Childish Gambino – the musical alter ego of actor and comedian Donald Glover – is out to prove he's a true renaissance man. He's mastered TV (as Troy Barnes on NBC's Community and his own series Atlanta on FX), movies, the stand-up stage, and is now taking his music career to the next level with his 2016 album "Awaken, My Love!" His previous album, "Camp" and "Because the Internet" were more heavily hip-hop and rap oriented, while his new work is something entirely different.
"Redbone" transports you back to the 1970s with its funky bass guitars, Wurlitzer piano, and Gambino's high-pitched crooning (which, he revealed in an interview, wasn't artificially pitched up – he just "sang differently"). His new approach to the album was to give people something they weren't expecting: "You know the feeling of expecting water and you're getting lemonade."
The song gained further popularity when it was featured in "Get Out," Jordan Peele's smash hit horror-thriller. Peele explained why "Redbone" was the perfect choice for the opening sequence of the movie: "I love the 'Stay woke' [lyric]. That's what this movie's about. I wanted to make sure that this movie satisfied the black core movie audience's need for characters to be smart and do things that intelligent, observant people would do." Peele also drew the comparison that the song and the movie are both "a little haunting, too, and a little bit of a throwback, as well."
Listen to "Redbone" above, and watch Childish Gambino perform it live on the Tonight Show in the video below.