In this edition of “What I’m Listening To”, you get a double dose of Donald Glover, a little J. Cole and some G.O.O.D. music to finish. Just noticed that these song titles are very… powerful.

“My Shine” by Childish Gambino

Ever since I went down the Community rabbit hole, I’ve been obsessed with Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino’s music. He’s witty, brash and a little geeky with more honesty in his music than artists like Drake. The first of Donald Glover’s tracks this time around is “My Shine” from his 2011 EP. It’s a simple song just talking about what makes him shine… what makes him unique in an increasingly crowded field of non-traditional rappers.

“That Power” by Childish Gambino

“That Power” is the final track from his 2011 album “Camp”. Even though some outlets hated the album, I think it’s a very strong package. The 13th track is a seven-minute track split into two parts. The first, like “My Shine” is a swag infused pop-hop tune with a powerful, easy-to-repeat chorus. The part that really spoke to me the first time I heard it was the Spoken Word second piece. He tells a story from his youth that deals with… you guessed it: Summer Camp. Even though I now skip the back four minutes without hesitation, the track is excellent.

 

“Power Trip” by J. Cole ft. Miguel

Cole World: The Sideline Story, released in 2011, was another complete and solid package. Never Told (produced by NO I.D.) is probably my favourite track on the album (check it out if there isn’t enough music here). This track talks about his rise to fame and its effect on his biggest crush. Originally, the chorus of the song was sung by J. Cole, but a meeting with RocNation’s Jay-Z changed the song entirely with one suggestion: “Yo, you should get Miguel on this…”. I thank Jay-Z for that suggestion.

 

“Joy” by Ryan McDermott ft. Hit-Boy

I first heard this song and didn’t like it at all. On the Frank Ocean scale of hipster R&B, I first thought that Ryan McDermott was all the way on the hipster extreme (I actually love Frank Ocean – his Nostalgia, Ultra mixtape was on loop two summers ago). Then I played the song again and again and again. Even though I think he’s a bit non-traditional, Ryan’s got soul and his signing to G.O.O.D. Music is well-deserved. The production of the track reminds me of a wind-chime on a windy day. It’s very native. The track features Hit-Boy and even though his rhymes are basic, his flow fits very well with the song. EN-joy!

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