Track Review: Childish Gambino, ‘Redbone’
Childish Gambino returns with an ambitious second single, “Redbone,” ahead of his R&B full-length, “Awaken, My Love!”
Childish Gambino shocked the world by announcing a brand-new studio album, “Awaken, My Love!” (December 2, 2016). Ever the eclectic artist, his promo single, “Me and Your Mama,” wasn’t a rap song, but rather an experimental R&B track. As a whole, “Awaken, My Love!” is an R&B effort, much like underrated EP Kauai was. Second single “Redbone” continues soulful endeavors of Donald Glover.
The first impression is a sound that is enigmatic. “Redbone” settles into a soulful groove, which continues throughout the course of the record. The song is very soulful, clearly a throwback to the past; the chorus in particular is chocked full of soul. Glover’s vocals are drenched in effects, specifically pitch-shifted. There’s a grit about his vocals.
First and foremost, what is this redbone of which Glover sings about? A redbone is a “light skinned female mixed with black and another race.” Apparently, this is what he desires in the song.
“If you want it, yeah / you can have it, oh, oh, oh / if you need it, ooh / we can make it, oh / If you want it / you can have it.”
Glover isn’t the only one who wants a redbone. Numerous black dudes want this too, confirmed. by the chorus:
“But stay woke / N*ggas creepin’ / they gon’ find you / gon’ catch you sleepin’ (oooh) / now stay woke / n*ggas creepin’ / now don’t you close your eyes.”
All in all, “Redbone” gives Childish Gambino another thrilling single. It is well produced, influenced by classic soul music. Glover sounds terrific vocally, even with his voice pitch-shifted. The grit he achieves and the sentiment are spot-on.