Hip hop this week: Childish Gambino just left the whole of Australian in the lurch

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Hip hop this week: Childish Gambino just left the whole of Australian in the lurch


Coming out the gates with their first album in a whopping 14 years, Harlem rap group The Diplomats have returned. The group, which saw Cam’ron, Juelz Santana, Jim Jones and Freekey Zekey each embark on solo careers in the wake of 2004’s Diplomatic Immunity 2, finally came back together to form a united front and a new chapter of Dipset was welcomed in the form of nine new tracks.

Fans got their first taste of the new Dipset album in the vibe-drenched ‘Sauce Boyz’, but on further listen, Diplomatic Ties has so much more to offer. Collaborations with Tory Lanez and The Lox on ‘No Sleep’ and ‘Dipset/Lox’ respectively show the group’s fresh new dynamic and ability to embrace new sounds while retaining their classic buzz.

After having to cancel his Australian tour dates due to a persistent foot injury, Childish Gambino was able to honour his commitment to New Zealand fans, hosting the long-awaited PHAROS event at Tāpapakanga Regional Park in Auckland over the weekend. Prior to the kick off of the rare live music event, Childish Gambino (AKA Donald Glover) was spotted getting involved with a traditional ‘powhiri’ or welcome ceremony at the festival site, wearing a Maori feathered cloak and performing a traditional Maori song with other members of the welcoming group.

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With a massive inflatable dome of the three-day event’s centrepiece, the PHAROS experience was surprisingly kept pretty under wraps, though punters have been reported as likening it to being inside Childish Gambino’s ‘brain’; an impressive visual show accompanied his already-praised live performance inside the contained setting. The PHAROS event has only ever been performed once before, in Joshua Tree, California.

Odd Future rapper Earl Sweatshirt has announced his new record, perfectly titled Some Rap Songs. Keeping things decidedly low-key, the roll out of the new Earl Sweatshirt project was first marked by the release of single ‘Nowhere2Go’, which surfaced a few weeks ago online.

The new record is the first from Earl Sweatshirt since 2015’s I Don’t Do Shit, I Don’t Go Outside, but in the period between releases, fans have been getting hints of Earl through collaborations with Vince Staples, The Alchemist, as well as tunes produced by both Knxwledge and King Krule in 2016. Most recently, Earl gifted fans with a new track in ‘The Mint’ and now, things are more official, with pre-orders for Some Rap Songs (due on Friday November 30) now available via his website.