Camp - Childish Gambino
Metascore
69

Generally favorable reviews - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 27
  2. Negative: 1 out of 27
  1. It's less surefire than Culdesac. But it's more satisfying emotionally.
  2. Nov 15, 2011
    91
    No song seems out of place and every single one will be your favorite the moment you listen to it because of extremely quotable songs.
  3. Nov 17, 2011
    90
    Childish Gambino is more than just a rapper, and Camp is more than just an album: It's a stone-cold classic.
  4. 90
    Gambino can really rap. Scratch that; he can really, really rap, plus sing and emote and put on a show better than 90% of his hip-hop counterparts.
  5. It'll be difficult to find many albums (regardless of genre) that stimulates as many emotions as Camp. Years of hard work and perseverance from Glover has finally paid off and Camp is the culmination of all that, making this one of the best albums of 2011.
  6. May 31, 2012
    80
    The identity-crisis themed Camp trumps through whip-smart intelligence, comic brio and bristling malign intent. [Jan 2012, p.90]
  7. Dec 2, 2011
    80
    Gambino's strength is also his weakness. As a TV writer and a comedian he's naturally focused on punchlines and creating moments, which at his best is enormously entertaining and at the worst forced
  8. 80
    Vastly talented, he brings rare articulacy to the thorny subject of black self-image, particularly the problem of breaking down the barrier of ghetto authenticity.
  9. Nov 16, 2011
    80
    Taken on the whole, Camp is full of top-tier lyricism, honesty, uncertainty and triumph.
  10. Nov 15, 2011
    80
    Camp is like the Drake, Cudi, and Kweli camps all offered their best, but it's really just Glover and his overwhelming bundle of talent, taking indie hip-hop to new levels after spending the day working alongside Chevy Chase.
  11. Dec 22, 2011
    78
    Camp is powered by the same blend of quirk, wit and vulnerability that drives Glover's comedic endeavors.
  12. Jan 19, 2012
    70
    The star here is Glover's malleability, as he can move from a club banger such as "Heartbeat" to something as sensitive as "All the Shine," a plaintive, yearning song about his own shortcomings. [#39, p. 75]
  13. Nov 23, 2011
    70
    This album is undoubtedly one of the best records of any genre to come out in 2011, and finally sets Donald Glover up as a "serious" rapper.
  14. Nov 21, 2011
    70
    CAMP is an imperfect album, to be sure, one that both succeeds on its incongruities and occasionally stumbles on them.
  15. Nov 29, 2011
    65
    It's wholly derivative, self-pitying emo rap that owes everything in its essence to Drake, Weezy, Cudi, and Kanye. That said, Glover is an incredibly compelling and talented rapper.
  16. Dec 21, 2011
    60
    Glover's wit and dexterity confirm he's the real deal. [Jan. 2012 p. 119]
  17. Dec 12, 2011
    60
    Producer Ludwig Goransson imbues the beats with a comparable degree of pomp, although we could have done without diversions into cheesy Swede-pop. [Jan 2012 p.88]
  18. Nov 29, 2011
    60
    While the album doesn't necessarily reinvent the wheel, those with mainstream sensibilities that like metaphor-heavy rhymes with a strong dose of social commentary will be pleasantly surprised.
  19. Nov 17, 2011
    60
    Even if his insecurities can illicit a few cringes (he sounds genuinely upset with his haters on All The Shine), there's enough empowered anthems like Bonfire and Outside for Childish Gambino to pull through.
  20. Nov 15, 2011
    60
    For a dude who gets big laughs on NBC's Community, Donald Glover sure fiends for approval on his debut.
  21. Nov 14, 2011
    60
    The overall result is a messy jumble that, in its inability to find a consistent tone, ends up in a place that hasn't really been explored before.
  22. Nov 14, 2011
    60
    What follows this auspicious beginning is a riveting album about race, class, opportunity, tribalism, love, the pitfalls of fame, comedy and "seriousness"--one that coexists quite happily with a potty-mouthed pop-rap record about sleeping with girls.
  23. Nov 15, 2011
    58
    A meaty concept album about how the insecurities of youth carry into adulthood, Camp is heavy with themes of racial expectations and cultural ostracism--big ideas that aren't always done justice by Glover's cartoonishly exaggerated, one-liner-laden flow.
  24. Nov 23, 2011
    52
    It's somewhere between impressive and impressionistic how Glover inhabits each style, but pit between street chaff and crooner cheese, between respect and restless imitation, one can't help but wonder where all of Glover's talent is headed.
  25. Dec 5, 2011
    50
    Although Glover plays the part of rapper exceptionally, he needs to do a little more to stop "n****s asking whether this dude's for real or not".
  26. Dec 1, 2011
    40
    Camp feels like only so much acting, with the Gambino flow a mixture of West and Lil Wayne...
  27. Dec 2, 2011
    16
    While Glover's exaggerated, cartoonish flow and overblown pop-rap production would be enough to make Camp one of the most uniquely unlikable rap records of this year (and most others), what's worse is how he uses heavy topics like race, masculinity, relationships, street cred, and "real hip-hop" as props to construct a false outsider persona.
User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 127 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 38 out of 44
  2. Negative: 3 out of 44
  1. Feb 2, 2012
    10
    Camp is one of the best debut hip-hop albums that I can recall since possibly Kanye's "The College Dropout." I really don't understand how Pitchfork can bash this album so hard. Glover's style is truly fresh and unique. One of my favorites of the year. Full Review »
  2. Feb 9, 2012
    3
    This is definitely one of the most overrated rap albums in recent memory. The bottom line is that I can't get over the fact that Childish Gambino's vision of himself is complete B.S. He doesn't have any credibility in his lyrics, and his lyrics are pretty elementary to begin with. Everyone seems to compare this album to Kanye West's College Dropout and it's NOWHERE NEAR the level of that album. That album had a guest artist on just about every track (a smart move), because Kanye was and still is more about production than actual lyrics. The production on that album was light years ahead of this album's production and that album came out 8 years ago. Hearing Cambino rap about, "struggle" and "overcoming his race" is like having a million microscopic dicks penetrating my ears. I would compare Cambino to Drake more than anybody, but at least Drake (as emo as he is) doesn't try and make this persona of growing up in a rough childhood. Gambino is dellusional. He grew up as a Jehovah's witness, with parents who put him through school to get a college degree. I have complete respect for that, but he almost seems ashamed of being privileged growing up, so he creates this phony persona to help him get over his insecurity. He tries to sound gritty, but it's impossible to believe when he's more concerned with being "GQ". A rapper has to be credible, or at the very least not completely phony, but I don't buy anything he says. On that basis alone I can't like this album, and I can't relate to it in any way whatsoever. This album shouldn't have been called Camp... it should have been called Campy. Full Review »
  3. Feb 2, 2012
    10
    This is an amazing album. Gambino is a rising star and you should get this album. Best album I have listened to in awhile.