Childish Gambino – Early Beginnings, Rapping in a Dorm Room Basement
Hi, I’m Chaz Kangas, some of you visiting this site for the first time might remember me as the second verse on Childish Gambino’s “My Hoodie” off of his 2008 album Sick Boi. Next week sees the release of Gambino’s highly anticipated album Camp. Seeing that this is the internet, I’m sure you’re already well aware that you can stream the album now or catch him on tour as much as you know that you can download MY FREE album featuring Mac Lethal, Stones Throw’s Homeboy Sandman, Alaska of Hangar 18 and J57 of the Brown Bag All Stars.
So, instead, I’ll be bringing you this two part look back at my history with Donald, as well as this footage of us freestyling together for the first time. To give it some context, my freshman year at New York University was beginning and I had moved into Goddard Hall about a week prior. All of Goddard’s floors had themes, I was on the 4th floor (Music) while Donald was the RA on the 7th (Writing?). During that first week of college when you meet everyone and you condense yourself into a soundbite, I felt most comfortable with “I’m Chaz, I’m a Cinema Studies major and I rap.” Soon I was noticing more and more “Have you met Donald? He’s on the 7th floor and he raps too” responses. We finally met in really quick passing between classes and had one of those “You like rap? I like rap too! I like MadVillain. You like Madvillain too?! Let’s rap sometime!” rapidfire dialogues that happen in the hustle and bustle of college life. Later that night, during my dorm’s nightly “Basement Jam” sessions where all the musicians would just play and everyone hung out in-between loads of laundry and games of Donkey Kong, someone noticed Donald and I were both in the same place and invited us to rap together. Some of the guys playing weren’t too familiar with Hip-Hop beats, so we asked if they knew “Back in Black.” They did, and so this happened:
Truth be told, this is only a three-minute excerpt from 15 minutes in to a 21 minute freestyle*. Afterwords we dapped up, I gave him a copy of my high school album Notes From the Underground, and we proceeded to have a year of hip-hop shop-talkin’. I was pretty bummed to leave Goddard Hall at the end of the year, but as I was saying goodbyes that May morning, Donald gave me a copy of his newly finished album called The Younger I Get…
TO BE CONTINUED! (friday.)
So until next time…let’s agree to agree!
*Which, if you would like, I could upload at a later date. Shouts to Katie Warzak for the footage.