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Video Breakdown: Childish Gambino - Telegraph Ave

Just a few days after the release of his latest mixtape/EP, STN MTN/Kauai, Childish Gambino delivers the visuals for Telegraph Ave. The seventh song off of Because The Internet, Telegraph Ave was a true presentation of Bino’s ability to create an R&B atmosphere. Utilizing the sounds of Lloyd’s Oakland while Gambino starts his vehicle, the video opens with just that, creating the visuals to our imagination. While we may have suspected that he was in fact driving through Oakland, in the video he’s actually driving through Kauai, fitting for the name of the new EP.

Directed by the duo of Hiro Murai and Larkin Seiple, the video displays the magnificence of the island through a series of bird’s eyes views, deep zooms and first person angles as Bino drives through the lush landscape. The only thing more beautiful than the scenery itself is his co-star Jhene AIko. One of the more creative angles in the video was the sight from the side view mirror in the beginning, where we only see the car and Gambino’s mouth as he sings along to Oakland.

What the video does well is the ominous buildup throughout that leads to a highly unexpected ending. Notice the interactions the locals have with Childish Gambino and Jhene Aiko during the video. It creates a subtle feeling that something is amiss.  Just when you think this is merely a visual for a budding relationship, the video takes an unexpected turn in the final 1:10 to say the least.

The closing moments are something straight out of a sci-fi flick with a showdown between our now conflicted protagonist and two familiar faces from earlier in the video. Right before we get an answer to what the hell is actually going on, the video cuts out, leaving us with a cliffhanger. Is the ending a statement about the strength of true love or was it one just big fuck you, we can use dope visuals because the internet? Regardless of your interpretation, the combination of camera angles, story telling and visual effects makes Telegraph Ave a great watch.

- Carmine Colangelo