I saw him at Lollapalooza 2014. It was unbearably hot and the combination of funky fumes and humidity engulfing the atmosphere around me was beginning to give me a headache. I really didn’t even want to go to the Bud Light stage at the edge of Grant Park, where a guy I had known virtually nothing about at the time was set to take the stage in the late hours of the afternoon. But shit, I was set to leave for Cleveland in less than a week for my first fall football camp; I better have as much fun as I can before two weeks of hell. Little did I know that three years later I would be listening to Childish Gambino’s third studio album, “Awaken, My Love!“ on repeat.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Great, another review about some whatever-rapper and his new music yada, yada, yada. How about writing with substance, Jack? Can you expand your horizons a bit?” Shut-up and keep reading.
Donald Glover is an actor, singer, songwriter, producer, director, model, comedian, and Forbes 30 Under 30 beneficiary. As an undergrad at NYU, Glover wrote for The Daily Show while having his own channel with friends on YouTube. Soon after graduation, comedy genius Tine Fey recognized his brilliance and hired him to write for 11-time Emmy-winning sitcom 30 Rock. While making his name as a comedy writer on the show, Glover was inspired to do stand up eventually hosting his own comedy special, Weirdo. Subsequent to his stand-up special, Glover went home to his NBC family to star as Troy Barnes in the sitcom Community. Pretty accomplished so far, yes?
It doesn’t stop there. All the while working for 30 Rock, performing stand-up, and starring on Community, Glover used his penmanship in another field: music. Under the pseudonym Childish Gambino, Glover released his first studio album, “Camp” in 2011. Two years later, Gambino was nominated twice at the Grammy’s: once for Best Rap Album with “Because the Internet” and once for Best Rap Performance for his chart-topping single “3005.” His third album, “Awaken, My Love!” – released at the end of 2016 – is a theatrical masterpiece, composed of hypnotizing hymns, funkadelic musical fusion, and an unmatchable vocal imagination, ranging from raspy blues to high-pitched grooves as smooth as chocolate milk (check out the track “Redbone”).
In his most recent venture Glover is back to television, writing, producing, directing, and acting in his own Golden Globe-winning creation on FX, Atlanta. Glover is also preparing for a role in the new Han Solo Star Wars standalone as Lando Calrissian. Something tells me he’s well on his way to becoming a household name in the entertainment industry.
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