Now that the cult hit NBC show Community looks like it’s about to get cancelled, the multi-talented Donald Glover (who plays Troy Barnes on the show) will have more time in 2012 to focus on his second job: bonafide rapper Childish Gambino. The 28-year-old just released his first full-length studio album – fourth overall – this past November. Although Pitchfork ripped him a new one by giving him a 1.6 rating, he remains one of the most buzzworthy rappers of the year. When you get Donald to take off that Urban Outfitters hoodie that’s often covering his face, you’ll find there’s more to the nerdy chic performer than meets the eye. Here are the twelve reasons to like Donald Glover a.k.a. Childish Gambino.
1. His rap alter ego’s name comes from a Wu-Tang Clan Name Generator.
2. He was a staff writer for Tina Fey’s hit NBC comedy 30 Rock for one year in 2008.
3. You know that infamous line in 30 Rock, delivered by Tracy Morgan: “I love this cornbread so much, I want to take it behind a middle school and get it pregnant”? Donald wrote that.
4. He began a grassroots campaign online to be cast as the new Spiderman. He even created a Facebook group and attempted to make #donald4spiderman trend on Twitter. He lost out to Andrew Garfield.
5. His parents raised a lot of foster kids while Donald was still living with them in Atlanta.
6. He co-wrote, produced, scored and starred in the Sundance flick Mystery Team in 2009.
7. He filmed his first hour-long comedy special Weirdo this past March.
8. He is a former Jehovah’s Witness.
9. Under the moniker Mc DJ, he remixed Sufjan Steven’s Illinoise album, turning it into something dreamy and chill-wave.
10. His live shows as Childish Gambino offer something for everyone: hip-hop music, stand-up, comedy sketches and viral videos.
11. His music video for “Freaks and Geeks” was shot all in one take. In an interview with Consequence of Sound, Donald says the best music videos are the ones that don’t have anything to do with the actual song.
12. He is not related to Danny Glover. “When they ask, I say, ‘No, I’m Crispin Glover’s son’ and then we stare at each other for a long time,” he says.