Childish Gambino – Heartbeat
Damn I love this song! It’s hard to not like much of what Donald Glover does, whether it’s as Troy Barnes in Community, Earn (or Teddy) in Atlanta, his standup, in his guise as Childish Gambino on the amazing Awaken, My Love album or everything about This Is America… He just seems to be a genuinely funny, creative guy. Heck, he even made Simba a more interesting character.
The piano hook at the beginning of the track is haunting, then the drop! It’s a complete juxtaposition: the chill intro and the bass drop. But the bass is still sorta sloppy and chill compared to the rhymes. The feeling is evocative of Kanye‘s 808s & Heartbreaks era, but with lightning sharp, witty, almost funny rhymes:
So I’m chilling with my girlfriend
But she not my real girlfriend
She got a key to my place but
She’s not my real girlfriend
Ludwig Göransson has a lot to answer for on this track, coming from his work as a movie and TV composer (see aforementioned Community) through to this (and the rest of the work on Gambino’s albums), he’s really good at setting a tone that you don’t notice until you’re in the middle of it. Just watch The Mandalorian, Creed or Black Panther, and try not to notice the score!
But not really, you say the nastiest shit in bed and it’s fuckin’ awesome