The Life & Times Of Childish Gambino
From Community to Awaken, My Love!, a look back at everyone's favourite dude.
Header image by Abbie Hunt.
A couple of weeks ago saw the release of what has turned out to be a late contender for album of the year, Awaken, My Love!, after we copped a couple of (both fantastic) singles in the almost Pink Flloyd-esque Me And Your Mama and another killer slow jam, Redbone. Given it's been a while since his last album, both tracks are pretty bold first singles to let him re-introduce himself. Given the release of the album, and that he's headlining the upcoming Falls Festivals, we thought we'd dig back through the career of one of the world's favourite actor/rapper/comedians/potential Spider-Mans.
Falls Downtown hits Fremantle January 7 and 8 (more info/tickets HERE).
Some of you might remember first seeing Donald Glover popping up on the 30 Rock television series, where he was actually a writer for the show for its first three seasons, but it was Community, where most of the world first became enamoured with the man. His role as Troy Barnes, the foil to Danny Pudi's pop-culture nerd Abed was the stuff of legend across the much-loved show's first five seasons.
The actor became the centre of a campaign to re-cast Spider-Man as him while Sony were re-booting the franchise back in 2010, with the hashtag #donald4spiderman going viral after fans suggested he should audition for the role. Given that Spider-Man fans absolutely shit the bed at the idea of (incredibly good actress) Shailene Woodley being cast as Mary Jane, it was highly unlikely. That said, he did end up becoming a reference point for the first African-American Spiderman in the comic books, about a year after the social media shitstorm, after writer Brian Michael Bendis saw the below bit from Community. Fate would also have it that Glover would end up being cast in the next re-boot of Spider-Man, Spider-Man: Homecoming, although that role is yet TBA.
Camp LP (2011)
Copping his stage name name from a Wu-Tang Clan name generator, Glover released a few mixtapes from 2008 - Sickboi (2008), Poindexter (2009), I Am Just A Rapper 1 & 2 (2010) and Culdesac (2010), before the five-track 2011 EP, EP, which lead up to his debut album, Camp later that same year.
Because The Internet LP (2013)
Glover's second LP was the one that really cemented him on the rap landscape in the US and abroad, and scored a Grammy nom for Best Rap Album and Best Rap Performance (3005). The album's release and subsequent touring also cemented Childish Gambino's status as a must-see live act.
While the idea for his own TV show Atlanta was hatched in 2013, it wasn't until this year it finally aired to pretty much universal acclaim. Glover plays a struggling artist manager who latches onto his rapper cousin 'Paper Boi' as success looks imminent. It's already been renewed for a second season, and is well worth your time if you haven't checked it out yet.
Awaken, My Love! LP (2016)
Listen to the psych-rap odyssey below, and watch a pretty damn funksual live version he did on Jimmy Fallon recently:
He's playing bloody Lando Calrissian in the upcoming Han Solo Star Wars movie, which is some pretty fucking fantastic casting if you ask us.