“12.38” is the fourth track on Childish Gambino’s 2020 album ‘03.15.20.’ This song is one of the two collaborations on the album, featuring 21 Savage and Kadhja Bonet.
Childish Gambino announced the release of his fourth studio album project on a new website ‘DonaldGloverPresents.com.’ Initially, the entire album was put on the website and taken down equally fast. The album is titled ‘03.15.20‘ resembling the date of the website launch. The song titles of the album are timestamps for each of them on the tracklist.
On this track, Childish Gambino talks about a psychedelic tour he took with a girl while on drugs. While Gambino is smooth-talking her into the bed, she offers him Psilocybin, a chemical hallucinogenic found in mushrooms. Gambino dives in on it. The sexual experience of a lifetime begins next. Afterwards, they take a walk down the road and run into several adventures too.
However, the punchline comes when Gambino’s Motorolla cellphone vibrates in his pocket. This woman tells him “Let me answer it,” “Then she’ll know it’s over.” This lets us know that Gambino either has a girlfriend or a wife, and this is infidelity.
Childish Gambino tells this woman to be his wife. But she rejects; “I ain’t lookin’ for another lifetime.” She also adds; “The reason that your suffer is desire.” Some wise words coming out of this random hookup.
Next morning Gambino wakes up all by himself and a Toni Braxton song plays on the radio.
Listen to “12.38” by Childish Gambino
Buy ‘03.15.20’ Album on Apple Music and Amazon
“12.38” Lyrics Meaning & Song Review
In the second verse by 21 Savage, he talks about his affiliations with women too. He has different approaches to women. He has a different smooth talk to a girl from Harvard. Another whole different way for a girl from the hood.
21 Savage also says that he has been getting so many millions of dollars off of his career that he and Benjamin Franklin are almost related now. The reference is to Benjamin Franklin’s figure in the US $100 bill. He also says that the police wants to bust him because he a rich African American, and the racist police cannot stand it. Even more so because he made his money legitimately.
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Check out the complete lyrics and further song meaning breakdown on Genius.