Donald Glover Is More Talented Than You

The comedian/writer/rapper is on a collision course with stardom

Three hours of sleep over the previous 48, Glover finally found his bed at 5 a.m. on Monday morning for some semblance of a proper rest.

He woke up three hours later, stumbled into the bathroom of his new Silver Lake home, and started throwing up.

He didn't drink any whiskey the night before. It wasn't food poisoning, either. It was the pace. His work—from the clueless jock Troy on Community to the indie rapper Childish Gambino to his black-nerd stand-up—constantly needing to be fed, had just left his flesh in its wake.

"My body was just done," says Glover, safe in Austin. "My left arm was numb. I had to stop and sit down."

Everyone—from his manager to his mother to his Gambino co-producer—wants him to slow down. He even raps about them telling him to slow down. But he's not having it.

"You don't get to where all my heroes were without giving up a part of who you are," he says. "Right now, I refuse to even have a dog. No girlfriend. I don't want anything tying me down. I want to be everywhere. I don't see a limit for me. I want to do everything. I never thought I was this type of person: Have a good time, not a long time. As a kid, I was always afraid of dying." But now, he's driving full-speed. Pushing himself. He crashes. He gets back up. Wash, rinse, repeat.

Onstage at Red 7, you can see some ill effects of the pace at which Glover is living. His voice cracks in certain places, which he acknowledges, giving the crowd a look of promise that it will get better. He refuses to use Auto-Tune—the product of his performing-arts background—and it just adds to the sincerity of his delivery. On the last song, his best song, "Not Going Back," he encapsulates all he wants to say.

Couldn't see me as Spider-Man, but now I'm spittin' venom Now you payin' attention, pick your fuckin' face up When I wanna be a superhero, I just wake up Renaissance man with a Hollywood buzz I refuse to go back to not likin' who I was

He is currently writing two movies. He just signed on for a part in The Hand Job, and will have a cameo in the James Bobin/Jason Segel Muppets movie coming out this fall. These are all just Lego blocks of the nerd fortress Glover wants to construct.

"If one day, I can be a neo–Michael Jackson, I want that. I don't know if it is possible for someone to be that big anymore. But I want that."

And it's not as if he is looking for Elephant Man bones or backyard amusement parks. Money—even if it can land him cute girls he might have already gotten anyway—is not what's changed him. And it's not what he's after.

He's after power.

"Power is what allows you to do whatever you want," he says, getting energized again. "If Will Smith wanted to play Hitler, they'd make that movie. That's power. I want to do a Nazi movie. I want Jay-Z and Eminem to rap on the same track with me. I'm in it for the power."

It's 3:45 at Darkroom. His brother and sister went home hours ago. But as the bar begins to shut down, Glover heads off into the night with a tiny Filipino girl on his arm. When he reaches the corner of 8th and Broadway, he peers across the street and sees something moving behind a window inside the Bank of America ATM lobby.

He squints to get a better look, and spots a two-backed monster crawling over itself. The girl propped up on the deposit-slip counter, her stiletto heels in the air, her partner thrusting. Glover immediately posts photos of the public sex from his iPhone, giving a play-by-play to the world.

He chronicles the entire tryst, makes a judgment call on its conclusion, and shoots one last photo of the two lovers hailing a cab.

"The most passionate thing I've ever seen!" he Tweets.

He puts the phone away and walks his new friend back to her place, where he drops her off with a kiss. The sun starting to rise, he heads south to the Bowery. He's got another gig in Virginia in just a few hours. He might be able to snag a couple hours of sleep.

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32 comments
elysehowdershell
elysehowdershell

Thanks for the awesome article! I'm seeing Childish Gambino tonight in Asheville and I'm so excited! He was supposed to play on March 19th but the show was rescheduled so there's definitely gonna be some intense energy tonight:)

Jessica
Jessica

Makes me feel like I should be doing more with my life..

alexis
alexis

no doubt about that.

donaldfan
donaldfan

Im happy for him and I want to see him make it to the top.Hes doing it the right way.Hes putting in the time.He's going against the grain.Its unfortunate that he has to fight THIS hard because he is a black man doing things that black men arent usually permitted to do.So its going to be harder for him but hes working his ass off and its paying off in a big way.Im rooting for him.I wont be happy until "hes fucking running everything".

Christ Khodadadi
Christ Khodadadi

Why didnt I run into Donald at NYU? I remember Aziz Ansari coming into the Stern computer labs when I was working tho.

Dorklops
Dorklops

Great article, it showed a new insight into someone I follow somewhat closely. I almost went to read the comments before remembering that they often put a negative spin on everything, and who wants that? Just let it sit for a while and think about it, it gives art a greater poignancy.

GuestJ
GuestJ

How come black men prefer women of other ethnicities (white, Latinas, Asian) over black women?

The AMAZING Dik Shuttle
The AMAZING Dik Shuttle

Ok - Love Donald Glover's work. And hopefully he's a good guy, not that that necessarily really matters. But "in it for the power"? Gee, Emperor much? That's some darkside. Watch the evil, kiid.

ki
ki

"Emo emo emo". How old and out of touch is the author of this article? Please buy a vocab builder, buddy.

Devin Newton
Devin Newton

I absolutely LOVE Donald Glover. I've been following him since my sophomore year in high school (2005) and its been great to see him get better and better over the years. He is a great everything actor, writer, and rapper. Me, my brothers, and some of my friends are so happy that there is finally somebody that gets us (Black kids that love rock and other white kid stuff) and is making the world get us. Thank you Donald and much love bro!

Dave
Dave

I'm a huge Donald Glover a.k.a Childish Gambino fan, this was a great article, very well written. I hope the world continues to be exposed to his music and his art, he is a breathe of fresh air.

RagelX
RagelX

Beautiful Article. This dude is coming up! I just hope he doesn't push himself too far and hurt himself. What other guy do you know, writes for TV (in college), makes his own music (beats and lyrics), does stand-up, and acts...all successfully?

Viva Donglover

Disco
Disco

That was a great story. I watch Community and Troy is one of my favorite characters. I had no idea he wrote for shows when he was at NYU - that's really impressive. I wish the best for him.

corie
corie

27??????? omg this kid looks 17 amazing ! very good genes lol

Cindy Cynical
Cindy Cynical

I can't agree with Cynthia F. more; this article seems to encapsulate Glover's progress up until this point. This article seems to capture exactly the person that he is: humble, sincere, and power-driven. I find him absolutely amazing and every time that I have met him, he has been as sweet as pie as if he has known me forever. He is such a great person and with all of the leaps he has made within the past year or so, I have no doubt that he will continue to entertain us for a very long time. I've been a fan of his since 2005 (when I started college) and I'm thrilled to have watched him grow and come into his own. I would've never thought the cute black guy from "Progressions of a Mad Hatter" would become the rapper Childish Gambino or nerdy type Troy on Community.

Pierresito
Pierresito

Have to agree with Cynthia, this article is amazing, and Donald is going to go far. This showed a great side of Donald, one you dont really see in other interviews, and it was refreshing and nice. I like him better than I did before, which I thought was impossible since I liked him a hell of a lot already... great stuff

Cynthia F.
Cynthia F.

Probably one of the best articles I've ever read. Seriously. The writer has a gift, man. Not to mention how human he made Donald seem, to those who see him as a God. He's still human. Who barely sleeps. Who has dreams. Who's been afraid. Who's not done living.

I enjoyed reading this. Over and over. great job to Bill Jensen and Donald.

Dwilchoc23
Dwilchoc23

It's because black women only go for a certain kind of brotha. I don't think too many black women are going for guys like Donald Glover. I have never seen it.

guest
guest

I'm down with the Black girls of every single culture

Ltplaytyme
Ltplaytyme

Coming from a Black man that likes women of other ethnicities my motivation is that I would like to conquer the world...one country at a time.

drewslugmoar
drewslugmoar

Your question is kind of stupid. I suspect you are a) a racist prick that feels threatened at every sight of a mixed color couple or b) some kid that has not thought a lot about his assumptions. Either way the correct stats are not with you. Most black men are with black women (also women of other races cannot resist a black man).

Swag-1
Swag-1

@Guestj Because MOST, not ALL black women want a thug of a black man who pays bills and respects his woman, it doesn't happen, they dont want highly educated black men who aren't thugs.

LOVE YOU DONALD

bbg
bbg

You can't just make a general statement like that, especially when it isn't true. Some of it has to do with your environment. Like he said, there weren't a lot of black people at NYU. If you're constantly surrounded by people of other races, you have to adapt to your surroundings. I wouldn't be surprised if black woman played him because of his taste in music or his affinity for the performing arts.

anon
anon

The writer has a gift? What are you talking about? This article was terribly written, if you don't see this you know nothing about writing

GuestJ
GuestJ

Ignoring your ad hominem attacks, I will reply to the second half of your post:

"Either way the correct stats are not with you. Most black men are with black women"

Yes, just as most women are with Average Joes, not hunky millionaires that plunder the high seas and sing in platinum selling rock bands when not on call in the emergency room; that is, people take what is available when it comes to partners.

"(also women of other races cannot resist a black man)."

That's certainly true. Black men commit a disproportionately high number of sexual assaults, and these black males choose to rape white women the majority of the time they commit rape*.

Oddly enough, rape is the only major crime that isn't intra-racial, blacks are most likely to murder other blacks, to violently assault other blacks, but they must travel out of their way to rape white women the majority of the time, as well as disproportionately high numbers of Hispanic and Asian women.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R...

D-Rae
D-Rae

I think you may have jumped all over the reader's question a bit prematurely. GuestJ's question is not racist; I'm fairly sure what they were getting at is the popular trend in the Black dating scene that is Black men dating women of other races and passing up on the sisters. That subject is quite multi-faceted, complicated, and isn't best hashed out over an internet forum like this.

It sounds like the question from GuestJ was coming from a place of frustration, either as a Black woman has been passed up for a White girl, or as a Black man who doesn't get why someone would wan't to stray from dating other Black women because we are so lovely. Either way, I don't like the original question that was posted, as it presupposes that interracial dating is some sort of problem. It's not. Ugh, fuck rap cool.

cdeeq
cdeeq

you're forgetting that there are a lot of highly educated black women who aren't quasi-members of destiny's child. i think donald just dates women who make themselves available. numbers-wise, there are just not a lot of black women around.

Scott G.Brown
Scott G.Brown

White women are at his disposal more readily than black women, and he has risen to Stardom which is enough to put any woman on the chase.When I saw him on 30 Rock, I thought that he was from India, and he was only miles from where I was born. He has the Poise, Youth, and Talent that many desire-Break a Leg, Donald Glover! Fly to the Moon!

 
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