Hear It!: Jam of the Week

For this week’s Jam of the Week, the spotlight features Childish Gambino, an evolved artist who’s constantly on the rise.

STN MTN/Kauai, a concept album released earlier, took the web by storm with 16,000 copies sold in the first week.

According to Gambino, this release is an extension from his end of 2013 album, “Because the Internet.” Over the course of that 17-track album, Gambino showed insight into his wants, fears and deeper feelings. This was a big step for this ever-evolving artist.

STN MTN/Kauai represents two sides of the same coin that is Childish Gambino.  It’s reminiscent of prior dual albums like Outkast’s Speakerboxxx/The Love Below.

On the head side of the release, STN MTN, Gambino touches on his Georgia roots, the beginning of his rapping career and other themes from his young adulthood. According to DatPiff, an online mixtape hub, STN MTN was downloaded over 100,000 times.

Meanwhile, the tail side of the coin takes a completely different approach. Kauai gives an island feel (hence the name) and shares themes of love, euphoria and vulnerability.

With an  intergalactic feel in the production, Gambino woos listeners with his singing voice and his smooth rhymes showing a softer side. Included on this release is an alternate version of “v.3005” a popular track from “Because the Internet.” Serving as an EP, this release will be sold online and it’s proceeds go towards preserving the island of Kauai.

Kauai also features a special guest, starring as “The Boy” within this introspective concept EP. Jaden Smith, another up and coming artist, recites poetry throughout the album like a narrator detailing the innermost feelings of the main character.

This dual release earns five stars. STN MTN/Kauai are worlds apart, but maintained by the same theme. Watch out for releases from this evolving artist, because he’s on the rise.