Song of the Day: April 10, 2017

Childish Gambino collaborates with his brother Steve G. Lover to present “No Hookahs,” a remix of Tyga’s hit “Hookah.”

Despite it being Steve G. Lover’s track, Gambino overshadows his younger brother. Gambino’s return after a prolonged absence from the music industry was solid. He was able to intertwine his customary wordplay with clever lyrics, but his contribution was nowhere as groundbreaking as his work on “Awaken, My Love!”

Gambino addresses artists who feel the urge to boast about their popularity on social media. Ironically, he’s doing the same thing on this track (“Are you doing these numbers? I don’t think you are homie”), reminding everyone that he’s the cream of the crop.

The polyvalent artist spices up his verse with some wordplay:

Four seasons in Miami, I was like LeBron James

Gambino is flaunting the wealth he has because of his success. He compares Four Seasons (the relatively expensive hotel) to LeBron James’ stint in Miami. By using LeBron as his parallel, Gambino is once again reiterating that he’s at the pinnacle.

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Had to tip the valet, know he wanna steal it
Young rich nigga, this the shit I gotta deal with
Old white money, that’s the shit I gotta deal with

Playing off staying at the Four Seasons Hotel, Gambino now has to tip the valet with “old white money.” He could be referencing the faces on dollar bills, who would all fit the characteristics of an old white man, or the idea that it’s usually those same old white people who become wealthy.

Steve G. Lover brings a different facet of Atlanta hip hop in his part of “No Hookahs.” As soon as Lover comes in, the beat is tweaked to a more trap-oriented style. The lyricism is also differs greatly from the mellower vibes Gambino projects:

Roll it up, keep a bad bitch if that ain’t enough
Shawty so clutch, got a gram in coochie clutch

Lover is a lot more aggressive and blunt than his brother, being more succinct when expressing his love for money and drugs. His subject matter is fairly generic and identical to what other ATL trap artists are talking about.

Overall, “No Hookahs” is a decent, if uninspiring song. Had it featured solely Steve G. Lover, the track would’ve gone by the wayside, but Childish Gambino is able to save it.

You can follow Wilko on Twitter @wilko_mart_cach.

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