2016, can't live with it, can't live without it. But as horrible as this year was in the macro sense — what, with the seemingly endless celebrity deaths, a nation that often seems divided, and rising temperatures — it did have some pros in the micro sense. Well, at least for actor and rapper Donald Glover. While the rest of us were sobbing into our pillows at night (that can't just have been me) Donald Glover was releasing one of the best albums of 2016 titled Awaken, My Love, releasing one of the best shows of 2016 called Atlanta, and getting cast in both Ultimate Spider-Man and the untitled Han Solo standalone. And for the cherry on top, the renaissance man even had a baby with his identity-less girlfriend. That's a heck of a lot of awesome in one year.
In times like this, it's best to appreciate the little things, so let's all take a moment to be thankful that Donald Glover had a great 2016. Close your eyes, get goofy with the eerily-similar-to-"Werewolf Bar Mitzvah," "Zombies" (available for listening on Spotify and Soundcloud! What joy!) and breathe a sigh of gratitude to the universe for the success of the (probably genius) actor/writer/rapper/funk singer/comedian/director. Revel in Glover-dom because with his success comes really awesome content for us. Even his success in starting a family is good news for fans — not to put high expectations on Baby Glover but that child's probably going to be super talented as well.
Let's break down the once Childish turned more Adultish Gambino's success, shall we?
Glover's been moving onwards and upwards since his sketch comedy work with the Derrick Comedy hit YouTube. He's always moving up, always challenging himself, and often changing it up. After writing on 30 Rock, he transitioned into acting on TV instead of writing on Community, and then, on the side he started dropping mixtapes as Childish Gambino. As time went on, his lyrics continued to be as awesome as before and his voice improved (IMHO). Finally, after dropping a stellar album, Because the Internet and a bunch of thought-provoking music videos, the rapper transitioned from rap to singing passionately in a highly stylized way for his much-acclaimed latest album, Awaken, My Love. It seems he can do everything and does do everything. Don't even get me started on Atlanta, because that show is jaw-dropping and is totally deserving of the accolade it's been given, "one of the best new shows on television."
In short, it seems the key to his success is constantly leaving his comfort zone. Perhaps if audiences follow suit, they will also have the sort of 2017 that Donald Glover had in 2016. Maybe Glover can bottle whatever that something is that he's got. I would totally buy that.