Check out the Making of Childish Gambino’s “Redbone”
On Tuesday, May 9, it was announced that Donald Glover, a.k.a. Childish Gambino’s “Redbone” was given official platinum status by the RIAA, for selling one million times as of May 1, 2017. Just a day after the good news, Genius releases a video where the songs co-producer Ludwig Göransson deconstructs the hit record he and Glover collaborated on.
According to Göransson,
“We were just chilling and then Donald started playing drums,” he tells Genius. “He was like, ‘I have this beat. Let’s just play this drum beat.’ We had all the instruments spread out in the whole room, in the whole studio, and just went from one to another to another, hearing ideas and basically just recording a bunch of tracks on top of each other. That was kind of the seed of the idea, that was sort of the first of ‘Redbone’ kind of started.”
Genius describes it as a song that “centers on the narrative of infidelity and paranoia.” So, it’s safe to say that “Redbone” is about more than terminology used to describe light skinned black people. Göransson assures that they went into the studio that day not knowing this song would be birthed. He also told Genius,
“There was a time before we started on that album where I started listening to—Donald sent me a bunch of Funkadelic’s albums,” he says. “I hadn’t really experienced Funkadelic, I was more kind of raised off of jazz and blues, I didn’t really experience that ‘70s psychedelic music, so it’s all very organic. Just how instruments sounded back then, I think that was just something we wanted to capture with our music.”
“Redbone” is the second single from Childish Gambino’s 2016 album Awaken, My Love! The instrumentation is a collaboration between himself and Ludwig, who have worked together since 2010. The album is out now.