Our Top 10 Childish Gambino Songs list takes a look at a talented singer, songwriter, rapper, actor, director and screenwriter. Childish Gambino has two alter egos. When he acts his name is Donald Glover. When raps he goes by his stage name Childish Gambino. Childish Gambino has sold over 30 million records throughout his career. He has won several awards throughout his musical and acting careers. Some of his hits include “This Is America,” “Redbone,” “Sweatpants,” “Me and Your Mama,” “Bonfire,” “Feels Like Summer,” “Do Ya Like,” as well as several others.
Donald McKinley Glover was born on September 25, 1983. He started his career off as a writer and actor. He wrote and appeared on the TV series 30 Rock. He starred on the show Community for a few years before he decided to become a rapper. He changed his name to Childish Gambino to separate himself from his acting career. He released several mix tapes before he released his first studio album.
Camp was released in 2011. The album peaked at number two on the r&b charts and number 11 on the Billboard 200 charts. It features the singles “Bonfire,” “Heartbeat” and “Fire Fly.” The album sold over 242,000 copies. It’s Because the Internet was released in 2013. The album peaked at number three on the r&b charts and number seven on the Billboard 200 charts. It features the singles “3005,” “Crawl,” “Sweatpants” and “Telegraph Ave.” The album sold over 900,000 copies. It also sold over one billion copies in streams.
Awaken, My Love! came out in 2016. It peaked at number two on the r&b charts and number five on the Billboard 200 charts. It features the singles “Me and Your Mama,” “Redbone” and “Terrified.” It sold over one million copies. 3.15.20 came in 2020. The album peaked at number eight on the r&b charts and number 13 on the Billboard 200 charts. It features the singles “Time,” “12.38,” “Sweet Thang.”
Childish Gambino is a talented multifaceted artist. He is someone who can do it all. He is one of the few actors who was able to successfully transition from an actor to a singer/rapper. Musicians have an easier time switching to acting than the other way around. He changed his identity to separate himself from his acting career and it paid off for him. He won awards for his music as well as his acting. There aren’t too many singers who can say that. This Top 10 Childish Gambino Songs list will feature his best songs.
# 10 – I. The Worst Guys ft. Chance the Rapper
The first song on our Top 10 Childish Gambino Songs list is “I. The Worst Guys” from the album It’s Because the Internet. The song has an r&b and hip-hop beat. The summery song is about a woman who wanted a man for his body. The song is basically about sex. We are supposed to assume that the woman just wants him for sex. If you pay attention to the lyrics, they never talk about what she wanted in the song. You have to draw your own conclusion about what she wanted. This is a chill song with a lot of swagger. You don’t hear too many songs about a woman who just wants a man for his body. It’s usually the other way around so it was different to hear it this way. We’re not sure what the title of the song means. Are they referring to each other as the worst guys? We may never know the truth behind the track.
Childish Gambino gets the chance to rap on the song. He has a different style of rhyming. He slows down and speeds up his flow. His rhyming skills were pretty good. He has a similar rhyming skill to Kanye West. He doesn’t sound like him, but his rhymes are similar to his. Chance the Rapper doesn’t rap on this song. It’s ironic that the guest rapper sings on the track instead of rapping. He does a passable job on lyrics. We won’t know if he would have been better off rapping, but he does do a good job. They worked well together on this track. They brought out the best in each other. We are grateful that the chorus of the track was easy to remember.
# 9 – Sweatpants
The next song on our Top 10 Childish Gambino Song list is “Sweatpants.” The song is from the It’s Because the Internet album. The track has a hip-hop beat. The braggadocios song is about an alter ego that Childish Gambino made up for the song. The title of the song comes from rich people getting away with everything they want. He talks about people having false senses of entitlement. They don’t appreciate why they are rich. He tells the story of a person who thinks that they are entitled. Rappers tend to talk about having money so it was different to hear him talk about how rich people are bragging about being rich. You may not be able to relate to the lyrics, but you might have fun listening to them. He goes in on rich people in the song. If you are looking for depth from this song, you will be disappointed. If you want to just to listen to the lyrics, you will have fun with this song. He says everything you wish you could say about rich people.
He goes in on people who don’t appreciate the fact that they’re rich. With the way people are struggling to get by now, it’s easy to see why Childish Gambino makes fun of the rich people. The beat of the track is great. It has a hip-hop beat and it’s perfect for cruising or dancing. The music will have you moving around. The music will have you swaying in your seat. The song has a twist to it. If you think it stays a hip-hop beat, you will be mistaken. The song slows down and turns into an r&b ballad. He gets the chance to sing on this track. It was an interesting choice to make the last few minutes a ballad.
It makes the song sound unique. There aren’t too many hip-hop artists who switch things up in the middle of a song. The change in the song was like having two songs for the price of one. Childish Gambino’s rhyming worked for this song. He didn’t spit the rhymes too fast because the beat wasn’t fast enough. He sounds similar to Maxwell when he slows things down.
# 8 – Do Ya Like
The seductive song is from the mix tape Culdesac album. The song has a hip-hop beat. The flirtatious song is about him wanting to have sex with a girl. This song isn’t something that you haven’t heard before, but a song about having sex will never get old. People will continue to want to hear song like that. It’s a popular subject so people usually cover it at one point or another. He added a hip-hop flare to the theme. This is something that you would expect to hear in a club. It’s easy to picture a man trying to come on to a woman at a club.
He chose the unlikely sample of Adele’s single “Melt My Heart to Stone.” We wouldn’t necessarily assume that Childish Gambino would use Adele’s song as a sample to his track. The sample fits in nicely. It’s as if they are singing a duet. He included Adele’s vocals in the song, which makes it appear as if they are singing together. Their voices sounded nice together.
He raps and sings throughout the song so fans get a chance to hear both. He spits the rhymes for the verses, but he sings the hook along with Adele’s vocals looping in it. He should sing more often because he has a decent voice with the right song. He didn’t have to use so many pop culture references throughout the song, but it doesn’t hurt the song too much. The pop culture references make the song sound unrealistic and it’s not relatable to the listeners who don’t care for the namedropping in the song.
# 7 – Bonfire
The campy song is from the Camp album. The song has a hip-hop beat. The fiery song is a message to his haters. There are people who don’t take him seriously as a rapper and actor. He lets his haters know that he’s the best and the greatest. He brags about what he has accomplished in music. He also makes reference to how he is with the ladies. He doesn’t stay committed to any one subject on this track. He basically brags about how good he is. If you listen to the lyrics, you may not get what he’s talking about because he covers a lot of things in the song. He would have to be very confident to record a song like this one. Other rappers may not take him seriously because he was fairly new to the game when he recorded this track. With that said, we don’t want to make it seem like we don’t like the track. The song was recorded to be fun and campy.
The listeners can have fun laughing at the lyrics that he has for this track. He hypes himself up to be bigger than he is and he is able to pull it off. The music is perfect for the club and the jeeps. The drumbeat is the standout instrument on the track. It sounds incredible with the mellow beat. The song doesn’t have much of a chorus and that’s usually a bad thing. In this case, the song worked without it. It makes the song sound harder. He slows down his rhyming so that gives you a chance to hear the lyrics. This song isn’t for the kids. He uses a lot of profanity in the song. You should listen to this track when the kids are in the bed. You don’t want the kids to hear this track and rap along with him.
# 6 – Feels Like Summer
The cautionary song is from the 3.15.20 album. The song has a soul beat. The important song is about the climate. He talks about the destruction of the planet. He addresses the water crisis, air pollution and artificial intelligence. He wanted to do an important song about the world. The song is very timely because the world is in danger. The track is reminiscent of Marvin Gaye’s “Mercy, Mercy Me.” The track has a beautiful message that will make you think. It will give you an idea of how the world is in danger. This is a song we need to hear right now. There’s so much going on in the world today that this song is very relevant.
The music is soothing and fits with the theme of the song. There aren’t too many hip-hop artists who sing important and deep songs like this one. The music feels like it fits for the summertime. Childish Gambino chose to sing this song instead of rapping it. He has a good voice so it wasn’t a bad decision. He sounds similar to Pharrell Williams, Michael Jackson and Avant. He does runs that were a surprise. He sings in falsetto after the chorus. His voice could have cracked, but he stayed in tune. We were pleasantly surprised when he sang in his upper register. He should sing songs more often. Some rappers can’t sing and rap. He proved he’s not a member of that club. He gets an A- for his singing efforts on this song.
# 5 – Me and Your Mama
The next song on our Top 10 Childish Gambino Songs list is “Me and Your Mama” from the Awaken, My Love! album. The song has a psychedelic soul and rock beat. The darkly romantic song is about a man who falls in love with a woman. They smoke together so the lyrics will make you question whether he’s in love with her or just in love because they got high together. This is definitely a different take on a love song. People don’t usually question whether or not they love a person because they were high. He insists that he loves her and it’s a sweet message. It’s nice to see a rapper not exploiting a woman on a track. They seem to enjoy demeaning women in their songs so this track was a breath of fresh air.
The track is a different type of song for Childish Gambino. The music starts off like a melody. The synth dominates the music. The music sounds like an old school r&b track with synth included. He starts the song off with an impressive intro. The background singers repeat a line that’s hard to understand, but they sound good doing it. The song takes a very dramatic turn and sounds like something from back in the day. This is where you will hear the psychedelic beat. The guitar takes over the track at this point. It sounds like something Jimmy Hendricks would have recorded. We would be lying if we said we saw that change coming. Childish Gambino gets really loud once the psychedelic portion takes over. He screams to be heard over the beat. He does sound like he’s oversinging a little because he’s very loud, but it doesn’t hurt the song.
# 4 – Sober
The smooth song is from the mix tape Kauai. The song has a neo-soul sound. The heartbreaking song is about a man going through a breakup. He has trouble accepting the fact that the woman he loves is out of his life. He doesn’t want to be sober again because he wants to forget about the pain he has to endure because of the breakup. We’ve all been in situations where we don’t want to feel the pain of the breakup. We may not want to be inebriated in order to get over it, but we do want to take the pain away. This track is something that will hit differently if you are going through a breakup when you listen to it. This is the type of song you might have to listen to with the shades pulled down and candles lit around the room. It will put you in an emotional mood.
This is a different type of song for Childish Gambino. You can easily forget this is a hip-hop artist singing this song. He sounds like he could record an r&b album. He showcases his versatility on this track. He doesn’t rap on this song. He simply pours his heart out by singing. He doesn’t try to overdo it by singing too many runs that he couldn’t handle. He stays in his zone. He sounds very similar to Michael Jackson and The Weeknd on this song. He was channeling both artists on this track especially when he sings in falsetto. We were pleasantly surprised with the way he sang the song. He doesn’t use AutoTune so he sounds like he’s really singing on this track. Everything about this song works. It’s definitely a track that could be played over and over again.
# 3 – Time ft. Ariana Grande
The inspirational song appears on the 3.15.20 album. The track has a psychedelic beat. The motivational song is about being grateful for what you have in life. They want everyone to be grateful and forgive people for what they’ve done. The lyrics are important today because the world is running out of time so we shouldn’t waste it on petty things. They don’t want people to harbor bad feelings towards one another. This is the type of song that will make you think about your life and where you are headed. They want people to appreciate the things they have. We should all value what we have in our lives. You should play this track whenever you feel like giving up on someone. It will make you rethink that decision.
Childish Gambino and Ariana Grande are an unlikely pair to work together. We would never think that they would work together, but they did it. This song has a different type of beat. You would think it would have been a ballad considering the message behind the song, but you can bop your head to it. This is music that you haven’t heard before so they brought something new to the table. It has a futuristic sound to it. The song is a cool midtempo track that you could listen to throughout the year. Childish Gambino and Ariana Grande’s voices sound like they are stacked when they are singing together. If you listen carefully, you can hear the echo in their voices. Childish Gambino has a pretty good singing voice. He sounds similar to Pharrell Williams on this track. Ariana Grande sings the song in an airy pitch. It could have been a disaster, but she sounds good. She sings very high at a point in the song. You will either love it or hate it. This song is an earworm that will stay in your head after it’s done. This song wasn’t released in the United States, but it is worth checking out.
# 2 – Redbone
The paranoid song is from Awaken, My Love! album. The track has a psychedelic funk sound. The mysterious song is about his suspicions about the woman his loves. He wants to believe they could be together. He wants to know if she’s being loyal to him. Despite his fears about her loyalty, he believes they could still be together. Some people might be offended by the song title. Redbone is a derogatory term for an African American with light skin. He doesn’t use the term too much in the song, but the title will grab your attention. Childish Gambino chose to focus on the phrase “stay woke” throughout the song. It gives the song a deeper meaning. The song appeared in the movie Get Out which helped give it a resurgence.
The music has a funky beat. The instrumentation is impressive. The musicians are doing their thing on this track. The beat works with the theme. You will be surprised when you hear Childish Gambino’s vocals on this song. He sounds unrecognizable on this song. He reaches for the sky on this track. His voice is super high. It could have been a mess since he doesn’t sing that high, but we were pleasantly surprised. He sounds like he’s channeling his inner Prince on this song. He screams at points in the song. If you don’t like that type of singing, you won’t be impressed with it. If you do like it, you will enjoy listening to him singing. This song proved that he’s capable of recording any type of music. If you haven’t heard this song, you should definitely listen to it. This song could have been number one on our list, but we’re pretty sure you know what got the top spot.
# 1 – This Is America
The number one song on our Top 10 Childish Gambino Songs list is “This Is America.” The song is a non-album single. It has a hip-hop and an Afro beat. The social song is about what happens to the African American culture in the United States. It discusses gun violence, police brutality and misconduct. Childish Gambino wants the world to know what it’s like to be an African American and what we go through. This is the song that the African American community needed to be put out there. You don’t have to be African American to understand the importance of this song. Some people tend to be uncomfortable when it’s time to talk about what happens in the African American community, but this song covers what happens.
This track is Childish Gambino’s signature song. This song made him very popular on the music scene. The song debuted at number one when it came out. It went on to win numerous awards. There’s no way this song wasn’t going to be number one on our list. He was riding high with this song, but what goes up must come down. He dealt with accusations of plagiarism. He was accused of creating a similar song to Jase Harley’s “American Pharaoh.” Jase Harley thought the themes of the songs were similar to each other, but Childish Gambino’s manager said they weren’t similar.
We will leave it up to you to decide if they are similar. Childish Gambino did a good job with the lyrics. He makes you want to hear what has to say. If you go by the video, you might not take the song seriously. The song starts off slowly and then it picks up the pace. He starts singing and talking. He has a choir in the song. We didn’t see that coming at all. He raps in the second half of the song. He raps with a little speed on this track.
Top 10 Childish Gambino Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2022
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