It’s well known at this point that Childish Gambino, also known as Donald Glover, is a jack of all trades. He can write, sing, rap, act and—as we learned from his new series Atlanta— he can create and produce television.
In a recent interview with The New Yorker, Glover revealed the innermost vulnerabilities of his complex mind—everything from his views on modern rap to the intense creative frustration of running a show as nuanced as Atlanta.
“I feel like Jesus,” he told the magazine. “I do feel chosen. My struggle is to use my humanity to create a classic work—but I don’t know if humanity is worth it, or if we’re going to make it. I don’t know if there’s much time left.”
The last year has been one of immense success for the Atlanta artist. He welcomed a second son with his partner Melissa, whom he thanked at the 2017 Grammy Awards for loving him even when he gets ‘crazy.’ His album, Awaken! My Love, was nominated for five Grammy awards, eventually winning Best R&B Performance for his hit single “Redbone,” which went triple platinum. He was cast as Lando Calrissian in Solo: A Star Wars Story, a role he called a “dream come true.”
Glover also announced in 2017 that the next album he released under the name Childish Gambino would be his last, much to the dismay of his many fans. However, earlier this year, he signed a new deal with RCA Records, which he described as a “necessary change of pace.”
Then came Atlanta. The second season, dubbed “Robbin’ Season,” will premiere this Thursday (March 1), after its first season was widely well-received by critics. The show won a Grammy for Best Television Series in a music or comedy category, and scored Glover a Grammy for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series.
After all these incredible accomplishments, one might ask what Glover isn’t capable of doing. He admits there isn’t much—other than his ability to communicate with people.
When he speaks about Atlanta, his feelings towards it come across as conflicted. He admits that it’s been frustrating working with FX, and that he has felt forced to make the show more accessible to white audiences. Admittedly, he professes that he “Trojan Horsed” the network by presenting the show as more comedic and light-hearted than what he intended to create—a show that addresses many very serious issues experienced in the black community.
Despite dabbling in different projects now, Glover reminds us he still is connected to his rap roots while discussing Tay-K, whose hit single “The Race” was written about his real-life experiences running from the law after his involvement in an alleged murder.
“Look at this kid! He’s a baby! He never had a chance! Y’all are forgetting what rap is,” the rapper shared. “Rap is ‘I don’t care what you think in society, wagging your finger at me for calling women “bitches”—when, for you to have two cars, I have to live in the projects.’”
Coping with his rising fame has been difficult, and Glover knows he’s not perfect. However, he believes that his imperfections are why he’s able to connect with people through his art. “I’m fucked up, too—and that’s where the good shit comes from,” he said