Childish Gambino

Boulevard Pool at the Cosmopolitan, May 27

Who would’ve ever thought that the funny guy from Community could be a successful rapper? But when the performer roared into “Outside” from his debut album, Camp, no longer was he simply “Donald Glover: The Comedian Who Happens To Rap.” He was “Childish Gambino: The Rapper Who Happens To Do Comedy.” Gambino’s set was an hourlong blitzkrieg of high-quality rhymes and energy. A live band, complete with violinist, enriched his sound.

As Gambino performed the super-lyrical “Freaks & Geeks” and bounced with the fist-pumping fracas of “Heartbeat,” he jumped, shouted and sweated like a real rap star. His fans responded in kind, waving rainbow glow sticks and jumping until the floor shook. Hell, even his cover of Adele’s “Rolling In the Deep” was amped up to a Spinal Tap 11 and would have had the Brit sweating out her hairdo. There was a statement to be made by this performance, and it’s that Glover is a true MC, and his new motto should be, “I Ain’t No Joke.” ★★★★☆