Why Everyone is Talking About Donald Glover

By Ashley Logan on May 7, 2018

Donald Glover (via Wikimedia Commons)

Donald Glover, famously known as Childish Gambino, has been making headlines all weekend. Glover hosted and performed on “Saturday Night Live” on Saturday, May 5. During Glover’s hosting, it was clear to see that he is a force to be reckoned with.

Glover’s opening monologue played on his many talents and the question of why he was never chosen to be a member of the “Saturday Night Live” cast. Reminiscing on his previous two auditions for the show, the rejection he faced has come full circle with this double whammy of an episode. Glover would write and act in nine live sketches, all varying in topics but equally as entertaining.

Not only is Donald Glover making headlines because of his great delivery as a “Saturday Night Live” host, but also because he released new music along with a music video on Sunday.

Glover’s newest song titled “This is America” points directly to the major issues of racial bias, police brutality, and gun violence. The video itself really displays Glover’s feelings on the matters at hand in his quirky persona simultaneously portraying gun violence likened to recent incidents. The Charleston shooting is shown by Glover shooting at a church choir, in comparison to Dylan Rooth shooting and killing nine black churchgoers.

“This is America” came at the perfect time, following his Saturday Night Live performance of another new song “Saturday,” the timing aligns perfectly with the SNL exposure on the large platform of NBC. With the recent sentencing of capital punishment for Dylan Rooth, this music video really hits home. Glover has never been shy in displaying his personal opinions and takes on society through his music.

Donald Glover explored his talents as a musician under the name of “Childish Gambino.” The name itself came from a Wu-Tang Clan generator and would stick with him throughout his career. Childish Gambino as a musical force has made its own impact in the industry. Gambino has a discography of ten different projects spanning from 2008 to his latest release, “Awaken, My Love!” in 2016. Gambino has released seven mix-tapes, three studio albums, and two EPs. Each project has its own unique sound, making Childish Gambino an unpredictable caveat in the music industry.

Gambino is going on tour in the latter part of 2018 that is also named “This is America.” I’ve personally seen Childish Gambino in concert twice for his albums Camp and Because of the Internet. Each concert was a completely different experience but executed in a flawless way that made you feel like you were a part of the music. Gambino is definitely an underdog in the rap industry, but his music spans farther than just rap. Gambino’s latest release, “Awaken, My Love!” takes a modern spin on funk and soul music that is refreshing to the musical palette. This album received critical acclaim and launched his music career into a new direction. With Gambino’s “This is America” track, I’m curious to see what is in store for his upcoming musical release. The track itself is has a deep message and the title leads me to believe this album will hit home for many Americans.

Childish Gambino (via Wikimedia Commons)

If you’re not familiar with Donald Glover’s accolades he has done a lot in his entertainment career. Starting out as a writer for the hit show “30 Rock”, Glover is fairly familiar with writing for television shows and comedy. In an interview with The New Yorker, Glover noted how he’d spoken to “30 Rock” creator Tina Fey about his hiring to which he claims the answer was in large part because funds from NBC’s Diversity Initiative “made him free”. His writing for “30 Rock” may have been based on diversity needs but ultimately turned out for the better. F

ollowing his writing run on “30 Rock,” Glover starred on the hilarious show “Community.” Glover played the character Troy and often experienced racism from his own castmate, Chevy Chase, when the cameras were not rolling. It’s interesting how important race plays into the possibilities of success in the entertainment career.

After leaving “Community,” he’d go onto playing minor roles in films to portraying Landis in the new “Han Solo Star Wars” film. Glover is breaking barriers and his career is in the best place it has ever been. While filming for the new Star Wars film, Glover’s other investment “Atlanta” had to go on a year hiatus.

“Atlanta” is probably the most realistic portrayal of the black experience in the United States. The show has a reputation for leaving you on the edge and never knowing what to expect on the next episode. The hiatus was torturous for fans like myself. “Atlanta” is supported by FX despite their typical repertoire, this show aligns with their bold shows like “Fargo” and “American Horror Story.”

“Atlanta” is on its second season and is still just as crazy and intriguing as the first season. The show is co-written by Donald Glover and his younger brother Steve Glover. The show is mostly worked on by Glover’s Royalty company that consists of all black people. The people behind Atlanta really make the effort to discuss issues that arise in the black community like having to fight for positions that white people can easily access and even what its like to spend a night in jail. These issues are specific to black people, but because of the nature of “Atlanta,” it is particularly centered around blackness and black culture.

“Atlanta” details the struggles of an upcoming rapper named Paper Boi and his cousin Earn, played by Glover, and the many challenges they face. My description could not do the show any justice, I’d suggest watching an episode or two in your spare time. “Atlanta” will be a show that will go down in the books. Similar to the HBO show “Insecure” by Issa Rae, the black experience is rightfully portrayed through the lens of black creators.

It’s safe to say that Donald Glover has many reasons to be recognized in mainstream media. With his successful weekend of Saturday Night Live and the release of his new song “This is America,” Glover is only halfway done with the fields he can explore.

By Ashley Logan

Uloop Writer
My name is Ashley Logan and I'm a Communications/ Journalism major studying at Albright College. I'll be graduating in 2018 and I'm so excited to enter the workforce and put all my ideas to use. I love writing about music, fashion, inclusivity, and whatever has been on my mind lately.

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