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The 21st Century’s greatest MC returns less than a year after his stellar major label debut Camp with the mixtape R O Y A L T Y and it is the most amazing collection of music you won’t have to pay for this year. That’s right, it’s free!

“We Ain’t Them” begins the mixtape and is better than anything off of Camp which speaks volumes of the talent Gambino brings to the mic. The flow is tight. The stories are compelling. The beats are divine. At one point, he mentions hoping Community gets cancelled so he could focus and while that might sound like a good thing to fans of CG, it might be a very bad thing for the rest of the hip-hop world.

Adding to Gambino’s aural arsenal on R O Y A L T Y are some heavyhitting (and diverse) guests. Beck turns up on “Silk Pillow” portraying that slacker in “Loser” once again (And again as producer on “Bronchitis”), Ghostface Killah lays some bars on the interlude “It May Be Glamour Life”, and Bun B. shows up to add some flavor to “R.I.P” which samples “Nightcall” from the movie Drive.

While there are moments on R O Y A L T Y that are decidedly more “gangsta” than anything Childish Gambino has done before (“One Up”, “Black Faces” especially), there’s no doubt that CG still appeals to a broad spectrum of the music community. Who else could have a mixtape that features RZA on one track, Beck on another, and Tina Fey RAPPING on another? No one besides Gambino. No one.

R O Y A L T Y is out now. Download it here. There are no excuses.

Grade: A+

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