Camp (album)

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Camp
Childish-gambino-camp.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedNovember 15, 2011 (2011-11-15)
StudioHyperion Sound, Los Angeles, California
GenreHip hop
Length56:06
LabelGlassnote
Producer
Childish Gambino chronology
EP
(2011)
Camp
(2011)
Royalty
(2012)
Singles from Camp
  1. "Bonfire"
    Released: September 17, 2011
  2. "Heartbeat"
    Released: November 15, 2011
  3. "Fire Fly"
    Released: July 30, 2012

Camp is the debut studio album by American rapper Donald Glover, under his stage name Childish Gambino. It was released by Glassnote Records on November 15, 2011.[1] Upon Gambino's four mixtapes and three independent album releases, Gambino signed a deal to Glassnote,[2] marking it as his first album on a major record label.[3] The album was co-produced in its entirety by Gambino's longtime collaborator Ludwig Göransson.

Camp received generally positive reviews from critics, debuting at number 11 on the US Billboard 200, selling 52,000 copies in the first week.

Background[edit]

On September 6, 2011, Glover signed with Glassnote. The founder Daniel Glass says "There's a tremendous sense of rock'n'roll about him, an irreverence and an authenticity, He fits in with our roster because he's alternative. He liked our approach, which is very touring-intensive. Secondly, it's about how progressive he's been online: inclusive of his fans and very liberal with giving away music. He knows his audience."[4]

In late October, he announced that the album would be released on November 15.[5]

Release and promotion[edit]

The album was made available for pre-order on iTunes on November 1, 2011. On the same day, the music video for "Bonfire" was released through Gambino's website and YouTube.[6] The album was made available in its entirety for streaming on NPR on November 6, 2011.[7]

Singles[edit]

The album's lead single, "Bonfire", was debuted on Funkmaster Flex's Hot 97 radio show on September 17, 2011.[8] "Heartbeat" was released as the album's second single on November 15, 2011,[9] and reached 18 on the US Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles.

On July 24, 2012, the music video for the song, "Fire Fly", was released on Vevo.[10] "Fire Fly" was later serviced to British contemporary hit radio on July 30, 2012.[11]

Other songs[edit]

On January 9, 2013, Gambino released his latest video from Camp, "L.E.S." The song's title is an acronym for the Lower East Side of the New York City borough of Manhattan, the location of the video shoot.[12] Photographer Ibra Ake directed and filmed the video over "several nights" on the streets of the Lower East Side, in front of places like Pianos, and riding in cabs around the district;[12] but not once does Gambino appear himself. While on tour in the summer of 2012, Gambino played this video in the background while he performed "L.E.S." onstage.[13]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
AnyDecentMusic?6.7/10[14]
Metacritic69/100[15]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 stars[16]
The A.V. ClubC+[17]
The Guardian2/5 stars[18]
The Independent4/5 stars[19]
Mojo4/5 stars[20]
MSN MusicA−[21]
Pitchfork1.6/10[22]
Q3/5 stars[23]
Rolling Stone3/5 stars[24]
Spin6/10[25]

Camp received generally positive reviews from critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 69, based on 27 reviews.[15] Barry Nicolson of NME dubbed it "the hip-hop album of the year" and commended Gambino's "focus on being [...] witty, heartfelt, honest and occasionally uproarious."[26] Steve Lepore of PopMatters found the album to be "undoubtedly one of the best records of any genre to come out in 2011" and characterized it as "a juxtaposition of mostly depressing, self-loathing rap mixed with some of the most enjoyable post-Graduation music."[27] In his consumer guide for MSN Music, Robert Christgau complimented its "choral and orchestral movie music" and stated, "it's less surefire than Culdesac. But it's more satisfying emotionally, because the autobiography reaches deep".[21] Mojo stated, "The identity-crisis themed Camp trumps through whip-smart intelligence, comic brio and bristling malign intent."[20] AllMusic editor David Jeffries commended Gambino for "taking indie hip-hop to new levels" and called the album "remarkable".[16] Evan Rytlewski of The A.V. Club was more critical, stating "Camp is heavy with themes of racial expectations and cultural ostracism—big ideas that aren't always done justice by Glover's cartoonishly exaggerated, one-liner-laden flow."[17]

Mosi Reeves of Spin found the album to be "a bit of a mess. It veers wildly from poignant emotions to maudlin histrionics, often in the same song."[25] Pitchfork's Ian Cohen stated, "While Glover's exaggerated, cartoonish flow and overblown pop-rap production would be enough to make Camp one of the most uniquely unlikable rap records of this year (and most others), what's worse is how he uses heavy topics like race, masculinity, relationships, street cred, and 'real hip-hop' as props to construct a false outsider persona."[22] Claire Suddath of Time criticized Gambino for "bragging about all of the girls he's banged" too often, but complimented his "catchy, danceable sound very much akin to that of Kanye West" and stated, "Ultimately, Camp is a skillful album created by a conflicted man ... But if Camp doesn't have a motif maybe that's because [he] doesn't have one either. He acts, he writes, he still does stand-up, and yes, he also raps. Some people can't be put into a box that easily."[28]

Commercial performance[edit]

Camp debuted at number 11 on the US Billboard 200, selling 52,000 copies in the first week.[29] As of November 2013, the album has sold 242,000 copies according to Nielsen SoundScan.[30]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks were written and produced by Childish Gambino (under his real name, Donald Glover) and Ludwig Göransson.

No.TitleLength
1."Outside"4:30
2."Fire Fly"3:24
3."Bonfire"3:13
4."All the Shine"5:46
5."Letter Home"1:44
6."Heartbeat"4:31
7."Backpackers"3:16
8."L.E.S."5:19
9."Hold You Down"4:53
10."Kids (Keep Up)"4:57
11."You See Me"3:15
12."Sunrise"3:40
13."That Power"7:38
Total length:56:06

Notes

  • "Fire Fly" contains uncredited vocals from Janet Leon
  • "Sunrise" contains background vocals from Dean
  • "Not Going Back" contains uncredited vocals from Beldina Malaika

Personnel[edit]

  • Donald Glover – design, drum programming, producer, programming, string arrangements, vocals
  • Ludwig Göransson – drum programming, engineer, guitar, keyboards, producer, programming
  • Erik Arvinder – string arrangements, violin
  • Bryan Carrigan – engineer
  • Thomas Drayton – bass
  • Chris Fogel – mixing
  • Shepard – drum programming, guitar, producer
  • Janet Leon – vocals ("Fire Fly")
  • Dean – vocals ("Sunrise")
  • Beldina Malaika – vocals ("Not Going Back")
  • Ryan McClure – engineer, mixing
  • Vlado Meller – mastering
  • Questlove – drums
  • Whitney Wood – choir, chorus, soloist
  • Chris Scully – art direction, layout
  • Ibra Ake – photography

Charts[edit]

Chart (2011–13) Peak
position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[31] 99
Australian Urban Albums (ARIA)[31] 19
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[32] 22
UK R&B Albums (OCC)[33] 29
US Billboard 200[34] 11
US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums (Billboard)[35] 2
US Top Rap Albums (Billboard)[36] 2

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Camp by Childish Gambino". iTunes Store. Archived from the original on October 6, 2015. Retrieved October 3, 2015.
  2. ^ DiCrescenzo, Brent (August 2, 2012). "Donald Glover as Childish Gambino". Time Out. Chicago. Archived from the original on June 18, 2013. Retrieved November 11, 2012.
  3. ^ Lachno, James (August 6, 2012). "New Faces: Childish Gambino". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on December 3, 2012. Retrieved November 11, 2012.
  4. ^ "Childish Gambino Signs with Glassnote Records". Billboard. Retrieved February 28, 2019.
  5. ^ "Donald Glover's Childish Gambino Album "Camp" To Release November 15". HipHopDX. October 22, 2011. Retrieved February 28, 2019.
  6. ^ "iamdonald". Archived from the original on November 8, 2011. Retrieved November 6, 2011.
  7. ^ "HITS Daily Double". Hits Daily Double. Archived from the original on July 25, 2015. Retrieved November 18, 2011.
  8. ^ Young, Alex (September 17, 2011). "Check Out: Childish Gambino – "Bonfire"". Consequence of Sound. Archived from the original on October 8, 2011. Retrieved October 13, 2011.
  9. ^ "Amazon.com: Heartbeat [Explicit]: Childish Gambino: MP3 Downloads". Amazon.com. Archived from the original on January 12, 2016. Retrieved July 10, 2017.
  10. ^ "YouTube". YouTube. Archived from the original on July 24, 2015. Retrieved July 24, 2015.
  11. ^ "UK Forthcoming Singles". Radio1.gr. Archived from the original on May 12, 2012. Retrieved March 17, 2012.
  12. ^ a b "Childish Gambino Drops Music Video for "L.E.S." [VIDEO]". Archived from the original on January 21, 2013. Retrieved March 20, 2013.
  13. ^ "Childish Gambino – "L.E.S." [VIDEO]". Archived from the original on January 23, 2013. Retrieved March 20, 2013.
  14. ^ "Camp by Childish Gambino reviews". AnyDecentMusic?. Archived from the original on November 1, 2016. Retrieved October 31, 2016.
  15. ^ a b "Reviews for Camp by Childish Gambino". Metacritic. Archived from the original on September 20, 2012. Retrieved December 1, 2011.
  16. ^ a b Jeffries, David. "Camp – Childish Gambino". AllMusic. Archived from the original on June 22, 2012. Retrieved September 11, 2018.
  17. ^ a b Rytlewski, Evan (November 14, 2011). "Childish Gambino: Camp". The A.V. Club. Archived from the original on March 16, 2013. Retrieved May 22, 2016.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  18. ^ MacInnes, Paul (December 1, 2011). "Childish Gambino: Camp – review". The Guardian. London. Film & music section, p. 11. Archived from the original on August 19, 2014. Retrieved June 5, 2012.
  19. ^ Gill, Andy (November 18, 2011). "Album: Childish Gambino, Camp (Glassnote/Island)". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on November 21, 2011. Retrieved June 5, 2012.
  20. ^ a b "Childish Gambino: Camp". Mojo. London (218): 90. January 2012.
  21. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (December 30, 2011). "Childish Gambino". MSN Music. Archived from the original on May 18, 2015. Retrieved June 3, 2015.
  22. ^ a b Cohen, Ian (December 2, 2011). "Childish Gambino: Camp". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on December 4, 2011. Retrieved December 1, 2011.
  23. ^ "Childish Gambino: Camp". Q. London (306): 119. January 2012.
  24. ^ Herrera, Monica (November 15, 2011). "Camp". Rolling Stone. New York. Archived from the original on June 21, 2012. Retrieved June 5, 2012.
  25. ^ a b Reeves, Mosi (November 15, 2011). "Childish Gambino, 'Camp' (Glass Note)". Spin. New York. Archived from the original on January 9, 2012. Retrieved November 11, 2012.
  26. ^ Nicolson, Barry (November 18, 2011). "Album Review: Childish Gambino – 'Camp'". NME. London. Archived from the original on June 6, 2012. Retrieved June 5, 2012.
  27. ^ Lepore, Steve (November 23, 2011). "Childish Gambino: Camp". PopMatters. Archived from the original on June 7, 2012. Retrieved June 5, 2012.
  28. ^ Suddath, Claire (November 14, 2011). "Review: Community Star Donald Glover Raps as Childish Gambino on New Album 'Camp'". Time. Archived from the original on July 6, 2012. Retrieved June 5, 2012.
  29. ^ ajacobs (November 23, 2011). "Hip Hop Album Sales: The Week Ending 11/20/2011". HipHopDX. Archived from the original on January 23, 2015. Retrieved May 22, 2016.
  30. ^ Zemler, Emily (December 3, 2013). "Childish Gambino Talks 'because the internet' Album & Staying Honest". Billboard. Archived from the original on August 1, 2015. Retrieved July 24, 2015.
  31. ^ a b "ARIA Report – Week Commencing 28th January 2013" (PDF). Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved February 14, 2013.
  32. ^ "Childish Gambino Chart History (Canadian Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved July 24, 2015.
  33. ^ "Official R&B Albums Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company. Retrieved July 14, 2014.
  34. ^ "Childish Gambino Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved July 24, 2015.
  35. ^ "Childish Gambino Chart History (Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved July 24, 2015.
  36. ^ "Childish Gambino Chart History (Top Rap Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved July 24, 2015.