After landing a Grammy nomination with 2013’s Because the Internet, Childish Gambino (also known as the actor/writer/show creator Donald Glover) went on to deliver one of the year’s breakout TV series with the FX hit Atlanta. Though he released two projects in between, with his STN MTN mixtape and the Kauai EP in 2014, new music from the multi-faceted star has been scarce since.
This year, though, there have been rumblings of a forthcoming Childish Gambino album. In September, Gambino hosted a three-day event in Joshua Tree, Calif. dubbed the Pharos Experience, teasing new material that was “a fusion of funk, soul, hip-hop and blues.”
Since his Labor Day weekend escapades, Gambino has remained mum, but on Monday (Nov. 7), news surfaced that the rapper/actor may have a project on the way. Here’s all the tidbits we know (so far).
Though Gambino hasn’t announced the official date of his highly-anticipated album, several sites including Amazon Germany and AllMusic.com showed that a project was due Dec. 2 via his label home Glassnote Records. In addition, an FYE store shared the date as well.
Childish Gambino’s new album “Awaken, My Love” will be released on December 2nd. pic.twitter.com/1uAf1byPG0
— Trashvis (@Trashvis) November 7, 2016
In August, Gambino stopped by The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon to promote his FX series Atlanta, and spoke about the Joshua Tree camping excursion. “I just wanted to do something different. I have all these songs, and I was like, ‘I want people to feel like it felt to be in them.’ I was like, ‘Oh, I should just invite everybody camping’,” he explained.
Along with the tweeted photo at FYE, Reddit users spotted the title on international Amazon sites, like Amazon U.K., which showed the Gambino project as Awaken, My Love! (A rep for Gambino did not respond to Billboard‘s request for comment.)
Through the lenses of Twitter, Gambino reportedly ran through 12 new tracks for nearly 70 minutes (with no guest appearances) during his Pharos stint.
During Labor Day weekend, Gambino performed cuts from the album in his super secretive Pharos shows. While no phones were allowed, fans were treated to a genre-bending supply of lush and vibrant records that reportedly feature “minimal rapping” from the wordsmith.
#PHAROS in review:
• 12 songs
• Concept album with creepy tribal vibe
• Funk/jazz hybrid
• Minimal rapping
• Creatively different
— Michael Artress (@MichaelArtress) September 3, 2016
Atlanta viewers also noticed new Gambino material during the fifth episode titled “Black Justin Bieber,” where the artist can be heard singing on top of a bouncy beat (much like some of the Bieb’s own recent hits): “You know what I did, it doesn’t matter/ You know that I’ll always be better/ Sometimes I’m crazy, and you know it/ That’s how I show you that I care.”