Released: October 2nd (STN MTN)/ October 3rd (Kauai)
Label: Glassnote

Childish Gambino has followed up his stellar sophomore album Because The Internet, with an interesting two-part project. Consisting of a free mixtape (STN MTN) and an EP on iTunes (Kauai), the two parts weave into one extended piece of work which continues the story of his character ‘The Boy’, which he created the foundation for in his first two albums.

Gambino, real name Donald Glover, shows off is full range of artistry through out STN MTN/Kauai. The former has him in full blown rap mode. Paying homage to his upbringing in the dirty south of America, namely Stone Mountain in Atlanta, it has him rapping over fellow Atlanta resident’s beats. Featuring freestyles over the likes of Future, Ludacris and Lil Wayne, Gambino takes no prisoners. As he says on stand out song Fucks Given, ‘I came here to do my own shit’ – even though some of the beats aren’t original, he really is.

Kauai has Gambino experimenting again, by going into his full blown, bare-footed, hippie-mode greatness. Starring multiple spoken word interludes from Will Smith’s offspring Jaden, it finds him celebrating the island of Kauai in Hawaii. This side’s opening song Sober sets the tone immediately. It features glittery keys and a retro 80′s-esque synth, with Gambino singing sweetly over the top; ‘Now that it’s over, I’ll never be sober’.

The project isn’t all great however. Some of the freestyles grow very tired, very quickly. A song like Ass Shots is pretty piss-poor and sounds like any other trapping rap song our right now. His remix to his own song 3005 also doesn’t exactly stand out. It’s tried too hard to be laid back and instead comes off as pretty lazy.

Overall, STN MTN/Kauai is an ambitious work from Childish Gambino and should be commended. Half of it’s free and the other half’s profits go, in part, to keeping the island of Kauai clean – so go and check it out!

★ ★ ★ ★

Download STN MTN for free here: