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Childish Gambino Talks ‘Boss’ Status, Connecting With ‘Black Kids’

Getty Images for BET

Childish Gambino‘s fledgling rap career is no longer under the radar in 2012. The Georgia native is actually beginning to build a solid fan base but the part that excites him most about his success is seeing familiar faces at his shows.

“Man, going to places like Atlanta and Oakland, Washington D.C., and Houston, and seeing the black kids come out, and really represent…” he tells The BoomBox on the red carpet at the 2012 BET Hip Hop Awards. “I saw a lot of kids like me and that just made me feel good.”

“I just like to see that,” he continues. “It’s dope to sell out crowds and shit like that but it’s also dope to see kids like you in the audience.”

As time goes on for Childish, born Donald Glover, he finds comfort in all parts of himself and his creativity as an actor, comedian and rapper.

“I think [acting and rapping] definitely play off each other,” Childish Gambino shares. “There’s definitely a kinship. I don’t know how it works honestly. I try and do it but I don’t want them to [clash with] each other. But sometimes they do and you just have to do what’s honest at the time.”

His first studio album, Camp, was released in November 2011, through Glassnote Records. The project was met with favorable reviews considering his acting career was what got him noticed first. The character he plays on NBC’s “Community” is so believable it’s difficult to imagine that the rapper can play the role of lovable geek Troy Barnes and also be Childish Gambino without some overlap.

“I feel like both of them are just different parts of me,” he explains. “I don’t even think they’re that different. I never looked at my acting and said, ‘That dude would never rap like that.’ It’s just, whatever comes out, however it comes out…

“I know I’m growing. I feel like Childish Gambino is kind of a euphemism for a kid growing into a boss and I feel like that’s what I’m trying to do. When I started it was a joke and I was just rapping about bullshit but now I feel like I’m growing and I feel like the sound’s grown too.”


See The BoomBox’s Exclusive Photos of Childish Gambino’s In House Visit

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Watch “The BoomBox’s Interview With Childish Gambino”

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