Camp - Childish Gambino
User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 127 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 11 out of 127

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  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.
  2. Nov 15, 2011
    10
    This CD has been worth the wait. Out of all the rap artists I listen to, which is about 4, Gambino is hands down the best. I love his lyrics, as some of them make you think. I also like how each song has a different sound and flow to them. This is, in my opinion, some of his best work yet. If only Freaks and Geeks was on this CD, then it would be even better.
  3. Nov 17, 2011
    5
    The production is pretty good, but unfortunately the rapping isnt there for me.

    He excels on tracks like bonfire, but then everything falls apart and blends into one big monotonous disaster.
  4. 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.
  5. 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. Expand
  6. Apr 20, 2013
    10
    This is a fantastic album. Seriously. Just listen to it. It's utterly brilliant, ranging from heartbreaking ("All the Shine") to hilarious ("You See Me") to just straight-up badass ("Bonfire"). There are a few songs where he delves into typical hip-hop subjects, but he does it so extraordinarily well that even people who don't like those topics will enjoy it.
  7. Nov 16, 2011
    7
    This is more of a 7.5 than a 7, but it was a pretty good cd. Obviously the 3 popular tracks (bonfire, all the shine, heartbeat) are great songs, but some of the other songs got a little dull. I commend CG for doing what he wanted to do, and i hope he tours near me
  8. Jul 19, 2012
    9
    Probably one of my favourite hip-hop acts at the moment. Childish Gambino aka Communitys Donald Glover releases his first album and man is it awesome. His flow, his lyrics and his ability to rap and he raps HARD! Take Lil Wayne, remove the auto-tune and add better lyrics and Presto it's Childish Gambino. His Debut album Camp is a must have if you love hip-hop and also have a nerdy sense of humour (me of course). GO BUY IT NOW!!!!! Expand
  9. Jul 1, 2012
    5
    Overrated album for sure. Some catchy songs, my favorite is Fire Fly. Lyrics are terrible and cheesy, cringe-worthy, but the music is quite good. I love Donald Glover on Community love his stand ups, but his music not so much. It's cool that he's trying things though and taking risks.
  10. Apr 15, 2014
    3
    People who like Childish Gambino usually do not understand that there is more to music than subject matter, emotion, and talent. Sure Gambino brings so much to the table when it comes to the talent and reaching on deeper subject matters. This album is similar to a teenager's diary. There are some lessons to learn from camp, but there are so many issues with camp. First of all it sounds like Nickleback produced this album. The beats are artificial, weak, and simple. There is no doubt that the strings are maximized to create beautiful moments, but there is no texture in the beats. Also, there is no texture in his lyrics. He throws simple lines that are weak, underwhelming, and easy to understand. Gambino is funny at times, but every time he is about to make lyrical jabs, he drops a line like “I got a girl on my arm dude show respect/ something crazy and Asian: Virginia Tech." To be honest, I really do not want to continue on the abundance of lines that make me want to massage my temples. Gambino is different, but not as different as he thinks. What I cannot stand is that he only looks at the surface when it comes to music and race. Gambino and his fans are the type of people that listen to mainstream alternative bands and look at all rap the same. This album is a complete joke and I do not want to explain more, but I will credit this album with teaching the concepts of maturity and hatred in a tense and bittersweet way that can be beautiful at times. But in all honesty I do not enjoy listening to this album. I have mad respect for Donald Glover and everything he does, but he needs to have more of an understanding on race, humanity, life, and music to make a product that has sustainable quality. Expand
  11. Nov 15, 2011
    10
    One of the best debut albums in awhile. This is the first album I've bought a physical copy of in a long time, and it's well worth it. The bonus tracks are from the last EP, and they are a great addition. If you like great lyrics, and solid production, go get this.
  12. Nov 15, 2011
    10
    This is one of the best hip hop album of the year that I heard. I didnt't even know Donald Glover rap until I seen this name on I Tunes. Everyone should give him a chance. Listen to this album. A very nice Underground Hip Hop Album
  13. Nov 22, 2011
    8
    First time hearing Gambino. I'm impressed. He's very aggressive with her lyrics. I clearly understand his story and theme. He's telling us a message and I advise everybody to hear it. The only thing I don't like is that he's too aggressive.
  14. Dec 9, 2011
    10
    To be honest I hated Childish Gambino before "Culdesac" was released. This is due to the fact that EVERYTHING that's said in Pitchforks "review" can be applied to all of Mr.Glovers music prior to that record.

    I hated his voice, His lyrics and word-play were weak at best, and he used the indie-hipster thing has a novelty crutch. Even he's admitted to all of these things.

    But since he's
    gotten better every step of the way. Is he the greatest rapper of all time? absolutely not, nor does he ever claim to be *cough* lil' wayne*cough*. But the honesty in his lyrics, and his innate ability to just be himself regardless of what everyone else thinks or says *cough* Pitchfork *cough* more than makes up for his ever growing yet still very young talent.

    What everyone hates about Camp, I love. His ability to be serious one second but then talk about the nastiest most vulgar things the next is amazingly sincere. Tupac,Biggie, Talib, Mos Def, Black Thought, Common, Kanye, Jay-z...everyone does this. Everyone has party tracks and deep retrospective tracks, everyone has clever wordplay and awful one-liners.

    Camp is just another step on CG's step toward becoming a better artist. Is it a perfect album?far from it. But it was perfect for Childish at the time that he made it, and that's all that matters.
    Expand
  15. Aug 4, 2013
    9
    Childish Gambino is the greatest rapper of all-time. This album isn't even his best, but it's still absolutely amazing. I want to give this album a ten, since it's the only Gambino on Metacritic, but I'll refrain and give it a nine, which is about what it actually deserves.
    Production: 7/10
    Lyrics: 10/10
    Presentation: 10/10
    Flow: 8/10
    Overall: 9/10
  16. Nov 27, 2011
    10
    Absolutely fantastic outing from Childish Gambino. Every song on the joint (excluding You See Me) is a 10/10, UN-freakin-believable. Must Downloads:
    - All The Shine
    - Heartbeat
    - Bonfire
    - That Power
    - Sunrise
  17. Dec 10, 2011
    6
    It's okay. Glover's pop/rap styling is obviously very derivative, and his lyrics are honestly quite awful. However, his flow isn't anything I couldn't describe as "magical".
  18. Nov 15, 2011
    10
    Better than I thought it would be! In terms of down sides, his raps do tend to get actually Childish, he says a few silly things, he needs to work on his singing- it's good, but not good enough, lyrics could stand to switch up in terms of flow and content- delivery is sometimes a bit weak. Other than that, Childish is a monster when it comes to one-liners that u cant help but tell all ur friends, the production value of the album is phenomenal, and his ability to speak so freely to the listener makes you want to listen to what he's actually saying, it's not just a bunch of crap. All in all, very entertaining album, some good music, great replay value ! Expand
  19. Nov 15, 2011
    10
    Honestly, i heard about Donald rapping a couple years ago & truthfully thought nothing of it, didnt take it too serious. Recently, I had caught wind of the Bonfire song, and it really opened my eyes. Childish Gambino as he calls himself is far cries away from his TV character on Community. That said with his experience in comedic writing, he brings that his rhymes which makes for some very clever lines. Some of the songs are not as strong as others, some feels a bit uneven. This album is definitely worth the listen and some respect of the hip-hop game. Favorite Tracks - Backpackers, Bonfire, Hold You Down, You See Me Expand
  20. Jan 11, 2012
    10
    Glover is hilarious on almost every track and has great lyrics. Beats are awesome and the hook's are the best parts. Most of the hooks are singing which, in my opinion, is awesome for rap music. Camp really shows Gambino's pure talent.
  21. Nov 20, 2011
    9
    "Camp" is Childish Gambino's strongest offering yet, hands down. His songs are real reflections on the real life of a real dude, and he has no problem calling it like he sees it. Donald Glover is honing his musical style, and this album shows how very close he is to perfection.
  22. Nov 15, 2011
    10
    This CD is amazing. I've been listening to Gambino's mixed tapes and EPs for a while and have been waiting for this CD to drop. I gotta say the wait was worth it. Camp is like Tha Carter and Man on the Moon combined. It's got the rhymes and rhythm of Wayne and the emotion and flow of Cudi. Just a great album all around
  23. Nov 16, 2011
    10
    One of the better commentaries of the world through the medium of hip-hop. Blends funny with intensity better than any album ever, if not at least in a long time. Once Donald glover gets someone to make him decent beats, the sky is the limit, which may not be a good thing.
  24. Nov 17, 2011
    8
    Holy Moly,
    I have listened to Glover's stuff before just out of curiosity and it was interesting. I put this album on and cant turn it off. What a talent.
  25. Nov 18, 2011
    8
    Childish Gambino is possibly the most clever rapper in the game today, and Camp is no exception. His witty lyrics and great beats left my ears satisfied. I'm extremely excited to see Mr. Glover grow as a rapper.
  26. Nov 28, 2011
    6
    Childish Gambino (Donald Glover) begins his 'Camp' by rapping about growing up in the projects, not wishing to conform to black or white stereotypes and wanting to **** as many girls as possible (Asian girls to be specific). This limited subject matter extends across of the entirety of the record layer over brilliantly produced Kanye-esk rhythms and beats (bar the terrible electro track 'Heartbeat'). Glover is certainly a very gifted rapper exhibiting highly skilled delivery and has a fresh perspective on hip-hop, but some of his lyrics really hold 'Camp' back. Every track on the album contains at least four pop-culture references too many, with Glover forcing his 'nerd' image too hard ("That's why I come first like my cell phone" - Groan). Although a number of these certainly succeed ("Mm Food like Rapp Snitch Knishes, Cuz its oreos, twinkies, coconuts, delicious" - ****ing Genius). In addition, his constant flips between his hopeless romantic and **** personas also feel rather false, especially in the wake of contemporaries such as Tyler, the Creator .

    Mostly, the album falls short because Glover seems to have been over-ambisious in his blue-print for his first studio album. His heartfelt descriptions of racial profiling from both blacks and white is delivered brilliantly as are his tales of chasing girls and growing up poor. However, his over the top love/hate relationship with fame and wish to come across as a notorious girlfriend-theif at the same time as being a loveable nerd, seem as if he is looking up to rappers his senior rather than writing from his own headspace.

    Overall 'Camp' is an interesting yet flawed album from an incredibly promising young rapper, who is still trying to find himself. It will probably pump out of the ipods of Cudi-kids who 'aren't that into rap' but slip past those well versed in hip-hop. The album's conclusion ('That Power') points to something that could be really special but isn't all there yet. Hopefully in his followup, he will capitalise on his strengths.
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  27. Nov 29, 2011
    10
    A really good album the only disappointment is that childish gambino didn't debut this album on a big record label. He has a way with story telling and his beats have a way of staying in your head way after the songs over. The album is filled wit songs that fit whatever mood your feeling. When your ready to take a break from mainstream rap/hip-hop give this album a listen I promise you won't regret it. Expand
  28. Dec 9, 2011
    10
    In my opinion, this is one of the best albums I've ever heard, definitely my favorite rap album. I completely disagree with the people saying that they got a monotonous feeling while listening to this album. I found every song to be pretty original. Some rappers rise to fame by just using the same style that has worked for past rappers, but Childish Gambino came into the scene with a style COMPLETELY made by him. Not only did he write all of his lines, which is surprisingly uncommon on the rap scene, but he also made all of his beats, which in my opinion are pretty good, definitely fitting for his musical style. Donald Glover (Childish Gambino) is really just a man who puts in the work more than anyone else I've ever heard of and stays real to who he is and what he wants to make, and it shows on his albums. If you end up not buying this album, please at least respect him for the work that he puts in because it's insane. This isn't part of the review but I'd like to point out in the song "All the Shine" (i think) Gambino talks about how Pitchfork didn't want to cover him because hes not hood enough and I couldn't help but notice that they gave Camp a 16/100 and said that he was rapping about things such as masculinity, street cred, and "real hip-hop" and used them to form a false persona for himself to gain popularity. Im not familiar with Pitchfork, but I lost a lot of respect for them after reading this. Mainly because this is not true at all. I've listened to a lot of his songs, and listened to this album AT LEAST 8 times all the way through and this just isn't the case. Sure he talks about relationships a lot, and he certainly talks about race, but "masculinity" "Street cred" and "real hip-hop"? Are you kidding me? This man made his music career all by himself, he chipped away at the beats and the words that are in these songs to form it into the sculpture that he pictured in his mind. He's not forming a false persona to conform with what's popular in our media, he's rapping about what he cares about. What has affected him. He talks about his relationships because ever since hes become famous girls have been trying to get at him for his money, not because hes who he is. He talks about race because hes experienced racism in his life. Sorry to leave such a long review, but I just wanted to get my opinion out there because I figure some one out there might care. Thank you for reading this entire review if you did, I hope you enjoyed my ranting. Expand
  29. Dec 22, 2011
    10
    The album had great production and Gambino's lyrics just make it even better. He covers a wide range of topics that the majority of rap albums don't and he does it well. This is definitely his best work so far and I hope to see much more like it.
  30. Apr 8, 2012
    7
    There is something about Childish Gambino, I actually want to hear what this guy has to say. I know he's a comedian and actor and all that but with this music I feel the passion in his voice and that is why i truly like him. He is lyrically on his freakin grind. I can see a bigger and more substantial album from him in the future.
  31. Jun 23, 2012
    10
    fantastic laid back rap album . fresh new beats and new style. he can rap make beats and preform comedy well. If your looking for an non hardcore but still good album this one would be a good choice. one of the most underrated rap albums of 2011
  32. Jun 5, 2012
    10
    Absolutely brilliant. Camp provides his best work yet, mixing amazing beats, original lyrics, and nerdy references into one brilliant album. The studio quality track along with his major label debut provide good new music to attract new fans to the wonder that is Childish Gambino.
  33. Sep 19, 2012
    9
    Actually one of the top 5 rap albums ever released. Glover is an awesome rapper and he shows that in every single moment of the album. You have to admit, that it's most of the time about the same stuff: his childhood and that he showed it to all of his haters. But rap technically this is great! 'Bonfire' is one of the very best rap songs I know and I'm looking straight forward to his next studio album! Expand
  34. Aug 1, 2012
    9
    To be honest I didn't have high expectations for this album, but after a listen through I realized that Donald Glover can really rap, to listen to topics in songs like racial intolerance, growing up in the projects, working hard, and lyrics that relate to his experience with racial groups not accepting him, about losing people close, and family, I find my self rather enjoying the album.it deviates from a lot of rap today, dont get me started about how its on the other side of the spectrum if young money is on one side. its genuine music that has had effort put into it, and it shows. Good Work. Expand
  35. Feb 23, 2013
    10
    Camp proves to be a fresh take on interesting and sometimes subversive topics while adding a bit of his comedic flow to the mix. I definitely enjoyed listening to this album and I expect music just as great as this is the near future.
  36. Oct 5, 2012
    10
    Great album! the production and lyrics are awesome. While a few lines can be considered "corny" the rest of the album is strong enough to overlook that. Can't wait for Gambino's next official album.
  37. Nov 10, 2013
    10
    This album is simply amazing. I just found about Childish Gambino recently, and I've been loving his music ever since. This album gets a 10/10 from me. I can't wait for his next album.
  38. Jul 24, 2013
    7
    It's a damn good album, but I feel like a little girl listening to it. I mean this stuff is really weak. From the lyrics to the beats. While they are good, they are a little soft and the fact that it's like that for almost every song, makes it a bit harder to like. However Donald's squeaky voice fits these beats and it makes Camp a pretty enjoyable release.
  39. May 5, 2013
    10
    Honestly one of the greatest albums, no the greatest album i have ever heard in my lifetime with a unique rap style and sound to his music it may make you never listen to mainstream again.
  40. Jul 31, 2014
    7
    It's rough around the edges, but it's clear that Gambino has worked hard at his craft. Also, the production is, at times, inconsistent with Gambino's lyrics, and the one-liners get tiring. The lyrics, while not terribly insightful, are carefully constructed. It's laughable to call this album a classic, though.. Overall, Camp is a good (but definitely not great) album. ~ 7.4/10

    Best
    track: "Backpackers": the flow, the beat
    Other notable tracks: "Fire Fly", "Bonfire", "L.E.S." & "You See Me"
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  41. Jan 19, 2014
    7
    There is a lot of potential from Childish Gambino. Donald Glovers production and lyrics provide a suprising and actually really good debut hip-hop album. I don't think I would ever see such a nerd and different type of person provide such an emotional and outlandish album. The album suffers from odd placement and a generic rapper standpoint (but still manages to do it better) and it's just fun. Potential. 7/10 Good. Expand
  42. Jun 25, 2014
    4
    I WANTED YOU TO KNOW, WHENEVER YOU ARE AROUND, I CANT SPEAK I CANT SPEAK!!!!

    MY HEARTBEAT MY HEARTBEAT

    MAN, f**k YOU N****... FU** YOU Ni**A!

    least favourite track: heartbeat
  43. Nov 1, 2013
    10
    Donald Glover is literally everywhere, with writing on 30 Rock, 1/5th of Derrick, and Community. If you listened to his earlier mix tapes starting with "Sick Boi", you can tell that his rhymes and themes in music are maturing, as he is. Camp was a classic rap album with much more to it than you'd expect with many classic punchlines with a completely fresh style of rap thats not completely deprived like others. A hidden gem for hip-hop fans. Watch out for Because the Internet, coming out next month. Give it a chance Expand
  44. Mar 5, 2014
    8
    Have to give this an 8 because though the album is good, its a bit 'try hard'. Its dope nonetheless and the music is new and refreshing. The flow is a bit unpolished but is on track to get better no doubt.
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. May 31, 2012
    80
    The identity-crisis themed Camp trumps through whip-smart intelligence, comic brio and bristling malign intent. [Jan 2012, p.90]
  2. 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]
  3. It's less surefire than Culdesac. But it's more satisfying emotionally.