Artists these days are in the habit of dropping albums and mixtapes without much notice (Queen Bey). Yesterday, Childish Gambino released a new mixtape entitled STN MTN -- the first part of his new project STN MTN/KAUAI. If you don’t understand the title of the mix tape, “STN MTN” refers to Stone Mountain, Georgia, which is a suburb of Gambino’s home city of Atlanta. If you’re familiar with mixtapes, you’ll recognize that this is a “Gangsta Grillz” collaboration. This mixtape is just the beginning of the STN MTN/KAUAI project but KAUAI should be released on iTunes very soon. Consider buying it because the proceeds will go to “changing policies for police and helping Kauai, Hawaii.”
Just like his previous work, Because the Internet, this mixtape is themed. While Because the Internet had many references to the internet and the day of computers, STN MTN focuses on Atlanta. This mixtape is an homage to Gambino's hometown. He does this with his over reference to landmarks in the suburbs. "Stone Crest. You were out in Lithonia, though" "I'll catch you out at Lenox," and "but I'm looking for hoes at Atlantic Station" are a few of my favorites. In addition to the audible references to Atlanta, many of the songs he samples on this mixtape were put out by Atlanta artists. Usher ("U Don't Have to Call"), Future and Maceo ("Move That Dope/Nextel Chirp/Let Hair Blow") and O Lyfe ("AssShots"). While paying homage to Atlanta, he's recognizing the work of other successful rappers and singers from the area.
This mixtape is similar to Glover's past EPs and mixtapes because it does not reach Jay Z/Kanye level awesome. Even though Gambino is not on the same level as most big name rappers, he has found his niche in the rap game. In light of his serious and personal lyrics, Gambino's songs are full of witty and lame puns. Gambino takes his raps in a less hardcore direction and that's what makes his music relatable and fun to his audience.
Favorite songs from the mixtape:- "No Fucks Given" produced by Nic Banga. This is just a quick song that has a dope beat. It basically says "you do you" but for 2 minutes and 30 seconds. "I came here to do my own shit / I came here to do my own shit / No fucks given / No fucks given"
- "No Small Talk" feat Kari Faux. This song samples Kari Faux's summer 2014 song of the same title. The ringing cellphone in the background -- annoying in the beginning -- really ties the song together. "Make it bounce, make it bounce like Spalding"
- "U Don't Have to Call" produced by Ludwig. As I noted earlier, Usher has a song with the same title. Growing up in the 90s, I grew up with Usher and this song is a good reminder of my childhood years. Gambino does justice to Usher's classic song while serenading us with the original introduction and transitioning into a more serious and thought provoking rap. "Who made her who came back to the south / Atlanta, Georgia who made me"
I don't know if I would say this is on the same level as Because the Internet, but listening to it was entertaining. If you want to check it out, download this mixtape at HotNewHipHop.com!