A while ago, I shared a story about my mother and the importance of being you; I referred to it as shining one’s light. The great thing about “being you,” other than the satisfaction that it generates, is that others will undoubtedly recognize your courageous act of being you; they will notice it is more than acceptable/plausible to be them. In response, your light gives them the unspoken ‘ok’ to shine their individual light.
Throughout the course of this blog different people have shared with me how my blog has inspired them to write, to create, and to share. One friend started a blog, here. If you read my blog consistently, you definitely know about my homie, Lil Homie, and his guest posts here and there. Well, I got a new person that wants to shine. This time, it is one of my students; he is a great student and an even better person. Check out his blog for other/future posts. The floor is yours, young man.
Haven’t seen NBC’s comedy “Community”? You my friend, have missed out on a rising star. By “missed out” I mean you’re behind the curve. Out of the loop. If you’re the guy still figuring out how to ‘bring your rap game up’ you need to keep reading. Donald Glover is the upcoming star of the decade.
Glover’s first foray into media attention was in Dan Harmon’s Community, a comedy show written to the script of the director’s high school life. Troy Barnes (Glover) was Riverside High School’s model student before he graduated to the fictional Greendale Community College. Barnes lost his role as starting quarterback and prom king when he dislocated both of his shoulders during a keg flip. Community had a strong fan base during it’s infancy and is in the middle of it’s third season this year. Glover has played a large role in the show’s success. Glover’s character is one of the wittiest and hysterical character within the show. YouTube is littered with “Donald Glover crying is the funniest thing ever!” videos. The Huffington Post wrote this article about the outrage fans expressed when NBC halted Community’s air time during February this year, and I can’t tell you the times I’ve heard someone say “I just want to be him”. The Community Wiki has the official record of Glover’s famous one liners:
– “(Grabs a glass of wine) Ooh! No-no juice!”
– “Bing, bong, sing along! Your team’s Al Gore ‘cuz your views are wrong.”
– “(Ha! Troy sneezes like a girl!) And I’m going to pound you like a boy! That didn’t come out right.”
Obviously, for the best info on Glover’s television career you should watch Community for yourself. However, if you’re really that pressed for time then below is Glover’s “Spanish Rap”, his most famous of all, which also happens to be my ring tone:
Glover’s comedic side also shines though his stand-up comedian on Comedy Central and work with Derrick Comedy (The creators of the “Bro Rape” video with over 9 million views as of today). As an 18 year old about to head off to college, I might have a more unique sense humor than you might think. Remember that Gieco commercial about the rowing hamsters saving money? I thought that was hilarious. Similarly Glover has his own brand of quirky comedy. Making light of being a “Black Nerd”, President Obama (I mean, who hasn’t by now) and even his IPhone using the N – word, Glover has a strong command over his audience and his stage. You might not always laugh at his bits, but you will definitely appreciate the biting wit of his lines. But don’t take my word for it. Listen to Comedy Central’s recording of Donald’s “Crazy Stories”
Finally, we’ll look at Glover’s budding rap career as Childish Gambino. Personally I think the more you say it the more it just rolls off the tongue. Hard as it is to believe, Glover got this name from a Wu-Tang Clan random name generator (I hope you know who those guys are). As of today Childish Gambino has released three independent albums, three mix tapes and an EP. I can’t understate the impact Gambino has made on the rap community. Glover raps about personal issues such as alcoholism and thoughts of suicide as well as an account of growing up rough that doesn’t have the air of “These-streets-made-me” and “I-gots-a-hustle-every-day” that many rappers have. Equally notable is Gambino’s incredible word play. In one of my favorites “Freaks and Geeks” Gambino makes eight pop-culture references and 11 metaphors/play on words. Looking to see how Childish Gambino stacked up against rap legend Lil Wayne’s song “HYFR” I consulted Rap Genius for help. Tell me who you think the better rapper is here:
“Took the g out your waffle, all you got left is your ego” – Childish Gambino
“Met a female dragon, had a fire conversation” – Lil’ Wayne
Rap Genius’ Dnasty93 wrote: ” Eggo Waffles minus a ‘g’ = Ego. But it gets better. Think about this line as a food = money concept. Gambino is boasting that his verses are so hot people will buy his stuff over yours, taking the ‘G’ out your “waffle” (all those 0s from your paycheck), leaving you with no money and a bruised ego”. For Lil’ Wayne’s line, KidLyrical wrote: “she was fly… and the conversation they had was real hot”. Now to be fair, both of these lines make you think. One of them makes you pause and say “What does he mean ‘take the g out your waffle? There is no g in waffle’ before you go online and look into it”. The other makes you think “That’s funny. Somehow I feel dumber after listening to that.”
Finally, you made it. If you’ve watched all the videos and made it to the end, that’s an A+ for you. The next time you find yourself locked in heated debate about who the best new rapper is, you’ll have this whole article in your repertoire. And if you didn’t make it, that’s okay. There’ll always be another incredible young rapper that someone will write about, right?