For a major music star, there’s nothing more important than the stage name they use. Whether it’s a one-name moniker, or their birth-given name, or something totally different, what you choose to go by in the public eye becomes who you are. So it’s a good thing Donald Glover put so much thought into his rapper name Childish Gambino.
When Glover was at the 2016 TCA Winter Press Tour to promote his new FX series Atlanta, he told the room of journalists how he came up with “Childish Gambino.”
“I put it in a Wu-Tang name generator on the internet,” Glover deadpanned to a room full of laughter. “I put it in a Wu-Tang name generator when I was young and it just came out that way. I think you could put it in one now and it would still come out that way.”
He’s totally telling the truth; it does. And this isn’t the first time Glover has dropped this little nugget of knowledge on his fans. That fact that he’s so honest about it just makes it that much better.
While working on his music career, the Community alum is also creating/writing/executive producing and starring in Atlanta. The new drama revolves around two cousins on their way up through the Atlanta rap scene whose opposing views on art versus commerce, success and race will make their quest anything but easy. Along with Glover, Paul Simms and Dianne McGunigle of MGMT Entertainment will executive produce. Atlanta will also star Brian Tyree Henry, Keith Stanfield, and Zazie Beetz.
So why did Glover choose now to create his first TV show?
“I know what I’m doing a little bit,” Glover said. “I think I’m just old enough and FX allowed me to. It feels like there are more screens than there have ever been. There are so many screens that have to be filled now between your television, your computer and your phone. It’s the perfect time to make something that I would want to see. It’s the perfect opportunity to combine everything that media is right now. Television shows are like novels now, you just have to invest in them. I just always wanted to make Twin Peaks with rappers.”
After Community, Glover felt like he was approached for many projects that didn’t fit who he wanted to be and what he wanted to do next. So that’s when he decided he had to create his next project.
“I didn’t feel like there was anything that represented what was going on,” Glover said. “There is so much going on and there was no Dave Chappelle-like voice going, ‘Isn’t this f–king crazy?’ [People] wanted to make me everything. I think people still do because there’s money in it. It’s cool. I don’t know what they wanted to make me but I just knew they weren’t me.”
And so Atlanta was born. But why choose the Georgia city as the setting for the drama?
“I think it’s the most American place,” Glover explained. “Everyone is trying to make something from nothing.”
Will you watch Glover’s new project? Let us know what you think (and what your Wu-Tang name is!) in the comments below.
Image: Getty Images
Atlanta is in production now and slated to air this summer on FX.