Childish Gambino, Gone but Not Forgotten

Childish Gambino is a genius. A bold claim to make, I know. But he is one of our most underrated creative spirits, basically serving as a real-life, bona fide Hannah Montana.

Childish Gambino is the alter-ego of Donald Glover, a multi-faceted performer. Only luckily for his stylish aesthetic, his double life doesn’t require any blonde wigs.

His skills range from rapping and writing, to acting and comedy. Some people may still be unaware that Glover and Gambino are the same person. (Cardi B has already publicly voiced her confusion on the topic.) However, this double identity is rapidly coming to an end.

Childish Gambino’s fourth and final studio album, which is currently untitled, is set to come out by the end of this year from RCA Records. While I’m excited to find out how the life of Childish Gambino will come to an end, it will still be sad to listen the funeral.

He’s currently on tour, but if you did not splurge on a ticket, you missed your chance. According to Rolling Stone, “If you bought a ticket to this concert, that means you bought a ticket to the last Childish Gambino tour ever,” he announced to his fans at Madison Square Garden.

This ride into the sunset feels premature. Childish Gambino is at the peak of his popularity right now, with the mega radio hit “Redbone” and political magnum opus “This is America” under his belt.

I guess it’s much more dramatic to leave the stage when all eyes are on you, rather than waiting for the day when you’re performing to empty seats. But Childish Gambino still faces the pressure of leaving us with his best work yet.

This summer we were given the EP “Summer Pack,” which may have acted as a glimpse into the album’s sound. Or the cheery EP may be no actual indication of what we’ll hear on the LP. Either way, as an avid admirer of all things Gambino/Glover, I have some of my own expectations for the album.

I’m hoping that this record is a compilation of all the Childish Gambino styles. For instance, if you compare his tracks “IV. Sweatpants” and “Me and Your Mama,” you’ll see two very different sides to his musicality.

Yes, Childish Gambino can rap, but he can also sing. While some rap-purists were not entirely receptive to his soulful 2016 album, Awaken! My Love, I loved delving into his smooth R&B side. A perfect final album for his fans would offer a blend of all his strengths.

He does it all, and he does it all so well. My only real request for this album is to get as many tracks from Childish Gambino as possible.

Once the last note is sung, Donald Glover will continue to dominate other aspects of the entertainment industry. Did you know that he has two Emmy awards for his dark comedy, Atlanta? He serves as its creator and lead star, as well as a writer and director. No big deal.

Donald Glover is also a hilarious stand-up comedian. His Netflix comedy special, Donald Glover: Weirdo, will have you laughing out loud for an entire hour, guaranteed. Further utilizing his comedic chops, he was a writer for Tina Fey’s hit sitcom, 30 Rock. He also starred as Troy Barnes in NBC’s Community, alongside Joel McHale.

His acting abilities aren’t just limited to comedy either. This year, he played Lando Calrissian in Solo: A Star Wars Story. He will also be playing Simba in the upcoming 2019 remake of The Lion King. I’m pretty sure this man can do anything.

Fun fact: when he auditioned for Saturday Night Live early in his career, he got rejected. More than anything, he’s a reminder that you can never let one setback keep you from chasing your dream.

At only 34, Donald Glover still has a long way to go in his career. My guess is that he will inevitably become an EGOT; he already has the E and G, after all. An ideal hypothetical collaboration: Lin-Manuel Miranda writes a new musical and makes Donald Glover the star, thus winning the Tony. Who can I talk to about making this happen?

Maybe there will even be a new persona adopted in the future, but I doubt that any could be as groundbreaking as Childish Gambino. His impact will forever be a part of the music world, and if Donald Glover eventually makes music under another name, I don’t think it’d feel the same.

Even though Childish Gambino will die with the release of this album, his memory will be safely immortalized within a decade-long discography.

Here Lies Childish Gambino: Eternally Woke.