’t see myself coming back to this. 3/5

Track 3: 49ers Feat. DC Pierson (Prod. Rostam Batmanglij, Wes Miles & Ezra Koenig)

The song that he used for this track is called Orange Shirt by Discovery. DC Pierson’s going in on the first verse. It’s not good. I don’t know why the fuck Gambino didn’t just do this whole tape himself. I’m not feelin’ this beat. This is REALLY bad… This might be the wackest song on the tape so far. I’m not feelin’ the production at all. I wasn’t even really feelin’ Gambino’s verse. This is just a really bad song. I don’t like a single thing about this track. It’s wack af. 1/5

Track 4: My Girls (Prod. Animal Collective)

He used Animal Collective’s song My Girls for this track. I’m about a minute and ten seconds into this song, and so far Donald’s been rapping with no percussion the entire time. The shit he’s saying just isn’t that interesting tho. He’s rapping about how when he was a fat nerd in high school none of the girls liked him but now he has casual sex all the time. I’m not really feelin’ the production. I guess it makes sense that I haven’t liked any of the production on this tape since the only genre I really ever listen to is Hip Hop. Oh shit… His flow on this second verse is really dope. That’s not really enough for me to like this song tho. This isn’t a terrible song, but I definitely wasn’t feelin’ it personally. 2/5

Track 5: I Can Hear Your Feet (Prod. Yeasayer)

This song is performed over Sunrise by Yeasayer. I actually really like this beat so far. Ehhh… Once the vocals from Yeasayer come in I don’t really like it anymore. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that; he’s not just rapping over the instrumentals from these songs. He’s literally rapping over the original versions of them, so you can hear the vocals from the lead singers in the background. Eugh… Gambino just called a woman “thicky thick.” Cringe. The song just ended… Nah. I wasn’t really feelin’ this personally, but I think it’s definitely one of the more tolerable tracks on this tape. It’s alright. 3/5

Track 6: The Truth Feat. DC Pierson (Prod. Pictureplane)

The song he used for this track is Goth Star by Pictureplane. Oh no… DC Pierson’s on the first verse. He sounds awful. I’m not feelin’ this beat. This is so fucking lame. DC Pierson sounds absolutely terrible on this shit. The beat sounds like a fuckin’ Britney Spears instrumental. This is fucking terrible. This might actually be worse than 49ers. DC Pierson’s verse was horrible. Gambino’s verse was pretty bad too to be honest. I’m not feelin’ this shit at all. This is wack af to me. 1/5

Track 7: I Love Clothes (Prod. Alan Palomo)

This song is performed over the song Deadbeat Summer by Neon Indian. Woah. This beat is actually really dope. You can probably tell from the title that the subject matter is pretty lame and uninteresting. “Clickin’ through on HYPEBEAST / Thom Browne, Hells Bells, Kitsune, Jay L / I don’t wear shit unless it got a logo / Now it’s time to go and walk around SoHo.” WHO GIVES A FUCK? Lmao. I’m sorry, but I can’t get behind this track. I mean, this is probably my favorite song on the project so far, but I still wouldn’t ever have the desire to listen to this again. It’s okay I guess. 3/5

Final Thoughts:

This mixtape is pretty wack. It’s a step up from Poindexter, but it’s still wacker than Sick Boi. It’s easier to listen to since it’s so short, but the length is really the only good thing about this tape. Well, that’s actually not true at all. It was pretty creative of him to rap over a bunch of Indie Rock songs, even if I didn’t really like the results. I’m also super happy that he isn’t using that annoying ass delivery that he used on Sick Boi. That’s the only thing I can say about this shit without being negative tho. It’s just not good at all. DC Pierson needs to stop rapping. I mean, he definitely has more talent than anyone else Gambino had worked with up to this point—aside from Amber Petty I guess—but that’s still not ENOUGH talent. I couldn’t stand him on this tape. Gambino’s rapping was decent for the most part. I’m really surprised by how much he’s improved over the years. If I’d heard Sick Boi, Poindexter and this mixtape before his other shit, I definitely would’ve given up on him. This shit is really bad.

Favorite Song: I Love Clothes

Least Favorite Song: The Truth




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