13 April 2011

Meet Donald Glover, "a regular black guy who likes the same stuff white people like—but just happens to be more talented than you."

File this one under "Shit Worth Checking Out" and "Shit You Should Be Aspiring To".  Donald Glover, a.k.a. Childish Gambino, somehow manages to be one of the most hyped and, simultaneously, one of the most slept-on artists today.  He's also one of the hardest working.  And did I mention he parties like an animal, drinks unhealthy quantities of whiskey, and doesn't shy away from objectifying women?  Ya, this post is long overdue.

Probably best-known for his recurring role on NBC's Community as Troy, Donald Glover is also a highly-talented writer and stand-up comic.  In my opinion, though, his greatest talent lies in music.  He raps under the pseudonym 'Childish Gambino', a name he gleaned from typing 'Donald Glover' into the Wu-Tang Name Generator.  [unfortunately 'Arrogant Male' translates to 'Zexy Artist'....] 

Beginning this week, he brings his eclectic talents together on his "IAMDONALD" tour, a subtly-named, cross-continent sprint where he'll hit 23 cities in just over a month.  The Village Voice has written a great article for the occasion that discusses his rapid, and somewhat serendipitous, rise to stardom.  I highly recommend checking it out; it's well worth a read, if only for its inspirational value, as I discuss below.  Also, check out his tour dates; there might be a few tickets left if you live in the right city.  I'll be checking it out when he comes to Toronto next month, and will post a review shortly after to make you jealous. 

When you read about this guy, you can't help but be impressed by him.  Putting aside his extremely diverse, aforementioned talent, and the fact that he's only 27 (he was writing lines for Tracy Morgan and Tina Fey on 30 Rock while still at NYU), he's just so damn ambitious.  Cliché or not, this dude is the hardest-working man in show biz.  As Glover's manager, Greg Walter, says, "For the past three months, I have not been calling him saying, 'Take this job.' I am usually calling him saying, 'Don't take this job—you need rest.' I get worried because he doesn't sleep enough. I tell him to slow down, and he says, 'You know what, I'm 26, 27—I can do it now.'" 

Glover explains his work ethic: "You don't get to where all my heroes were without giving up a part of who you are. Right now, I refuse to even have a dog. No girlfriend. I don't want anything tying me down. I want to be everywhere. I don't see a limit for me. I want to do everything. I never thought I was this type of person: Have a good time, not a long time."  

We can all learn a lot from Glover's response.  Most of us are quick to grant ourselves amnesty for procrastination, rationalizing "I'm still young, I still have lots of time to [travel, or start my business, or begin saving for retirement]". Glover has the exact opposite rationale.  Do it now.  Who knows if that opportunity that's here today will be there tomorrow?  By going out and doing it now you may be sacrificing sleep, but you will never know what you're sacrificing by going home to bed.

I'm not trying to turn this into some kind of self-help, motivational bullshit piece.  I'm just saying, maybe there's a reason this guy is doing the things he's doing, and we're sitting here reading about it.

source: thevillagevoice.com

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