Some may know him for his stand up comedy acts, or his acting on “Community”, but in the world of hip-hop, Donald Glover is well known as Childish Gambino. He is certainly one of the few emcees that can get away with wearing a white tee and shorts in Toronto’s early “so-called” spring season where the remaining snow reminds everyone that winter is still here.
For an hour and a half, Gambino’s liveliness rejuvenates hundreds of fans that pack themselves into the Sound Academy on a Monday night.
On stage with the energetic performer are his band and young men and women sitting and drinking from red cups with a projector screening tweets and a photo of a moving forest fire. The multi-talented artist performs a mix of songs off of his latest album, Because of the Internet, like single “3005” and hits from prior projects such as “Do Ya Like”, “One Up” and “Heartbeat”. The instrumental of “Freaks and Geeks” plays while Gambino fans echo the track as if they wrote it.
“I guess I love Toronto, because I am a Raptor.” – Childish Gambino
“I’m sort of pissed,” says Gambino, as his voice starts to leave him. “But I want to do something special for you.” He is able to regain his voice for the highlight of the night — on a soft melody the rapper freestyles using mostly vocals. Gambino shares his feelings about a past love interest. “I used to date this girl like six months ago, now I can’t stand her.” And brings the crowd to a roar when he sings, “I guess I love Toronto, because I am a Raptor.”
Water is thrown into the audience. Girls get picked out of the crowd by security. Fans chant Gambino over and over. And on night one of two in Toronto, Childish Gambino proves he consistently murders his live sets.
Words By. Faduma Mohamed + Photos By. Candace Nyaomi