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Childish Gambino You see LA…Live (Club Nokia Recap)

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In Los Angeles there is always something to do, some nights too many things. On November 12, 2011, there was the Pacquiao vs Marquez fight being televised, a Los Angeles Kings game at the Staples Center, and a Childish Gambino concert at Club Nokia; and each of those events were sold out. Childish Gambino who releases his highly anticipated album, Camp, November 15, 2011, has been into music since adolescence however, he is most commonly known for his non-music jobs. To explain who Childish Gambino is may mean you have to state he is Donald Glover, which might bring out another question asking, why is the actor, comedian, writer, Donald Glover rapping in the first place? Judging by the line to get into Club Nokia the answer could be he’s good at it.

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Although Camp is Childish Gambino’s first release from a record label, he has been giving away free EPs, and Mixtapes for years, which means he has accumulated more than enough fans who were willing to pick his show over whatever else was going on in the city that night. Hours before Gambino would even set foot on stage, Gambino Boys and Girls, camped in the pit area going over their own set-list of songs they thought he should perform that night. Before they could see if their favorite track made the cut, the crowd was hyped up by his opening act, DJ SOSUPERSAM, who played an assortment of tracks from other emerging artist such as FrankOcean, and The Weeknd, as well as old school hip-hop tracks to let people flex their street cred.

Ironically enough, Donald is a comedian, and his rap name is Childish, however his show and performance was not remotely funny, it was respectably vicious. Opening with the fly tracks “Hero,” and “Fire Fly,” followed by the aggressive and explicit “Freaks and Geeks,” he would snarl out the lyrics, and then tell the crowd “thank you”. With a large archive of Pre-Camp songs and Camp releasing soon, the concert was like a smörgåsbord as it included an assortment of songs from various periods of his life. During a song from the Poindexter era, Gambino confirmed his rock star ability by climbing on top of the scaffold for the speakers, then leaping off. Whether the landing hurt or not, the show went on, but was slowed down with “Got This Money.” However, it quickly went back to assassin mode with “Rolling in the Deep,” “All of the Shine,” “Heartbeat,” “Break,” “You See Me,” and his current single “Bonfire.”

Although in theory Donald and Gambino are the same person, in the beginning the crowd was chanting for “Donald” to come out, but when they wanted an encore they were chanting “Gambino”. I’m not sure what Donald would have done, but Gambino gave at least eight encore songs, and brought out a live choir.

As evident with this concert, nobody is just one thing, we all have multiple talents, and personalities at any given moment. If you want to find out what your alternate personality is, do like Donald and enter your name in the Wu-Tang Name Generator. My name is “Tuff Assassin,” ironically enough.

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