Publish date:

Donald Glover Was Initially Rebuffed By the "Industry" Because He Didn't Live "Struggle Music" Life, Producer Says

"It's hilarious all these famous people are sweating him now."

Donald Glover may be the apple of the industry's eye today, but, according to one of his longtime collaborators, he hasn't always been highly-respected, admired and revered. 

"A lot of people, I'm not gonna say any names, were not rocking with Donald in the industry [when he started]," Christian Rich producer Kehinde Hassan told Rolling Stone. "Hip-hop music is harsh. People are like, this is struggle music, and you can't go from doing well [as an actor on Community] and come down to struggle music. You have to start with struggle music and then do everything else. It's hilarious all these famous people are sweating him now."  

Rolling Stone also spoke with Zane Lowe, the creative director for Apple Music's Beats 1 radio, who, unlike Hassan, believes Glover's musical approach—not his path to the industry—is what made it difficult for others to initially jump on his bandwagon.



BbyAfricka Is Her Own Biggest Inspiration

Listening to BbyAfricka rap is like stumbling into the structured chaos of a MadLibs game. The Inglewood, CA rapper breaks down her style for Audiomack.


5 New Albums You Need to Hear This Week

Isaiah Rashad, Sarkodie, Amindi, Tink, and Cookiee Kawaii all have albums you need to hear this week on Audiomack.


Lil Poppa Counts His Blessings

Lil Poppa is a reluctant rap star. The Jacksonville native speaks with Audiomack about his success.

"There was ambiguity [on Camp] ­– he takes lefts and rights at will," Lowe said. "Whenever you have an artist who does that in the early stages, it takes some people a while to catch up and realize that that level of unexpectedness is the hook. It takes longer to buy into a polymath."  

In addition to growing as a human and improving as an artist—Pitchfork infamously gave his 2011 album Camp a 1.6—Glover's approach to making music has shapeshifted quite a bit over the past eight years. That said, Glover has always remained proud of his earliest offerings. "People should understand u don't have to be perfect. you can just learn," Glover wrote in a 2014 Tumblr-esque Deep Web Tour post.

Following the release of his next album—Glover's first on RCA Records—the rapper-singer-producer plans to retire his music stage name, Childish Gambino.

You can read Rolling Stone's "How Donald Glover Charted His Own Path to Hip-Hop Stardom" article here



Donald Glover: "I Am the New Tupac in a Strange Way"

"Sometimes you have to play a role for people to understand you, even though you’re far more complex than any of that."


RZA on Donald Glover: "He’s Accepted in the Hip-Hop Community as a Viable Artist"

It wasn't long ago that Gambino faced an uphill battle in his fight for rap legitimacy.

Childish Gambino

Donald Glover's Greatest Strength as Childish Gambino

If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a collective of creatives to provide truly transcendent artistic experiences.

Donald Glover, Childish Gambino, 2018, Atlanta

Donald Glover's Struggle: "Use My Humanity to Create a Classic Work"

On the eve of the season two premiere of 'Atlanta,' Glover spoke with The New Yorker.


Chance The Rapper Shares Donald Glover's Best Advice

Behind every great artist is a great team, but one member in particular is vital to prolonged success.