This is America… and its New Wave of Artists

Hip hop artists are free thinking and free willed, but how will that affect the industry?


Flickr user EWatson92

Donald Glover (Childish Gambino) performing on stage.

Kanye West hopped back on Twitter a few weeks ago to remind us all what controversial opinions we’ve been missing on our timelines. West’s Twitter spree included calling slavery a choice, a shift towards anarchy and embracing his ‘free thinker’ philosophy. The ‘free thinker’ movement has definitely been led by West, starting over a decade ago, and rappers and artists are starting to shift away from the stereotypes and embrace more individuality, including artist Childish Gambino (A.K.A. Donald Glover).

Gambino has never really confined himself to the rapper stereotypes, his debut album, “Because the Internet” was quirky, youthful, and all around not your typical freshman album. His uniqueness continued throughout the release of his sophomore album, “Awaken, My Love!” The funk and soul influenced album got an initial harsh feedback from fans who were disappointed in how different the album was from his freshman album, but, the music eventually grew on the fans and the album turned out to be very successful. Recently, Gambino released his first song since his latest album. The song is called “This Is America,” and it seems to combine the styles of both of Gambino’s previous albums. However, this is not a song review. This is about the significance of having artists like West and Gambino in the industry. These “free thinkers” are contributing to a new wave of hip-hop and are inspiring potential artists.

Gambino’s “free thinking” philosophy is present in everything he does. His creativity and versatility are clear with his production of the hit TV series “Atlanta,” his debut on Saturday Night Live, and most importantly, his music (and music videos). Gambino is carrying on the free-thinking philosophy in hip-hop, adopting it from West, and making it a lot less controversial.