|There aren’t many artists who are talented and successful in all facets of art, but Donald Glover, better known as Childish Gambino, is one of those. Between writing, acting, singing and rapping, you may find it’s hard to keep up with this jack-of-all-trades.
Early life and career
Donald Glover’s talent shone brightly, even as a child. In high school, he was voted Most Likely to Write for the Simpsons. He graduated from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts with a degree in dramatic writing in 2006. After that, he quickly began a career in writing despite his young age. He starting writing for the popular NBC series “30 Rock,” starring Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin, where he occasionally had guest appearances. He wrote for “30 Rock” until 2009.
During his time as a television writer, he also continued composing and writing his own music. He adopted the name “Childish Gambino,” which he obtained from a Wu-Tang Clan name generator. In 2008, he released an independent album entitled Sick Boi. In addition to music and writing, Glover also was a member of the sketch comedy group called Derrick Comedy. Other members include Dominic Dierkes, Meggie McFadden, DC Pierson and Dan Eckman. The team wrote and starred in a feature film called “Mystery Team” that released in theaters in 2009.
A focus on music
In late 2009, Glover released the independent album, Poindexter. He followed up with his second full album, Culdesac in 2010, however, he continued releasing mixtapes , including the pair I Am Just a Rapper and I Am Just a Rapper 2. The album Culdesac showcased a more real and organic Glover - one who introduced personal matters, such as family, friend and romantic relationships, depressive and suicidal thoughts, and alcoholism, into the lyrics. In 2010, the Internet went wild after a fan #donald4spiderman, although he did not obtain the role.
In 2011, Glover released the EP Be Alone with a music video for the song “Freaks and Geeks” and a tour to follow. He released the album Camp in November of 2011 and the album Because the Internet in 2013. In 2014, Glover was nominated for two Grammy Awards: Best Rap Album for Because the Internet and Best Rap Performance for his single “3005.”
The many other projects
Throughout his music career, Glover continued to do stand-up comedy with a few specials playing on Comedy Central, and he starred in the hit sitcom series “Community.” He played Troy Barnes, a former high school quarterback. Glover played this role for five seasons until he departed to pursue other projects. In 2015, Glover was in the film “Magic Mike XXL.”
What sets Glover apart from other rappers and music producers is his ability to cover a wide range of subject matter in his music. He has intelligence and wit, and he uses his life experiences to generate music and lyrics that are refreshing and contagious to anyone who hears them.