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Childish Gambino braves rain for Ohio State community

Courtesy of Glassnote Records

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The skies over Lifestyles Communities Pavilion failed to clear, but Childish Gambino continued his exhibition despite the constant heavy rainfall.

Donald Glover, who raps under the pseudonym Childish Gambino, brought his nationwide Camp Tour to Columbus Monday night for a concert sponsored by the Ohio Union Activities Board.

More than 2,000 students braved the inclement weather to attend the outdoor concert, OUAB concerts chair Courtney Chow said in an email.

Perhaps most well-known for his role as Troy Barnes on NBC’s “Community,” Glover is often referenced as Hollywood’s jack-of-all-trades due to his success as an actor, writer, comedian, model and rapper. Monday night, however, Glover threw his other identities aside and was all about hip-hop.

Bouncing and lyricizing along with the up-and-coming rapper on popular tracks such as “Bonfire” and “Freaks and Geeks,” the crowd fed off Glover’s enthusiasm, as well as the rain, throughout the set.

The crowd’s efforts didn’t go unnoticed. Glover took time out of his set to praise the attendees for maintaining high energy.

“On a scale of one to 10, you guys have been a f—— 11,”  Glover said.

The love appeared to be mutual, especially when Glover played a trifecta of hits, “L.E.S.,” “Heartbeat” and “You See Me” in succession midway through his performance.

The majority of songs Glover performed were from his recent album, “Camp,” which was released Nov. 15 and peaked at No. 11 on the Billboard 200 chart.

On the album’s first single “Bonfire” Glover rapped, “‘You’re my favorite rapper now’ / Yeah, dude I better be / Or you can f—— kiss my ass / Human Centipede.”

Aside from a blast of popular culture references, Glover’s rapping style offered audiences a look into his personal life.

“There are a lot of rappers out there, but I feel like his brand of rap is actually pretty unique,” said Karthik Hari, a second-year in electrical and computer engineering. “I don’t know how to explain it, but you have all the big name rappers, then you have all the sort of small town guys. (Glover) fills the void somewhere right in the middle. I really like that. It’s like community rap.”

Glover turned off his confident stage presence for “All the Shine,” in which he exposed a more toned-down, self-aware persona.

He rapped, “I’m not trying to come hard / I’m trying to come me / That’s why these older songs that I used to make I’d release for free / What’s the point of rap if you can’t be yourself, huh?”

A change in Glover’s tone didn’t matter to the audience, though, because they seemed to hang on his every word.

“(Glover’s style) is more emotional than average,” said Jake Bialosky, a third-year in criminology. “That’s why he attracts fans, because you can hear the emotion in the song. You don’t have Drake just talking – sorry, Drake.”

In his encore, Glover showcased new tracks, of which the crowd’s favorite was seemingly Glover’s rhyme over Tyga’s “Rack City.”

Rapper Josh Baze served as the show’s opener. The Brooklyn native gave the crowd a chance to forget about the downpour and focus on music – most notably with his Beastie Boys tribute.

Beastie Boys co-founder Adam Yauch, better known as MCA, died Friday at the age of 47, after a three-year struggle with cancer.

The crowd went wild for the band’s hits “(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Party!)” and “Intergalactic.”

Although most attendees attempted to stay dry under ponchos OUAB handed out, others chose to wave the rain gear above their head in sync with the beats of both budding rappers.

The concert, which was free of charge and for OSU students only, was an impressive show from OUAB, Bialosky said.

“They have done a lot lately,” Bialosky said. “We had kind of a crappy Welcome Week, then all of a sudden we’ve got Skrillex, Mac Miller and Childish Gambino. I don’t like Mac Miller at all, but it’s impressive that they got all three of them to come and are doing a free show.”

Fans of Glover might have taken up the majority of the crowd, but others such as Ray Sharp, a fourth-year in industrial and systems engineering, were just looking forward to hearing new music.

“That’s what I love about these concerts,” Sharp said. “It’s a good way to come out and hopefully catch on to his music.”

Glover, a New York University alumnus, boasts a resume that includes writing for “The Daily Show” and “30 Rock” as well as modeling for Gap’s 2010 holiday ad campaign.

In 2010, Glover campaigned for the opportunity to audition for the role of Peter Parker in upcoming film, “The Amazing Spider-Man.”

The role was ultimately given to Andrew Garfield, known for his role in “The Social Network.” A similar grassroots campaign has developed once again. This time the movement calls for the actor to be cast in the upcoming “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” movie.

The taking of photos and videos were not allowed at the event.

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