1 Verse, 1 Hearse #10, Childish Gambino – Fire Fly
Listening to Camp, I felt like Justin Bieber when he got the paternity lawsuit. Where did this come from? Then I said, “is that Donald Glover from Community? Damn, he can rap.” Gambino has everything too. The depth, wordplay, metaphors, similes, production, and hooks. Just picking a song to hearse was a task. In the end, “Fire Fly” was the hottest in my ears, since I felt that it embodied the entire album rather nice. Yes, summer is long gone, but let’s go on a short camping trip to Gambino’s commercial debut.
Skateboardin’ down at Washington Square
Lookin’ for quarters
Maybe a afford a falafel for dinner, ugh
I’m so broke man
Facebook messages from college kids who hollerin’
Girls like, “we love you, we go to LSU,
You gotta do a show so we can come and molest you”
This rap stuff is magic
I used to get called “Oreo” and “Faggot”
I used to get more laughs when I got laughed at
Oh you got a mixtape? That’s fantastic
But everybody thought it was jokes though
They half right, the joke is
I got flow so don’t act like,
You ain’t sittin’ there with your friends like, it can’t be
I know Donald Glover, he weak man, he campy
I’m still knocked down, but I up the ante
Me and hip-hop, that black Sid and Nancy
Childish Gambino is a Hip-Hop fire fly himself. He’s small, yet shining, all on his own will and hard work. Nobody has given Gambino a cosign, a feature, any radio play, and he’s not running with any crews. Much like a fire fly Gambino has created his own shine, and like a fire fly, he’s also fascinating. Woah, how does that happen?
Gambino starts off his fascinating verse by talking about skateboarding around Washington Square in New York looking for money so that he can buy falafels to eat. He could be a beggar, right? Not Gambino, he doesn’t take charity. Which is why he follows with the line, “I’m so broke man/ Scholarship apologin'”. Meaning that he turned down scholarships, and now regrets it because he’s broke. You don’t have to know much about Gambino to know that he was a smart child, and probably had tons of scholarships coming his way. So he had a lot of scholarship offers, and he turned them down. Why? He’s a fire fly. He shines on his own.
CG then raps about college kids praising him at his concerts, and groupies wanting to molest him. Now let me digest this. Gambino is broke, and has females all on him? Male readers, how often does that happen? I love how Gambino doesn’t just tell us he’s something special, he gives us examples.
More “yeahs” and head nods come down 2/3rds of the verse when he talks about people laughing at him for rapping. People asked Childish, “Oh you got a mixtape, that’s fantastic”. Of course, they were being sarcastic. But the joke was on them all along, “They half right/ the joke is, I got flow…I know Donald Glover, he weak man, he campy”. You know when you watch a movie and they mention the name of the movie in the movie, and you get excited because you caught the word, and you feel smart? That’s how I felt, when I heard that line. Not many rappers do this either. Well, besides Wayne yelling “Carter 4 yaa” randomly during tracks, or J. Cole using “Cole” as a homophone for Cold. Yea we get it man, you’re Cole, the world is cold, you are the world, yea. I’m sorry Cole, I love your music. Anyways, when Glover said “campy” he was talking about being foolish, crazy, and absurd. The way he connected the dots, and related lines to the album title was new, definitely a breath of fresh air. I also love the way he flipped all the jokes on the jokers. After all he is also a comedian, and an award winning writer on 30 Rock. He’s not that bad of a writer.
So can someone start throwing Gambino’s Camp into the album-of-the-year conversation? Gambino showed us that he can hang with anybody. This verse on “Fire Fly” is proof. To add to his lyrical abilities, he’s a comedian. A lot of his raps are really goofy. On purpose too, like the broke college kid contradiction above showing us he’s really special. His wordplay is also explosive. When you hear it, you immediately throw it up on your facebook. Did I mention he’s also deep? Well I’ll shut up now, because I hope that I converted some of you into Gambino fans, and you now have a tab with iTunes open ready to buy Camp. So I’ll get out of here and let you hear. ‘Cause Donald Glover has an album, that’s fantastic.
Read the full Childish Gambino “Fire Fly” Lyrics here.