Royalty (Mixtape Review)

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Childish Gambino

Mixtape review
By 6xPlatinum

Released 4 July 2012
59:12 in length

1.) Royalty (Intro)
2.) We Ain’t Them — – (4/5)
3.) One Up — – (3.75/5)
4.) Black Faces — – (3.75/5)
5.) Unnecessary — – (4.5/5)
6.) Shoulda Known — – (4/5)
7.) R.I.P. — – (4/5)
8.) American Royalty — – (3.75/5)
9.) It May Be Glamour Life
10.) Toxic — – (4.25/5)
11.) Silk Pillow — – (3.25/5)
12.) They Don’t Like Me — – (3.5/5)
13.) Arrangement — – (3.75/5)
14.) Won’t Stop — – (4.25/5)
15.) Bronchitis — – (4.25/5)
16.) Wonderful — – (4.25/5)
17.) Make It Go Right — – (3/5)
18.) Real Estate — – (3.5/5)

In standard “staying with the times fashion”, Gambino matches the sound of the new GOOD type ish. When Royalty ended, I definitely thought of the new trap/electronic tracks like “Mercy”, “No Lie”, and “I Don’t Like.” (I know “No Lie” isn’t from GOOD). Not to say that this is a bad thing — and one of the best qualities of this tape was the production, with the largest contributor being Gambino himself. Singer, writer, rapper, producer… Reminds me of another cat doin’ his thing and dropping quality work. The production on a whole was actually good. I really dug the samples, from Dem Franchize Boyz to Kavinsky (I loved the Drive soundtrack) to Britney Spears. But the tracks without samples were noteworthy as well — quite polished for a mixtape. Asshole Beck did a great job on his two tracks.

Where CG shines well above his peers is in his writing. I’m not even into punchline rap, yet Gambino makes me like it. I absolutely think it helps that he knows how to write for TV. After I had finished Camp, I had wondered what direction Gambino would take himself next. He couldn’t have done too many more “underdog” stories about not fitting into his own shoes. So the next logical thing was to make a tape surrounded by his humor and his finely tuned punchline skills. Now I know on my Camp review that I disliked a majority of his own singing, but maybe I’m growing to enjoy it or he’s getting better (I’d prefer to think the latter). He seems a little more tame and found his vocal range. On “Shoulda Known” I was comfortable with the hook. It could also help that he does it significantly less.

On Camp Gambino kept the features to a whopping zero. On Royalty he flexed his networking skills and recruited some of the vets in the game: RZA, Ghostface Killa, and Bun B. And all of the new guys runnin’ the game: Schoolboy Q, Ab-Soul, and Danny Brown. Even with a beat that I still can’t tell if it matched his voice well, Ghostface probably had my favorite feature verse on the entire tape. Josh Osho, whoever the fuck he is, delivered the exact kind of hook that Gambino needed on Camp. Kilo Kish’s verse on “Make It Go Right” was extremely tricky for me to judge. It’s definitely seductive, but not good but somehow I want to keep listening, the accent was bad and great at the same time — I don’t know, I got mindfucked on that one. I don’t know how he managed to make this whole tape without 2Chainz getting wind of the tracks like “Real Estate” and “One Up.” Oh and… Beck. I’m not into Beck.

Not that I’m trying, but Childish Gambino is getting hard to ignore. His appeal is growing and he is rapidly gaining new listeners and to top off this wave of success (virtually by pure word of mouth/social networking), the motherfucker is good at his craft. Good is an understatement… Really good… This will piss some people off, but I wouldn’t be shocked if Gambino’s name is attached to a classic by the end of his career. I picked on his singing voice on his last release, and now that he really didn’t use it, all I have left is his flow. It’s certainly not bad, but if he wants that classic I was talking about, he needs to go up a few pegs in the flow department. I am absolutely looking forward to Childish Gambino’s next release, but for the time being Royalty is more than enough to fill the gap.

Final rating:


July 16th, 2012

i didnt know beck was a rapper. i honestly only heard his name as a kid den i heard wen i heard this tape. all in all its fair reveiew i really liked wat bino was doin wit havin the feautures from legends to new kats. my fav was the RZA tho was pretty nice and he even gave a gud beat too

July 16th, 2012

I feel like this was a lil too high

July 16th, 2012

You forgot to give the Ghostface track a rating.
But other than that, this review and mixtape…

July 16th, 2012
6xPlatinum's photo


Haha, thank you.

I didn’t give a rating intentionally. As its only one verse, I viewed it as an interlude as opposed to a full track, so no real need to rate it. I did enjoy it though. The beat was definitely something that I wouldn’t have expected to hear Ghostface rap over, but nonetheless, enjoyable.

July 16th, 2012

IMO, Camp is a near-classic/classic to me. But then again, I’m somewhat of a Gambino stan.

I really liked Royalty, some tracks just had to grow on me.

Anyway, great review as always, 6x!

July 17th, 2012
6xPlatinum's photo


Anyone else? Thought we had some intense Gambino fans here

July 23rd, 2012

yea hes got some real stans he sold out imo

July 23rd, 2012
BBDS's photo


I’m a major gambino fan, but i was severely disappointed with this mixtape, he completely changed up his flow, lyrics and style. I’m fine with artists experimenting and branching out, but on this it feels he was trying to be something he wasn’t. He tried to make a “commercial” album, and as far as commercial music it was fairly nice, but it’s not the Gambino i’m used to. My theory is that he made this mixtape more accessible to gain fans, so by his next album he’ll have some hype for his normal gambino style. It’s just not as lyrical, and more bragadocious, I very much miss his corny punchlines. In all this album had good production, and good features, but was overall forgettable. Gambino has been my number one artist for the last year and a half, but after this mixtape, he’s certainly dropped.

July 23rd, 2012

i really like some of the songs..
Then i dont like some of them at all.

typical Gambino project imo.

July 23rd, 2012

yea i was a big fan it seems like he trying to be way to hood and he was supsta be the rapper for the middle class black nerds

July 23rd, 2012
manicrjs's photo


This was in no way a typical Gambino project.. He changed things up, and I liked the other Gambino much more. He definitely tried to get his hood card or whatever in this, and that’s not him.

July 23rd, 2012
6xPlatinum's photo


19 days late and still I’m confused at where you thought he was trying to be hood

August 12th, 2012

it was all over it.

August 12th, 2012
6xPlatinum's photo


The hood doesn’t own beats…

August 12th, 2012