Childish Gambino Goes All Performance Art With Because The Internet

Actor/rapper Donald Glover delivers more than just a rap album.

Childish Gambino (a.k.a. Donald Glover) is out Tuesday (December 10) with his Web-soaked new record/performance art piece, Because the Internet, and he has one message for all his fans: “enjoy the album, don’t fight the critics. they make too much money off me already.”

Glover tossed the message into the ethers in the wake of the record’s release via a very fitting medium, Twitter, which earns its share of mentions in the social media-heavy release — a release that initially got its title via a conversation with Beck.

Given the very nature of Glover’s album, it was bound to stir up reactions around the Web: The record is meant to be accompanied by a 70+ page screenplay featuring a character called “The Boy,” who lives in luxury while grappling with this Internet-laden world (Rick Ross is also his dad), as well as short film “Clapping For All The Wrong Reasons.” It’s been speculated that Glover has been acting out bits and pieces of the screenplay over the last few months (in person and via social media) rendering him a kind of modern-day Andy Kaufman — or Joaquin Phoenix, for that matter.

Some outlets, like The Daily Beast, have praised Glover for this piece of ambitious performance art. Others, like Consequence of Sound, have condemned him. Whatever their opinion, however, Glover certainly has the Internet thinking, which was his initial intent, it seems.

“December is the perfect time,” Glover told MTV News back in October of his choice to release the record during colder months. “Albums made a really big impact on me when I was alone and everything was quiet, and I know that’s when students go home, that’s when everything is closed, so it’s a good time to just listen to something and be yourself.”

But who, pray tell, is “yourself,” Glover? “The Boy” or someone different altogether?

Senior writer/editor at MTV News. Former Mashable associate editor & CNN columnist. "Stuff Hipsters Hate" co-writer. Moshpit fan.
@BrennaEhrlich