by John Wyatt
photo by IBRA AKE
Ever since his out-of-nowhere 2013 hip-hop debut Because the Internet, it was pretty clear that Childish Gambino was going to be someone to pay attention to in the music community. His off-kilter brand of hip-hop stood out even amidst a generation that gave us Kendrick Lamar, A$AP Rocky, Tyler the Creator, and J. Cole. In 2017, Gambino quickly shifted to R&B-inspired funk with tinges of psychedelia with Awaken, My Love! and its hit single “Redbone.” A year later, the politically charged “This Is America” debuted at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and earned a Grammy for “Song of the Year.” But that wasn’t enough for Gambino. This year, he released Guava Island, a musical film alongside Rihanna set on a tropical island and featuring breezy tracks like “Feels Like Summer” and “Summertime Magic.” At this year’s Lollapalooza, look for Gambino to hit several of his recent R&B-leaning tunes as well as plenty of classic cuts.