Brow Beat

Childish Gambino’s New Music Video Has a Surprise Up Its Sleeve


Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images

Childish Gambino—known to Community and comedy fans as Donald Glover—is having a busy month. Last week he released STN MTN/Kauai, a mixtape that harkens back to his Atlanta roots with a brash blend of southern hip-hop, ’80s-style production, and smooth R&B. Now he’s released a strange, surprising music video for “Telegraph Ave,” one of the standout tracks from his 2013 album Because the Internet.

The video—which, having been filmed in Kauai, has some tangential connection to the mixtape—features Gambino romancing Jhené Aiko with his trademark combination of mid-tempo singing and rapid-fire flow. It may seem like another generic, pretty-people-in-a-pretty-place concept, but the video’s ending moments, when things take a somewhat monstrous turn, reveal that there’s more at work here than scenes from a cookie-cutter courtship.