MF Doom

20 Definitive Blerd Rap Albums

17. Camp by Childish Gambino (2011)


Shout out to my blerds! They represent the realness!

Years before Donald Glover released one of the best music videos of the last decade, his debut album put him on the path to becoming a pop superstar. Camp is the hip-hop equivalent of the high school geek becoming famous and showing up to his reunion party in a supercar with a supermodel on each arm. It is a fantasy that countless blerds have had: to not simply be accepted but successful and celebrated.

Glover delivers some witty lines throughout this project filled with geek references. After referencing 90’s Sega video game Toe Jam and Earl on the trap banger “Bonfire”, he boasts “These rappers are afraid of him ‘cause I’m a beast, bitch, Gir, Invader Zim” on “You See Me” he declares himself “the realest in the game like Tron”.

However, he also vents his frustration at the labels, Oreo or gay, that were placed upon him for being different, like. Like Kid Cudi, he brought that reality to a larger stage and made countless listeners feel less alone. He influenced the conversation about how Black people should view and treat each other.

Admittedly, there are some problematic elements on this album that don’t hold up as well a decade later. At this stage of his career, he was still obviously still working through some resentment and in some ways adapted the malice from the very people who chastised him growing up. Luckily, he grew out of this on the projects that followed. Hopefully, all the blerds around his age have done the same! — Brendon Spencer

Curator of the BlerdUp Podcast // Blerds out about: Comic Book Movies, Video Games, Hip-Hop, and Politics

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