Donald Glover Interviews Himself, Deems 'Because the Internet' a Classic Album

He calls his second LP as Childish Gambino "the rap 'OK Computer'"

Photo: Pat Beaudry

BY Calum SlingerlandPublished Apr 7, 2022

The third season of Atlanta is now airing, and creator Donald Glover has discussed the beloved series, his music as Childish Gambino, and much more in a new interview — conducted with himself.

Glover's self-profile, published by Interview Magazine and conducted on his farm — location undisclosed — opens with a simple ask:

Yeah, so first question, why'd you want to do this?
I guess I don't love interviews and I asked myself, "Why don't you like interviews?" And I think part of it is that the questions are usually the same. This way I can get questions I usually don't get asked.

You don't think this is contrived?
I don't think it's more contrived than any other interview.

In the profile, Glover reveals that his career model is none other than Willy Wonka ("That's the world I like. You have your factory, you make something, put it out, and then close shop to the public for a while"), and shares that he's still making music ("I've been rapping a lot. Producing. It's fun again. Doing features").

One of the bigger revelations of Glover's chat with himself — born from a discussion about criticism and its role as a "big engine" in his career — is that he considers Because the Internet, his 2013 sophomore LP as Childish Gambino, to be a classic album:

Criticism seems to be a big engine in your career.

Any of it affect you personally? Like, do you regret making 
Not at all. I like parts of that album and I learned so much. Mostly that concept doesn't outshine content. But when they're in equilibrium, it's extremely potent. I don't think I was clear on that album, and the songs weren't catchy enough for me. Made it feel like novelty. Because I wouldn't bop any of the songs in the car now. Maybe a couple of the hooks. But it allowed me to make 
Because the Internet, which I think has proven itself to be a classic.

You think 
BTI is a classic?
It's the rap 
OK Computer. It's prescient in tone and subject matter and it's extremely influential. And I know no one's gonna give me that until I'm dead. But it's true.

It's quite the claim from the artist who would go on to scale greater artistic peaks with 2016's Awaken, My Love!. In Exclaim!'s 8/10 review of Because the Internet, author Jabbari Weekes called the effort "largely a great album" despite being "filled with fluff," concluding that it's "a vast improvement over his debut effort." 

Glover expands on the role of criticism in his life in greater detail as follows:

There's good takes, there's bad takes, but most of them are just untrustworthy takes. I liked it more when Camp just came out and it felt like everyone hated me. Because there'd be some actual good insight and it was easier to see who was dealing with their own identity problems, who really hated me, and who just didn't like me because I didn't dislike myself. But you can't believe the good or bad stuff now because it's all just the economy around you. There's money and clout in loving and hating you. You have to sift through and try and see if someone is debating in good faith. The internet doesn't provide a large-enough amount of that. You know what? I'll tie in my Joe Rogan and Chappelle answer now, too. A lot of people believe both of them are doing what they do in good faith. It's not cynical. It's not CNN or Fox. It doesn't feel to most people like they're trying to sell something. People are looking for other people to interact with in good faith. Because a lot of this rage is artificial. People have emotional diabetes and don't even know it.

Glover also addressed his 2020 claim that the new Atlanta episodes are the best TV since The Sopranos:

You tweeted that only Atlanta and The Sopranos are touching each other. You still stand by that?
One hundred percent. Season three is really good, but season four is even better. Me and Hiro talk about it a lot. I'm not saying this to be pompous. I'm saying that because we deserve it.

Who's we?
The people. The people need to know this is high-end shit. I'm saying 
Atlanta is osso buco served with risotto, prepared by a chef who studied in New York City, spent five years on the road, worked at a Michelin star spot for three years, and used the money to buy a small farm. He invites you over to try out some recipes he's been working on with his friends using the produce they grew together. Even if you don't like it, you can't say it's not high quality. The quality is undeniable.

You can read Glover's entire self-profile for Interview here. A question we'd like to pose: what was his freelance rate?

Glover's most recent LP as Childish Gambino is 2020's 3.15.20. In February, it was revealed that Atlanta's fourth season will be its last.

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