Birth name – Donald McKinley Glover
Also known as – Childish Gambino
Born September 25, 1983 (age 29)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Origin – Stone Mountain, Georgia, U.S.
Genres – Alternative hip hop
Occupations – Actor, rapper, songwriter, writer, comedian, music producer
Instruments – Bass, drums, guitar, synthesizer, sequencer, sampler, vocals
Years active – 2002–present
Labels – Glassnote Records
Associated acts – Ludwig Göransson, Nipsey Hussle, Flux Pavillion, Kilo Kish, Heems
Website – http://www.iamdonald.com/
Donald McKinley Glover (born September 25, 1983) is an American rapper, actor, writer, comedian, and producer. Glover first came to attention for his work with Derrick Comedy and for subsequently being a writer for 30 Rock. Today, he is best known for his role as college student Troy Barnes on the NBC comedy series Community and for his rising career as a stand-up comedian and rapper. In 2011, Glover signed to Glassnote Records under the stage name Childish Gambino after releasing several albums and mixtapes himself; his first album for the label, Camp, was released on November 15, 2011.
Early life and education
Donald McKinley Glover was born in California, and raised in Georgia. His father is a postal worker and his mother runs a daycare center. His parents were also foster parents and Jehovah’s Witnesses. Glover graduated from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts with a degree in Dramatic Writing in 2006 after attending DeKalb School of the Arts and Lakeside High School.
2006–10: TV, film, independent albums and mixtapes
Glover is known for his work on the NBC show Community. From 2006 to 2009, Glover was a writer for the NBC series 30 Rock where he also had an occasional cameo appearance. He was presented the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Comedy Series at the February 2009 ceremony for his work on the third season of 30 Rock.
Glover performs music under the stage name Childish Gambino, a name he found from a Wu-Tang Clan name generator. He released an independent album entitled Sick Boi on June 5, 2008.
Glover is a member of the sketch comedy group Derrick Comedy, along with Dominic Dierkes, Meggie McFadden, DC Pierson, and Dan Eckman. Derrick’s YouTube videos gained the group nationwide attention and have contributed to Donald Glover’s recognition, as well as his newfound success in the television business. The group wrote and starred in a feature-length film, Mystery Team, released in theaters in 2009. On September 17, 2009, Childish Gambino released the independent album Poindexter.
A pair of mixtapes entitled I Am Just a Rapper, and I Am Just A Rapper 2 were released in close succession in early 2010. Robert Scahill added his producing expertise helping with the majority of the tracks. The track listings for those albums consist of the name of the song “he” raps, followed by the song he raps over. His third album, Culdesac, was set to be released on July 2, 2010, but a couple of last minute additions caused the album to be delayed for a day. The album was made available on July 3. Glover has stated in interviews that on Sick Boi and Poindexter he felt he had to hide behind gimmicks, such as pink hoodies, but with his subsequent projects, he has touched on more personal subject matter, including family, schoolyard bullying, troubled romantic relationships, suicidal thoughts and alcoholism. He has disowned his 2005 album, The Younger I Get, as the too-raw ramblings of what he calls a “decrepit Drake.”
Donald Glover at Paleyfest in 2010
Glover’s stand-up special aired on Comedy Central on March 19, 2010. In May 2010, a fan suggested Glover for the role of Peter Parker in the then-upcoming The Amazing Spider-Man film, encouraging his supporters to retweet the hashtag “#donald4spiderman”. The campaign, originally started to see how far social networking could carry a message, quickly gained a large following. The call for Glover to be allowed to audition for the role was supported by Spider-Man creator Stan Lee. Comics writer Brian Michael Bendis, who announced an African-American version of Spider-Man a year later, said he had conceived of the character before Glover’s campaign went viral. Bendis gave credit to Glover for influencing the new hero’s looks; on seeing him dressed as Spider-Man on Community (a nod to the campaign) Bendis said, “I saw him in the costume and thought, ‘I would like to read that book.'”.
Glover received the Rising Comedy Star award at the Just for Laughs festival in July 2010. Glover was featured in Gap’s 2010 Holiday ad campaign. Donald Glover DJs and produces his own music under the moniker “mcDJ” (pronounced “M-C-D-J”). His music is of the electronic/remix variety and is often made available for free download via his official site. His current album releases include Love Letter in an Unbreakable Bottle and Utterances of the Heart.
On December 1, 2010, Glover released the first track off of his EP titled “Be Alone”. He released the next track, “Freaks and Geeks”, as well as a five-song track list, on February 11, 2011. On February 25, Donald released the dates for the IAMDONALD tour and also his very first music video for “Freaks and Geeks”. The music video was shot by Dan Eckman, the director of the Derrick Comedy troupe. This song would later be used in an Adidas commercial featuring Dwight Howard which brought the song, and Donald, more recognition. On March 8, 2011 Donald released his newest EP via his official website.
2011–present: Acting, touring and Camp
On March 16, 2011, Glover hosted the mtvU Woodie Awards held live at South By Southwest. On March 24, 2011, Glover taped his one hour comedy special Weirdo for Comedy Central; it aired on November 19. Donald appeared at the 2011 Bonnaroo Music Festival on June 9 in the ‘This Tent’ as Childish Gambino and June 11 at ‘The Comedy Theater’ with Bill Bailey performing stand up. Comedy Central streamed the comedy live on their website.
On May 4, 2011, in an interview with TheHipHopUpdate, Glover revealed that he was working on an LP, to be released in September. On July 25, 2011, Donald Glover announced that his new album would be entitled Camp. On October 8, during his Orlando concert, he announced Camp would be released on November 15, 2011. On August 20, 2011, at the Los Angeles Rock The Bells concert, he gave an interview to AllHipHop.com, and announced to the crowd that he had signed with Glassnote Records. On September 20, he released his first official single, “Bonfire”.
Childish Gambino in concert at the Bowery Ballroom in New York City (October 17, 2010)
The IAMDONALD tour made 23 stops in 33 days, beginning with Ames, IA on April 16, and finishing with Minneapolis, MN on May 19. In between, this included stops at music venues in Las Vegas, Houston, Washington, and Atlanta. The Sign-Up Tour was Donald’s next pre-album tour. He visited 11 cities over the course of 38 days in October and November 2011. Glover made a website for the tour called “Camp Gambino” on November 19, four days after his album released. The tour featured special guest Danny Brown and made 20 stops during the course of 32 days along a dates in California in December. On March 14, 2012, several dates on the CAMP tour were postponed due to a fractured foot Donald Glover suffered on March 10, while performing in Tampa, Florida. The tour began in Austin, Texas on April 5 and ended August 10 in Hollywood, California.
On January 11, 2012, Childish Gambino announced on his website that a new mixtape would be coming out soon. On April 2, he released a new song, “Eat Your Vegetables and Fruits”, through his website. On May 14, Funkmaster Flex premiered “Unnecessary”, featuring Schoolboy Q. On May 16, Gambino released “We Ain’t Them” through his website, produced by himself and frequent collaborator Ludwig. On May 22, Donald appeared on Das Racist’s radio show “Chillin’ Island” where he premiered a new song, “Tell Me”, which featured Himanshu Suri, aka Heems from Das Racist. On May 26, Donald released “Black Faces”, featuring Nipsey Hussle and produced by Boi-1da. On May 30, he released a third track, “Silk Pillow”, featuring Beck and produced by both Glover and Beck. On June 25, Glover revealed that the mixtape was to be released on July 4, 2012. On June 26, Donald premiered another new track, on Sway In The Morning (on Shade 45), entitled “One Up”, featuring his brother, Steve G. Lover. That same day, Donald stated that the mixtape would be titled Royalty (despite previous statements that it would not be called that). On July 4, 2012, Glover released Royalty for free via digital download. On July 7, 2012, Gambino released the track, “Body”, featuring Prodigy, which did not make the cut for the mixtape. On July 24, 2012, he released the music video for “Fire Fly” through his VEVO account on YouTube.
On August 21, 2012, BBC Radio 1 premiered Leona Lewis’ new song, “Trouble”, off her upcoming album, Glassheart, which features Childish Gambino. The song was available for purchase via iTunes on October 7, and peaked at #7 on the UK Singles Chart the following week, making it his first UK top 10 single. On November 4, 2012 Ludwig Göransson said in an interview with Portable that he and Donald were in his studio coming up with new idea for a new Childish Gambino album. It was said to be a bigger album, with more people involved.
On September 12, 2012, it was announced that Donald was working on a new sitcom with NBC that would be loosely based on his life. Since then, however, Glover has decided to focus more intentionally on his music career, even reducing his work for NBC and planning to appear in only five of Community’s 13 episodes next season.
Year Title Role Notes
2009Mystery TeamJason RodgersExecutive Producer
2011The MuppetsJunior CDE ExecutiveCameo
2013The To Do ListDerrick
Year Title Role Notes
2005Late Night with Conan O’BrienCriminal1 episode
201230 RockHomosexual Kid
Young Tracy JordanWriter; 23 episodes
Cameo in 3 episodes
Guest star in 1 episode
2007Human GiantCollege Webcam GuyEpisode: “24 Hour Marathon”
2009–presentCommunityTroy BarnesMain cast(Seasons 1-4)
Recurring (Season 5)
2010Comedy Central PresentsHimselfStand-up special
Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode IIIStormtrooper
2011 Woodie Awards Host
Episode: “Rap It Up”
2012The PlaylistRemix Victim – Eclectic MethodEpisode: “Instruments of Destruction”
Hip Hop Squares Childish Gambino Guest star
2013GirlsSandyEpisodes: “It’s About Time”
“I Get Ideas”
Sesame StreetLMNOPEpisode: ” Figure It Out, Baby Figure It Out”
Adventure TimeMarshall LeeVoice
Episode: “Bad Little Boy”
Year Title Role Notes
2007Bronx World TravelersScoopy Brown3 episodes
2011CollegeHumorTroy BarnesEpisode: “Save Greendale”
Sick Boi (2008)
Red Everything Movement