“NBC is not the only thing I'm comin' on tonight” is one of the saucier lyrics from Donald Glover's track “Do Ya Like,” now famous for its fly Adele hook. And while he is often with lovely company, especially after the sun sets, the other side of this double entendre is all about mass media, because Donald Glover is taking it over.
He'll be coming in on your TiVo, your Twitter feed, your iTunes and your concert blast. Fame and fortune have grown for the young man since his days of writing Tracy Jordan–isms for Tina Fey on 30 Rock, mainly due to a starring role on NBC sitcom Community (recently picked up for a third season). But Glover's the opposite of his character, Troy Barnes, a lovable underachiever who uses his city college backpack to cart around his neck pillow — and nothing else.
Troy's slacker style is adorable, but Glover is refusing to slow down. He's so busy that he hardly ever has time to stand in, let alone appreciate, the mostly empty house he purchased in Silver Lake — although he has a chair now. “I would love to get some food in here, too,” Glover sighs, “but I'm never here to eat it.”
Glover is in the throes of his national IAMDONALD tour, a combination of stand-up and his hip-hop act known as Childish Gambino, the love child of Glover's rhyming composition and the musical mixings of Ludwig Goransson, a main composer on Community.
Glover made the transition between his creative worlds a hilarious one at his April 27 performance at the Henry Fonda Music Box in Hollywood. First came a stand-up routine where he spoke of “fucking a beehive onstage,” then a video in which he parodies his own musical ambitions. These included jumping naked out of a car trunk to scare Community co-star Ken Jeong. Then his bandmates took up their instruments as Glover ripped into the single “Freaks and Geeks.”
In his initial slide show, the words THIS IS MY SHOW/I CAN SAY WHATEVER I WANT/DICKS appeared on a screen above the stage — and this mantra holds true for the rest of his career. Glover's holding nothing back, be it profanity, an insatiable love of women or taunting condemnations after being passed over for an audition to play the role of 2012's Spider-Man. The #donald4spiderman Twitter campaign was launched last year after his fan, and apparent purveyor of identity politics, Marc Bernardin, suggested Glover to play a perfect nonwhite Spidey on io9.com, creating a meme that spread like wildfire.
“NBC's cool,” Glover says. “I don't work for Disney, and I probably wouldn't work for a company that would want to control me, my creativity like that.”
Thank goodness. Dicks.