Childish Gambino is a musical alter ego of Donald Glover – the super-threat American actor, comedian, writer and producer. Before riding the music wave of Childish Gambino the rapper/producer, Glover has already claimed an Emmy for his writing in the third season of the amazing ‘30 Rock’ (for which he worked on between 2006-2009). He has launched a stand-up comedy career, and of course stars as college student Troy Barnes in US comedy series ‘Community’.
Now Glover is focussing his attention to his music career – he’s been rapping, writing and producing his own work for release since 2008, with three independent albums: ‘Sick Boi’ in 2008, ‘Poindexter’ in 2009, and ‘Culdesac’ in 2010. A couple of Mixtapes ‘I Am Just A Rapper’ I and II were released both in 2010, his first EP (called EP) was released in 2011, featuring the amazing ‘Freaks and Geeks’ track, one of his most popular and affirming tracks.
Glover signed to Glassnote Records in 2011, where his fist studio album ‘Camp’ was released in November 2011 – to good acclaim for it’s unique flow and content. Glover brings his comedic roots to some of the exaggerated flow and witty metaphors, making him an off-key hip-hop artist. At times he has similarity in sound to Lil Wayne – but his content is far more ‘indie’ styled, as Gambino doesn’t boast about money and girls etc., but instead makes more bittersweet growing-up references about his life. Gambino brings something new to the scene because he has accepted exactly what he is as an artist – everything he does is self-created, from lyrics to the beats. He is a ‘freak and geek’, not taking himself too seriously, but being fully honest.
His ‘I Am Just A Rapper’ mixtapes are so called because they were mainly recorded in his bedroom, for fun, in his spare time while he’s not being hilariously funny for TV shows. He is a DJ as well as a rapper – as well as a writer, as well as an actor, as well as a comedian – and still two years away from being 30.
His name, by the way, is from a Wu-Tang Clan name generator – and stuck because the content of his lyrics was often so silly.
Anyway, somehow he made time to perform at XOYO on Wednesday 11 July, in the intimate confines of the Old Street Basement – a very rare treat. (Amongst a string of UK radio appearances and freestyles).
With a reputation or performing unique and exciting freestyles and productions, the show was due do be a great experience.