Childish Gambino, AKA Donald Glover, and, apparently, Donald Glover Presents, tapped Ariana Grande to help him bring "Time" to life on his new album, 3.15.20. Gambino/Glover dropped the project for real this morning, after briefly sharing it through an online stream last weekend before removing it 12 hours later. The official album was released exactly seven days later, both under the artist credit "Donald Glover Presents" as a continuous play version, and under Childish Gambino as a track-by-track version. Among the 12 offerings is arguably one of the album's greatest highlights, "Time." The song features angelic vocals from Ariana Grande as well as from Brent Jones & The Best Life Singers choir, although neither are formally credited. The chorus of "Time" was actually first used in the film, Guava Island, starring Glover and Rihanna back in 2019.
On "Time" Gambino is struggling to come to terms with the fleeting nature of life. The track is reminiscent of Gambino's "Feels Like Summer" from 2018, which is featured on 3.15.20 under the name, "42.26." "Time" explores similar themes about, well, time, and our lack of direction that "Feels Like Summer" also tackles. The opening lyrics of "Time"—"Seven billion people/Tryna free themselves/Said a billion prayers/Tryna save myself/I can see it coming/But it'sâ movingâ fast"—bear a strikingly similarity to the beginning of "Feels Like Summer"'s first verse—"Seven billion souls that move around the sun/Rolling faster, fast and not a chance to slow down/Slow down"—not only in their message but in Gambino's sonic delivery. If anything, this serves to demonstrate how preoccupied the artist is with these concepts, and he illustrates his pondering with words and sound so beautifully.
Been through aâ
With the sunroof down
Dancing with noâ pain
We wait to see the sunrise