Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino | Park West | Hip-Hop | Chicago Reader

Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino 18+ Sold Out (Music)

When: Wed., May 18, 8:30 p.m. 2011

Donald Glover seems amiable enough; on the NBC comedy Community, he makes the charismatic character of Troy Barnes even more appealing with his down-to-earth charm. But the knowledge that he can be genuinely likable—and that he's written for 30 Rock—just makes his foray into hip-hop as Childish Gambino all the more disappointing. He cranks out dim-witted tunes that try to sound smart by packing in an absurd number of forced or even nonsensical pop-culture references—including self-referential jokes like "NBC is not the only thing I'm coming on tonight." The EP he self-released in March is inane and overproduced, and its lyrics are almost enough to make me ashamed to be male: if he's not bragging about how hard he fucks women ("I'm hard in the paint like I fuck her on her period"), he's complaining about how hard women have fucked him over ("'You are the bestest, I will obey you' / These words I wrote for you when you were fuckin' other dudes"). It's a shame, really, because Glover has a lot of magnetic cool, and he's confident enough on the mike to make the EP's standout tune, "Freaks and Geeks," at least listenable. I don't expect the rapping to be the high point of Glover's performance here—fortunately, he's also doing stand-up and showing videos of his sketch comedy.

Price: Sold out