Childish Star Donald Glover
Published May 29, 2011"I paid for this bus," actor/rapper/stand-up comedian Donald Glover offers. "[But] this is Community money. This isn't Childish Gambino money." Childish Gambino hasn't been paying the bills, partly because Glover has been offering up recordings of his rap alter-ego for free, but it's not the whim of a newly rich young star either. "Music was something I was always doing," he explains. "I just got recognized for comedy first."
Comedy recognition came in the form of a staff writing job on 30 Rock in his early 20s before landing the on-screen roll of nerdy ex-jock Troy on Community, but his Childish Gambino discography dates back to 2008's Sick Boi. His latest EP, Untitled, dropped in March as a free download on iamdonald.com. "I really enjoy doing music, that's why I was doing it for free. I'm a very start-up type of dude. I like to do things on my own." Besides the input Glover receives from his producer Ludwig Göransson, the majority of producing and writing duties fall under Glover's purview.
The Untitled EP employs the perfect combination of recognizable samples aligned with candid lyrics. "I just tell it as it is," he says, "I wasn't going to put out 'Longest Text Message', but then I did." Glover's candour on the track could get him in trouble with ex-girlfriends, as he drops lines like, "I got so many fucking girls I can't even count 'em. There's probably six or seven girls who think this song's about 'em."
Fuelled by his sitcom profile, this summer's I Am Donald tour ― a hybrid of rap, stand-up comedy and video shorts, in which he proudly "opens for himself" ― sold out in days. An entertainer at heart, he doesn't find it difficult to shift gears on stage, "It's all performing and I never feel like I'm forsaking one for the other." Glover is able to smoothly transition between the lovable comedian and the oh-so-smooth MC, all while sporting his signature red hoodie.