Donald Glover has slowly emerged as the most sought-after entertainer of his generation, enjoying a wave of critical acclaim across a variety of mediums. In a new interview with Esquire, the soon-to-be former Childish Gambino compared himself to the late Tupac Shakur but not quite in the way others have foolishly attempted in the past.
Glover’s Esquire March cover story interview covered the expected bases of his hit FX series Atlanta, his music career as Childish Gambino, and his upcoming role as the young Lando Calrissian in the upcoming Solo: A Star Wars Story film.
In the chat, Glover, now 34, seems comfortable under the gaze of fans and decision-makers who seem to want the world from him and exudes a quiet confidence backed with what seems to be sincere humility. A portion of the conversation shifted to how Glover percieves himself considering his mass appeal, which turned into an interesting moment.
He threw the question back at me: “Do you think Tupac was like, ‘I know exactly who I am?’ ”
Yes, I said.
“I know everybody likens themselves to Tupac a lot,” he said. “I am the new Tupac in a strange way. I grew up similar. I didn’t have a mom in the Black Panthers, but my parents were very pro-black. Also, my mom made me go to performing-arts high school. She was like, ‘That’s where you need to be.’ Sometimes you have to play a role for people to understand you, even though you’re far more complex than any of that. Sometimes it’s really hard to simplify that so people can eat it.”
The entire Donald Glover Esquire interview is worth a read, and you can find it here.