This has undoubtedly been Childish Gambino’s week — or month — but he hasn’t been the only person to release a track by a long shot. He’s one of the biggest names to drop a new track, but there were several upstarts and grizzled veterans who have released singles this week. You may have been pretty busy debating your take on Gambino’s polarizing work to have caught every release, but luckily we took a listen to everything and decided to highlight the best songs of the week:
Childish Gambino — “This Is America”
Childish Gambino’s “This Is America” song is a testament to the power of multi-purpose artistry. On its own, the track is a solid examination of America’s injustice and bloodlust. The polarizing video, however, which depicts a choir and a man in a chair — all Black — being shot down while Gambino moseys along (seemingly reflecting ignorant bliss) makes for a more urgent piece. Some people thought that the Hiro Murai-directed visual was a macabre, shock value video that trivializes Black death at the hands of cops, while others thought it was a masterful statement on America’s current state. Others are merely admiring Gambino aka Donald Glover’s artistic vision, agreeing with writer Myles Johnson that he had “gifted us a freedom to decide if this was medicine or poison.”
Chance The Rapper and Future ft. King Louie — “My Peak”
Chance The Rapper previewed his “My Peak” collaboration with Future all the way back in February of 2017. We finally got the full song this week, which also features Chance’s fellow Chicagoan King Louie. Where their 2016 “Smoke Break” collaboration felt like a Chance song that Future jumped on, “My Peak” shows Chance wading into Future’s murky purple waters, rhyming melodically over ominous keys and a trunk-rattling bass drum. King Louie booms onto the record with a verse that was mixed rather poorly, but he still gets his bars off.
Valee ft. Jeremih — “Womp Womp”
New GOOD Music signee Valee is plugging along and steadily building his name, releasing quality music that showcases his feel-good, melodically adept sound. His latest offering is “Womp Womp,” a song with Jeremih that sidesteps the lazy “Jeremih-is-on-the-hook-because-I-can’t-sing” trope and serves as more of a duet. The two trade verses using an off-kilter, sing-songy flow and drop some fun bars about custom whips and bankrolls over a gnarly bass and thumping 808s.