Do you remember 2011? I know this is a ridiculous question because 2011 was at least 14 lifetimes ago, but if you try very hard and don’t think about anything else for the rest of the day and eat a few thousand milligrams of caffeine (and whatever else you have lying around!) maybe you can remember the cartoony, bratty, polarizing rap album Camp, released by the then just-getting-famous Community star Donald Glover, under the moniker Childish Gambino.
At the time, I loved it, because I was a sucker and additionally 17 (so lay off!), but some people preferred to describe it as “one of the most uniquely unlikable rap records of [the] year,” and “hashtag rap’s tombstone.” It did feature lyrics like “Cause I’m a beast bitch, grr, Invader Zim.” And “E.E. cummin’ on her face.”
Anyway, Donald Glover will star as Lando Calrissian in Ron Howard’s upcoming Solo: A Star Wars Story, and as such, TV writer Demi Adejuyigbe has made a fake “Lando Rap” performed by Camp-era Gambino. It’s spot-on, with doofy references to saccharine pop culture like Brian’s Song and Monsters Inc., as well as punchlines like “Cape got me lookin’ like a black pope / Scandal!” There are lots of sex brags and even a few references to Gambino’s well-documented and pretty gross fascination with Asian women.
This style of leaked footage hoax is what Adejuyigbe is best known for on Twitter. His fake Will Smith musical number from Disney’s new live-action Aladdin went viral in July. His fake Will Smith Arrival post-credits rap went viral last February. As did his fake Will Smith Hacksaw Ridge post-credits rap, and his fake Will Smith Moonlight post-credits rap. He has a Will Smith thing! And he loves September 21st.
Glover has said he’s done with the Gambino name, and even people who like him and liked the early mixtape releases are now perfectly willing to admit that they were “technically speaking, not very good.” Maybe, seven years after the worst of the Gambino crimes, this joke is a little mean.
But it’s also funny and he can probably take it. His surprise 2016 funk release Awaken, My Love! was nominated for Album of the Year at the 2018 Grammys. His new TV show was lauded in The New York Times for bringing magical realism to prime time. He’s friends with Quavo. He’s a Star Wars guy now!