Heartbeat (Childish Gambino song)

"Heartbeat" is a song by American rapper Childish Gambino. It was released on November 15, 2011, by Glassnote Records.[1] The song was written and produced by Gambino himself along with Ludwig Göransson.

Single by Childish Gambino
from the album Camp
ReleasedNovember 15, 2011 (2011-11-15)
GenreHip house
Childish Gambino singles chronology
"Fire Fly"


Composer Ludwig Göransson worked on the album Camp and on the single. Göransson is known for his work on television comedy, Community, where Gambino stars as a main character, Troy Barnes. Gambino also said in an interview with Hard Knock TV, that part of the last verse on Heartbeat was his favorite yet.[2]

Critical receptionEdit

Katie Antonsson published an article called "Best of the B Sides: “Heartbeat"”, on a website called RockOnPhilly. She added her own perspective to Childish Gambino's hit single:

So, to “Heartbeat.” It’s the second single of the album (I know! I’m sorry! I just have to talk about this song!) and it’s the most intoxicating song Glover’s come out with. From the echoey beginning and the solemn piano refrain in the beginning to the stunning drop about 45 seconds in, “Heartbeat” is immediately something unexplored. It has a lot of the feeling and tone of Kanye’s “Heartless” from 808s & Heartbreak but we get the rap element that Kanye stayed away from on 808s (808s was an entirely autotuned, melodic album from Kanye. There wasn’t an inch of rap on it). Plus the drop in the beginning is mesmerizing. It’s not just that the bass is dropped, it’s how the bass is dropped. It’s elongated, whining bass notes that just drape themselves throughout the song. In fact, everything about the song is really smooth except for Glover’s razor-sharp rapping, making that factor all the more delightful.

Glover’s got good speed on “Heartbeat” that he doesn’t demonstrate as much through the rest of the album. But these rhymes are lightning fast, and what’s so thrilling about them is how smart, witty, and ironic they are. This song takes several listens to fully grasp the nuances in the lyrics. They’re emotionally charged and delivered with enough force that even if half of the lines stand out to a first-time listener, the feeling Glover’s trying to capture is so clear.

Camp is an amazing album, truth be told. It’s alarming, unexpected, and sort of uncomfortable to listen to. Glover really speaks his truth on Camp, whether it’s the literal truth in his words or a more figurative truth through the way he says them. “Heartbeat” is the highlight of the album, by far, but even in the opening song “Outside,” it’s easy to get a feeling for Glover’s angst and anxiety. It’s artfully done.[citation needed]

On November 8, 2013, Heartbeat was rated as the third best from Childish Gambino on the Sunset in the Rearview site.[3]

Music videoEdit

On February 10, 2012, the music video for Heartbeat was added on Childish Gambino's VEVO account on YouTube.[4]


Chart (2012) Peak
US Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles (Billboard)[5] 18
US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard)[6] 54


Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[7] Gold 35,000 
Canada (Music Canada)[8] Gold 40,000*
United States (RIAA)[9] Platinum 1,000,000 

*sales figures based on certification alone
 sales+streaming figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ "Amazon.com: Heartbeat [Explicit]: Childish Gambino: MP3 Downloads". Retrieved July 10, 2017.
  2. ^ "Childish Gambino AKA Donald Glover Talks Black Spiderman, Asian Girls, Nerds, Community + More".
  3. ^ "The 15 Best Childish Gambino Songs". Sunsetintherearview.com. Retrieved August 14, 2019.
  4. ^ "Childish Gambino - Heartbeat (Official Video)". YouTube. February 10, 2012. Retrieved December 24, 2019.
  5. ^ "Childish Gambino Chart History (Bubbling Under Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved December 16, 2016.
  6. ^ "Childish Gambino Chart History (Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved December 16, 2016.
  7. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2019 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. Archived from the original on 10 August 2020.
  8. ^ "Canadian single certifications – Childish Gambino – Heartbeat". Music Canada.
  9. ^ "American single certifications – Childish Gambino – Heartbeat". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH.