With or without delivering a new album, Donald Glover has had a fantastic 2016. As a result, the 33-year-old talent is being showered with praise.
In an interview with Pigeons & Planes, Wu-Tang Clan member RZA was asked about Glover's hit series Atlanta and the increased opportunities that film and TV are providing for young black expression.
Donald Glover is definitely on fire. He’s an example of a multi-layered artist that’s capable of expressing his art in whatever medium he joins. Whether he’s a stand-up comedian or a writer—he got an Emmy for his writing ability. He’s accepted in the hip-hop community as a viable artist. He’s a viable actor who gets in front of the camera and gives great characterizations. I loved him in The Martian.
RZA's right, Glover is on fire. In addition to his work on Atlanta, he has a highly-anticipated new album on the horizon and he was recently cast to play Lando Calrissian in the currently-untitled 2018 Han Solo Star Wars film.
While the notion that Glover is just now being accepted by the hip-hop community as a viable artist might seem crazy, it wasn't long ago sites were publishing stories with headlines like, "9 Reasons Why You Should Take Childish Gambino Seriously."
In fact, in a 2012 interview with Fuse, Glover admitted that rapping was something he was "doing for fun" and he didn't begin to take the craft seriously until he met with Jay Z. Unlike most rap artists who set out to make a rap career for themselves, Glover will be the first to admit he essentially drifted into the hip-hop space out of curiosity and it ended up being a profession. More recently, this story mirrors Lil Dicky's entrance in hip-hop, you know, save for the widespread acceptance part.
Four years later, however, Glover is not only accepted in hip-hop, he's respected and revered.
By DJ Z, who loves to argue with you on Twitter.