Do you know Childish Gambino?
Come Talk about Childish Gambino:
a student-led convo for J-Track students
Study Before You Come: (See Below)
1st Meeting: Sign Up
April 18 from 5:05pm to 5:35pm
2nd Meeting: Sign Up
April 19th from 12:40pm to 1:10pm
Study Before You Come:
Song 1: “This is America”
Song 2: “Feels Like Summer”
Quick Facts (source: Donald Glover Wikipedia)
- Donald McKinley Glover Jr. (born September 25, 1983), also known by his stage name Childish Gambino, is an American actor, comedian, singer, rapper, writer, director, and producer.
- Glover has starred in several successful films including the supernatural horror The Lazarus Effect (2015), the comedy-drama Magic Mike XXL (2015), and science fiction film The Martian (2015). He played Aaron Davis in the superhero film Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017), and played Lando Calrissian in the space western Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018). He also provided the voice of adult Simba in The Lion King (2019).
- Following independently released albums and mixtapes, Glover signed with Glassnote Records in 2011,and released his first studio album, Camp, that year. In 2013, he followed this with his second album, Because the Internet. Glover’s third album, “Awaken, My Love!” (2016), spawned the single “Redbone“, which peaked at number twelve on the Billboard Hot 100 and eventually earned him his first Grammy Award. In 2018, Glover released “This Is America“, which debuted at number-one on the Hot 100, and won four Grammy Awards, including for Song and Record of the Year. Glover’s fourth album, 3.15.20, was released in 2020.
Recommendation for listening: You can watch and follow along with music video English subtitles, or just relax and listen to the English and see how much you can understand! (Or go try to sing it at karaoke!!)
BEFORE LISTENING – Think About This!
Before listening to the two songs and watching the music videos, think about the following topics. Easier questions in green, intermediate level questions in orange, more difficult questions in red.
- What is your favorite Childish Gambino song? What is your favorite Donald Glover movie or TV show?
- What do you know about American history and culture, especially Black American history and culture?
- What are some of the most dangerous global problems facing humanity today? Some examples may include climate change, species extinction, or ocean acidification.
- Did you like these songs? Why or why not? Did you like the music videos? Why or why not?
- Which famous people did you see in “Feels Like Summer?” Why are these people famous?
- Are there any musicians similar to Childish Gambino that you like?
- In “Feels Like Summer,” what is the singer’s attitude towards climate change? Is he optimistic about the future? Why do you think so (or not)?
- What can you learn about American history or culture from the song and music video for “This is America”? Which parts of the music video do you think represent historical events?
- In “Feels Like Summer,” the singer is watching many famous rap artists and other important modern black figures doing various activities during the summertime. However, the song lyrics are about the effects of climate change on society and the environment. Why do you think the music video differs from the message of the song in this way?
Other Discussion Questions
Read this interesting quote from Wikipedia:
“Glover is known as a private person and rarely posts on social media or does interviews unless for promotional work. In an interview with The New Yorker, he stated that social media made him feel “less human” and that he only visits online discussion pages in which he can stay anonymous and communicate with people who understand what he is saying.”
- What does Donald Glover think of social media? What does he mean when he says social media “made him feel ‘less human?’”
- Are you similar to Donald Glover in your opinion of social media? How so?