The rapper, comedian and former Community actor – whose real name is Donald Glover – detailed a list of fears, saying he’s scared that “people hate who I really am” and that people would find out “what I masturbate to”. Most surprising of all, however, was his admission that he “didn’t leave Community to rap” and how he “doesn’t want to rap”.
In an exclusive interview with NME, Glover confirmed that he is not actually giving up on his rap career, and cleared up some of the ambiguous statements.
Glover said: “I just don’t like the term ‘rapper’. It exists but I’m definitely not a rapper. Rap is all balances of coolness and who can do the most with just their bravado. I don’t have that. That’s not my game. I’m not going to make certain things ‘cool’. But it means that I am going where rappers can’t go.”
Glover went on to explain how the term ‘rapper’ can be creatively constraining. “Kanye says they won’t let him make pants,” he says, referencing Kanye’s recent interview with Radio 1’s Zane Lowe, in which he said his idea for leather jogging trousers was turned down by fashion label Fendi. “This guy’s a genius and they won’t let him make cool shit because he’s a rapper. You can speak to Kid Cudi or to A$AP Rocky and they don’t want to be rappers either. People don’t think: ‘Oh, he’s a rapper and he has his own design company,’ which is sad.”
Glover says he wants to be able to work on different projects at the same time, instead of being pigeonholed as a comedian, actor or rapper. “I don’t get why I can’t be all these things,” he says. “They’re not ‘a thing’ – I’m alive, I’m just doing something. People expect certain things from you and they don’t even know you. It’s like, how can you know me when I don’t even know me?”
Asked why he felt he had to write the letter, Glover says: “I felt like I needed to be heard. Everybody’s so scared on the internet, even though it’s supposed to be the most freeing thing. They’re actually afraid to say and do whatever. The internet isn’t a place where freethinking is rewarded.”
Despite the content of the notes, Glover insists he isn’t having a breakdown. “I’m not having a personality crisis, more like a personality burst. I just wanted to be honest. People are like, ‘Ah, this guy is unstable,’ but it’s like, you guys are the ones who are unstable, you’re just dying the same way your grandfather died, doing the same old fucked up shit. I’m just being alive.”
He adds: “I don’t see why being insecure is such a bad thing – some of the worst people in the world were very secure with who they were. Hitler was very secure in who he was – he was also a huge asshole and one of the worst people ever. This is who I am, and I’m insecure, so fuck it.”
Childish Gambino’s second studio album, ‘Because The Internet’, is slated for a December release on Glass Note Records.