Song of the Day: Childish Gambino - Have Some Love

Song of the Day
02/07/2017
Matthew Howland

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unrealeased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJ’s think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on the Midday Show with Cheryl Waters, is "Have Some Love" by Childish Gambino from his 2016 album, "Awaken My Love!", on Glassnote Records.

Gambino - Have Some Love (MP3)It may sound glib, but Childish Gambino released the best Parliament-Funkadelic record of 2016. Released back in early December, Donald Glover's latest album under the Childish Gambino moniker, "Awaken My Love!" (quotes intended), mixes elements of George Clinton & co. with Sly & The Family Stone, Chaka Khan, and other key 70s funk innovators, to create a modern funk document which lovingly pays homage to its influences. 2016 also saw the birth of Glover's first child, as well as Glover's helming of a critically acclaimed FX drama Atlanta, which won him a Golden Globe earlier this year. It seems safe to say he found inspiration in what was, for many, a bleak year.

In light of this general bleakness, what immediately strikes the listener about "Awaken My Love!" is the album's sense of jubilation. Borrowing from Clinton an unabashedly goofy sense of humor in the face of adversity, this joy radicalizes "Awaken My Love!", Glover speaking towards widespread social issues while preaching surreal humor and peace. This is felt on the album highlight "Have Some Love," which acts as the musical continuation of Funkadelic's classic "Can You Get to That." Directly referencing Clinton's song in structure, instrumentation, and message, Glover's buoyant chorus calls for audiences to "Have a word for your brother//Have some time for eachother//Really love one another." Though obviously an old message, Glover's words bear repeating, gaining new context within an increasingly tumultuous global climate.

At this time, Childish Gambino does not have any tour dates announced, apart from a headlining slot at the Governors Ball Festival in New York. For more information, check out Glover's Facebook page and Soundcloud. In the meantime, check out the immersive live performance of Gambino's "Me and Your Mama":

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