Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde; Glover and Gambino

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The story of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is one that describes how a man suffers from split personality disorder and how he struggles to compartmentalise pieces of each personality. Donald Glover, does not suffer from this ailment, in fact quite the contrary, his ability to compartmentalise his life has led to his meteoric rise to celebrity stardom.  

As an avid fan of NBC’s Community, where Donald Glover portrays the emotional and childish quarterback turned high-school dropout Troy Barnes, it was a great shock to listen to ‘Freaks and Geeks’ from his debut album EP for the first time. It was also when I found out that the only similarity with Glover’s alter ego, Childish Gambino, lies in the emotion. Childish Gambino is not only a highly successful rapper but a damn good one as well.

I was recommended to listen to his 2011 debut album titled ‘EP’, and I was not disappointed as it provides the full spectrum of Gambino’s musicality and lyrical ability. Another standout song from this album is “Break” which is modelled after the highly successful ‘All of the Lights’ by Kanye West, Gambino kicks the song off with a superb vocal performance which is followed up by rap where the lyrics actually have meaning, of course he still talks about the usual ‘boats n hoes’ (as it is a common theme in rap music today) however he raps about the perils of being at the top of the game, that being there is no one else he can truly share the moment with.

But enough talking of songs belonging to a 2011 album. It’s 2014, and Donald Gambino has come a long way, started from the bottom and now he is here:

At the age of only 30, his CV reads like a dream: actor, director, comedian, to name a few. It is rarely said, as often it rarely applies, but in the case of Donald Glover, there is no shame in admitting that his outrageous talent knows no bounds.

If I ever got the opportunity to meet Gambino, and somehow had the courage to overcome that inability to speak when you meet a celebrity, I would surely ask him “who is your idol”, yet it would seem a question too mundane for such a man, whom is idolised by so many himself.

Mike Silva

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