Donald Glover Gives Insight on New Childish Gambino Music – American Songwriter

Earlier this year, after tons of speculation that he’d be closing up shop on his hip-hop efforts as Childish Gambino, multi-hyphenate entertainer Donald Glover promised that he wasn’t going anywhere as a rapper.

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“He’ll be back,” Glover said of his rap alter-ego in an interview with Laverne Cox at the Golden Globes. “I’m making music right now. I love it. I’m in the studio, I’ve been bringing people in, like secret people, like working on little things. But I’m just making it for fun right now. But soon, something will happen I promise. Something will happen.”

Now, nine months removed from this quote, it appears that the “something” Glover talked about is right on the horizon. In a new interview with Complex, published Monday (October 2), the man who turned 40 years old on September 25 said that his plans for music will “be clear sooner rather than later.”

“It’d be better for people to just tune in, I suppose,” Glover said about an impending rollout of new music. “But I’m trying harder to not be cryptic. Tyler [The Creator] is always, like, ‘You’re so cryptic.’ But I’m like, ‘I’m really not.’ I just like suspense, I guess. I think it makes stuff better. But that’s just me.”

When asked about what the process of making this upcoming music has been like, Glover told Complex that he’s emphasized being purposeful with crafting songs, rather than settling on just making music that he enjoys.

“I like it when something is naturally functional,” he said. “I used to try and be like, ‘Oh, this is just a good song and I like it.’ But now I think functionality is key. Because it’s so easy to make a bunch of stuff. And I think back in the day, it was a lot easier to be like, ‘I made this!’ And it was harder to make stuff, so people would be like, ‘Oh, this chair, you can’t really sit in it. But otherwise, people wouldn’t have made this chair.’

“It’s kind of like art, where it became, like, ‘Yeah, this is a pointless piece, which is the point.’ And now I feel like, because it’s so much easier to make everything when something is actually truly functional and it’s easy to get to, I love that. I love it when we make something and I’m like, ‘Oh, I know exactly what this is for. This is for Monday Night Football.’ [Laughs.] You know, that kind of thing. Like, ‘This is for this kind of Instagram post.’ I like all that shit.”

[RELATED: 6 Songs You Didn’t Know Donald Glover Wrote for Other Artists]

If Glover decides to release an entirely new Gambino album, it will be his first since 2020. Putting out his fourth album 3.15.20 in March of that year, Gambino’s non-rollout and cryptic lack of notable song titles and artwork was all intentional, he insists, telling Complex that it was a reflection of what his life was like at the time.

“I took that approach because I guess that’s what I was going through,” he said. “People are always going to want what they want, but I have to express what I’m going through. I had just lost my father, I had just had a kid, and I was going through a lot. I was having a lot of different new experiences and that’s what I expressed.”

Ultimately, though, throughout his entire conversation with Complex, it’s clear that Gambino/Glover is passionate about making and releasing music, which eliminates the question of if he’ll return or not.

“You’ll see. [Laughs.] You’ll see,” he said about what’s in store for Gambino. “I know that’s cryptic, but I swear to God… You know, I don’t do this shit for money and shit. There’s a famous Cam’ron clip that me and my brother love. Cam is on the radio talking to Ma$e or somebody, and he says, ‘Man, I do this because I’m nice [at it]. I don’t need the money. I do this because I’m nice, man.’ And I’m like, yeah, I do this because I’m nice. I don’t think I’d ever stop, because of like… I always liked it because I liked it. I never did it because it was like, ‘Man, this is a good way to get put on or something.’ I like the feeling of it. I do this because I’m nice. In a certain way, I think that makes me old school.”

Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images

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