Childish Gambino, AKA Donald Glover

You may not know it, but you probably have seen or heard something that has to do with Donald Glover

By Hunter Edwards
Music Career

Donald Glover, known as Childish Gambino when it comes to music, has been releasing music since 2009 when he dropped a pair of independent albums, Poindexter and Sick Boi, then two mixtapes, I am Just a Rapper and I am Just a Rapper 2, later in 2010.

Even after three projects however, Gambino didn’t really get his start until he released the song “Freaks and Geeks” which was used in an Adidas commercial in 2011. This put Gambino on the map and soon after he was signed by Glassnote Records. Under his new label, Gambino released his first studio album, Camp, catching the eye of many and attracting a whole new fanbase.

Camp is home to the songs “Bonfire”, “Kids”, and “Heartbeat” which many people still listen to today. With Camp came a whole new life for Gambino. Interview after interview, radio show after radio show, and a tour where he’d meet all kinds of new artists to help him further his career. After the success of Camp started to fade, Gambino decided to release a mixtape called Royalty. On the tape, Gambino was able to pair up with artists like ScHoolboy Q, Ab-Soul, Danny Brown, Chance the Rapper and more.

Camp and Royalty showcase Gambino’s ability to rap concise lyrics in a way that nobody really has before. Not only was he rapping something new, but his producer, Ludwig Göransson, was bringing a lot of new techniques to the music industry. Together, the two made a name for Childish Gambino that was only getting started.

In December of 2013, Gambino released Because the Internet. This was the album that really captured almost everyone’s attention. Gambino started to experiment with new song structures and new sounds to set himself apart. For people who hadn’t heard Gambino’s music before, Because the Internet was a great introduction. However, some of the songs may have weirded people out with the vocal effects put on Gambino’s voice or the random switch ups in the beats. Although, for existing Gambino fans, this was a refreshing surprise to see what he could really do as an artist.

After Because the Internet’s success, Gambino followed up with a pair of projects he released on October 2, 2014: A mixtape with styles following that of traditional Atlanta trap, STN/MTN and an EP to cater to his more “pop” like fans titled Kauai. Since Kauai, Gambino had abandoned his music fans to follow other media interests.

However on December 2, Gambino released his new album Awaken, My Love! This new album may come as a shock to those who only like one certain genre, but for most there is something to enjoy. Gambino decided to take a more funk/soul route this time. There is no rapping heard in the album; instead, it’s filled with Gambino singing in a different way in almost every song. From start to finish, Gambino is able to keep the listener interested by surprising them with sound effects and different moods behind each song. Whether it’s police brutality like in the song “Boogieman” or the very personal message about his fear of his girlfriend taking his son from him, Gambino has a very clear and powerful message behind each song.

Acting

Glover first got his start in acting as a college student in school projects, but he would soon be seen playing as an extra on Late Night with Conan O’Brien in 2005. Since then, Glover has come a long way with his acting career. He’s made appearances on 30 Rock, The Muppets and even voice acting for Adventure Time and The Regular Show on Cartoon Network. Some of his more notable roles are seen in movies like The Martian, Magic Mike XXL and The Lazarus Effect.

However, before the movies, Glover could have been seen playing Troy Barnes on the show Community. Glover has recently announced that he will be playing in a 2018 Star Wars film as Lando Calrissian, and Spiderman: Homecoming releasing sometime in 2017. Most recently, Glover can be seen starring in his own FX TV show, Atlanta.

Writing

Glover’s background in writing comes from his degree in dramatic writing from New York University. From there, he became a writer for 30 Rock and won a few awards during his time there. After a short break from writing to focus on music, Glover wrote a full length screenplay to go with his album Because the Internet. The screenplay told a story that is carried out in his music with subtle narrative elements to progress the story past the screenplay itself.

Glover also used his writing skills to create the FX show Atlanta, which received a 100 percent rating from Rotten Tomatoes. Atlanta is used as an outlet for Glover to bring attention to social issues in the African American community with a comedic twist to make it enjoyable for anyone to watch. Season one of Atlanta ended just before his release of the album Awaken, My Love! on December 2, and has already been confirmed for a second season.

Awaken, My Love!

On Gambino’s genre-breaking, third studio album, he explores a new sound. Usually, Gambino’s sound is more “mainstream” rap and with some R&B elements. His previous albums and mixtapes have been focused strictly on rapping over a mix of experimental and traditional rap beats. However, with the following he’s gathered throughout the years with his previous projects, Gambino feels a bit more comfortable with his creativity.

This might explain the genre change from rap to a soulful funk. When listening to the album, you might think it’s something out of the 60’s funk era until the lyrics reveal new socially-relevant messages. For the hardcore Gambino fan, this album is refreshing, new style that will open up listeners to a whole new genre.

Ultimately, this album showed just what Gambino can really do musically. This is a vocal-heavy album with mostly raw recordings of Gambino’s voice except for a little bit of autotune here and there to make it sound like a 21st century album. For first time listener, go back and listen to Gambino’s previous projects and then come back to Awaken, My Love! and notice the vast difference in style.

The Social Hierarchy of DHS

By Caden Koenig, Joe Ramey & Claire Ward

As new seniors feel entitled to the crown of the school, views on the average day changes every year. This change is meant to fit the mold on how the seniors imagined their final year of high school. So, with this comes the basic rules of Dexter High School’s social hierarchy.

Freshmen:

Wow, congrats! You guys survived your tween years and lives as middle schoolers. You have finally made it to high school.

The next four years are going to be some pretty fantastic years. But since you’re coming into our (Seniors ’17) school, we would like to set some guidelines.

Of course there are some obvious ones that don’t need to be mentioned, but I will name a couple just to get the ball rolling.

First, we would like to talk drinking fountains. They are helpful if you have a water bottle or even need to wet your whistle. But turning the fountain head towards the person so when they push it, not realizing what had been done, get water on their shirt and pants is despicable. Most people spot the prank before it happens, and c’mon, you are in high school now.

Next: the hallways. We have five minutes between each class. This time is great to talk to your friends, get a drink of water (as previously stated), and say hello to your significant other (more to come later). One main common mistake everyone has to adjust to, especially freshmen year, is that blocking the hallway isn’t okay.

Blocking the hallway includes, but is not limited to the following: stopping in the middle of the hallway, creating a long line at the drinking fountain, and sitting outside a classroom that is locked. This is high up there on things you can do to annoy other people at DHS, but there may be one that tops the list.

Public Displays of Affection (PDA). Trust us. We get it. Most of the relationships you experience are short and full of puppy love. Now, everyone has gone through this stage, so we all try to understand and remember. Nevertheless, we also know you can wait until 2:51 PM to have that makeout sesh (session) with your significant other. We all would appreciate it.

As far as the things you can do. As you enter high school you are given a lot more freedoms at school. Teachers start to trust you and you start to get privileges you haven’t experienced at school yet.

For example, nobody dismisses your table for lunch anymore; once you get to the lunch room, you can eat. Believe it or not, this is just the beginning. You have a bigger selection of classes, more extracurricular options, and a wider variety of teachers to help and provide different teaching styles.

Starting high school is a big step in your life. And take it from the seniors writing this article, it goes by super fast. So soak up every fantastic, stressful, boring moment you get in the four years you are about to start.

Sophomores:

The less than notable year that is your freshman semesters of high school are over. You are now a real, functioning facet of our high school that we (and most other high schools nationwide) like to call sophomores. Your days of Earth Science noodle structures and spoonfed criteria are over.

Now that you’ve passed your easy breezy first year of high school, you are no longer the bottom of the totem pole. The Pythagorean theorem is a thing of the past, right? Wrong! Don’t make the mistake of failing to challenge yourself this year. Take advantage of the provided classes that can set you up for success in your dreaded junior year. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is carrying over your lazy tendencies from freshman year to your sophomore year. Don’t be that student.

Along with freshman year tendencies, your actions shall NOT carry over. Your decision to make your mark freshman year is one of (hopefully) deep thought and time. Whether that mark was positive or negative, the same shenanigans you pulled freshman year will not fly. You’re a different person, a year older, and you represent our school. If you do decide to take the route of immaturity, leave it all in the classroom. Another one of the biggest mistakes you can make is taking it to Twitter.

Read a book for God’s sake. Like the ones you (didn’t) read freshman year English. Organize! Keep that backpack clear of all trash. You’ll need the space for the textbooks that you should be carrying around and using to your advantage. There’s no complaining when all of your resources are in front of you. Don’t be that guy who’s too scared to ask Mr. Heuser for help on an essay. He’s like the coolest guy ever. Take your time and ask the questions that need to be answered. After all, you’ll need to know by next year.

Prepare, prepare, prepare. The three things you are called to do your sophomore year. Just as you would prep for a hurricane or other natural disasters of sorts, you are to prep for the coming storm. Your junior year; and that storm is brewing.

“On to the next one” – lyrical genius ‘Jay-Z’

Juniors:

Brace yourselves. This year really will suck. I know, I know, that sounds like the most cliche thing in the world. At the beginning of junior year, things seem okay. They can even seem pretty good. Then all of the sudden you have two papers on Tuesday, a Pre-Calc test Wednesday morning, an APUSH project due Thursday, and a basketball tournament over the weekend. These are usually the times where you find yourself laying face-down in your bed, too overwhelmed to even eat. You don’t want to get to this point, so here are some helpful tips to prevent having a mental breakdown every other hour.

Get a planner, keep the planner on you at all times, and actually use it. Time management is so important when you have what seems like a million assignments. You want to stay ahead as much as you can. When you get an assignment, start working on it the earliest chance you get. Do not put off studying until the night before, and don’t wait until 10 on a Thursday night to start a paper due in class the next day. Do your big assignments the same day you get them, and get as much done as early as possible. You can do that 10-minute vocab assignment at lunch; you can’t write a full essay.

Every spring, juniors prepare for the SAT/ACT. You should too. Take a prep course, review your basic math and reading skills, and actually get a decent amount of sleep the night before. Knowing the material is important. What’s more important, though, is not stressing out about the standardized test too much. Your future really does not count on the SAT. Yes, the SAT is important; however, you can retake it, and once you get to college it won’t mean anything. More and more schools are making the decision to not require SAT/ACT scores as sometimes they aren’t accurate reflections of the student. That being said, you still have to try. Many schools still want to see your score. Just try not to stress yourself out about it too much.

With all the stress, you can’t forget to have some fun. Go to the football and basketball games. Go out to the corn maze. See the school plays. Do what you enjoy doing. This year may be your hardest year academically, but plenty of things can be done to lessen your stress.

But, congratulations! You made it to the upperclassmen years of high school. No longer can people tell you, “you were a freshman last year; you can’t say anything about hating them” or “you’re literally 12” because you aren’t anymore! Just make sure you know where you belong; you aren’t seniors yet. If a senior wriggles in front of you at the game, don’t yell and complain. They don’t care that you’ve been there since 3:30. They’ve been in your place before and have seniority.

This is the year you get to have fun, but not too much fun. You’re finally free of the shackles freshman year places on you and that follow you (aka haunt you) as you complete sophomore year. Concentrate on school work, get stuff done, but don’t let it stress you out to an unmanageable point.

Seniors:

Guys, we made it. We’ve suffered for three years to get to this point, but we’re finally here. This is the year we get to rule the school. Here’s a little advice on how to spend your final year in grade school.

Make the absolute most of it. Go to every football game, every basketball game, dress up on spirit days, go to school plays, go to Homecoming and Prom (especially Homecoming — it can be as much fun as you make it, so make it amazing), build relationships with your teachers, and mend old relationships with classmates. Pretty much do anything you want to do (within reason, and don’t be rude about it either).

This is your last year with the protection of a house to come home to each night, and having all your closest friends around you all the time. You don’t want to wake up on graduation morning and realize you regret how you spent your last year in Dexter. Pretty soon all of us will be spread out around the country, maybe even outside of the country, and will be forced into a world of financial management and all-nighters writing term papers.

Work hard to get where you want to be in the fall of 2017. If that happens to be Stanford, you’d better already have your application essays written (if this is where you want to go, I have no doubt your applications are almost already completely finished and you’ve already had multiple interviews with admission reps). If that happens to be WCC, start getting your application together, because the process can be long. The point is, this is the last year you have before you aren’t guided through life. Now is the time to bust a little ass to give yourself the best opportunity to thrive once next September comes around. Working hard doesn’t stop after acceptance. You can’t just screw around after declaration day. You still have to work to maintain your grades; colleges can always revoke acceptance.

With all this newly found seniority, occasionally check yourself. Just because you’re a senior doesn’t mean it’s cool for you to push around the freshmen, or make fun of them for being confused as to where the fifth floor is. The poor little guys looking like Nemo on the first day, alone in a big open ocean, is just trying to find someone they know. If you see a freshman — or anyone for that matter — looking completely lost or helpless, give them some help. I promise, it won’t bring you down in social status.

This is our last year. We have 278 days from today before we are officially Dexter High School graduates. Whether that number seems large or small to you, it will go faster than you believe. We have 278 days to make the most of. Here’s to us. The only thing left to say is that this year is going to be L17.