"I'm an actor, a writer, and a singer; some people have described me as a "triple-threat," but I kinda like to call myself... JUST A THREAT," Donald Glover AKA Childish Gambino cooly detailed during his double-billing SNL host/performer monologue this past weekend, Saturday, May 12, 2018. Amidst his claims he "can do anything," Glover nonchalantly showed off his assorted skills including music-making, skateboarding, cooking, fixing lighting rigs, "playing" clarinet, and general awesomeness. Since his last critically-acclaimed album, "Awaken, My Love!" Donald Glover has launched Season 2 of his semi-autobiographical FX show Atlanta, made a cameo as Aaron Davis (The Prowler) in Spider-Man: Homecoming, worked on a now-shelved Deadpool cartoon series for FXX, has signed on as Simba in Jon Favreau's 2019 re-make of The Lion King, and will play a young Lando Calrissian in Disney/Lucafilms' as-yet-unreleased SOLO: A Star Wars Story. In the midst of "Awaken, My Love!"'s roll-out, Glover announced, "I'll see you for the last Gambino album" to the crowd at Governors Ball 2017. While appearing in a number of politically poignant SNL sketches—and one unaired Cleveland Cavs-themed sketch—Donald Glover performed two extremely original and charismatic songs; first, "Saturday" as introduced by Lenny Kravitz & Lisa Bonet's daughter Zoë Kravitz and "This Is America" with an introduction from acclaimed Black Mirror/Get Out actor Daniel Kaluuya.
Here's something I noticed over the weekend, as Variety did, as well: "the photo of Glover that appeared directly before he performed his new song "Saturday" was clearly styled on the cover of Stevie Wonder's 1971 album Music of My Mind and that reference was likely no accident: the combines a Caribbean feel with a strong early 70's vibe reminiscent of Wonder songs like "Boogie On Reggae Woman" and "Golden Lady."' It really was a glorious scene, as red cup-wielding Kravitz joined a slew of dancers and extras for what appeared to be a roaring pseudo-block party right there on the Studio 8H stage. Later on in the show, Donald Glover returned as Childish Gambino to perform yet another previously unreleased composition entitled "This Is America." Not long after SNL went off the air Sunday morning, a proper music video for "This Is America" directed by Atlanta's Hiro Murai went live online. "This Is America" is a highly-stylized, politically-charged presentation featuring both choreographed and freestyled dance numbers from Donald Glover, as well as a troupe of dancers and a choir, plus, scene after scene of calamity all too true to our Nation in this day and age, unfortunately. TDE songstress SZA makes a brief cameo within "This Is America," while Childish Gambino's rapping peers 21 Savage, BlocBoy JB, Quavo, Rae Sremmurd’s Slim Jxmmi, and Young Thug provide vocal assists throughout. There's currently no additional information concerning Gambino's "Awaken, My Love!" follow-up, but it appears as though an album is only imminent. "This Is America" is now available on Apple Music, DEEZER, Spotify, and like-minded digital streaming services. SOLO: A Star Wars Story hits theatres across The Galaxy Friday, May 25, 2018.