Written by Tanya Mok
Hundreds of fans showed up on Monday to catch a glimpse of Childish Gambino at Toronto’s Trinity Bellwoods Park, where the rapper sampled some new tracks off his upcoming album Because The Internet¸ which is set to drop Dec. 10.
Gambino announced the impromptu listening party via Twitter that day around 1 p.m. and by 5:30 p.m. was sitting on a picnic table swarmed by fans, blasting tracks like “3005” and “Worldstar” off his iPhone and two portable amps. He carried with him a small book profiling four notoriously broody writers and philosphers from the 1800s, which he perused casually throughout the listening session. Following the playbacks, Gambino held a 30-minute Q-and-A period, sharing his views on the importance of coding, how The Beach Boys are better than The Beatles, and how Kendrick Lamar is “the best lyricist right now.”
When asked whether or not he was dating Lamar's fellow T.D.E collaborator Jhene Aiko, also featured on Because The Internet, Gambino said, smiling, “It’s deeper than that.”
Fans also asked him about “Roscoe’s wetsuit,” the mysterious hashtag that keeps popping up on Gambino’s Twitter account. “You guys will see,” he said.
The 30-year-old, née Donald Glover, threw his first spontaneous outdoor event last Monday in New York’s Washington Square Park, making Toronto – which he called “the epicenter of a new culture” – his second party destination before heading home to Atlanta for a few days.
Apropos to the album, the listening party's Toronto coordinator Xylk Lorena linked up with Gambino’s representative online, through Twitter, and set up the event from there. But Lorena says the best part of the party was breaking through the digital barrier and meeting Gambino in person.
“To be honest, I wasn’t taking in or judging the album itself,” said Lorena. “I was more shook on the fact that, damn, Gambino’s beside me.”