Donald Glover to Retire Childish Gambino Alias After His Next Album, Says It Isn’t “Necessary”

Sad news for Childish Gambino fans. Donald Glover, the mastermind behind Because the Internet and the breakout soulful anthem “Redbone” will be hanging up the hat of his rapping alter ego. Childish Gambino as we’ve known and loved him will be saying goodbye soon. But, not before his last album. The duality will be no more. Donald Glover will just be Donald Glover. And everything else he does (creator, writer, actor, producer), of course.

The creative phenom made the announcement over the weekend during Saturday’s Governor’s Ball Music Festival, which took place in New York City. He said that his next album would be his last album at the end of his performance, with the bomb-dropping statement, “I’ll see you for the last Gambino album.”

You heard that right, last.

Following his statement at the concert, Glover attended an event to promote his hit FX show Atlanta on Monday (June 5). There, he told HuffPost the reason behind his decision to put an end to his music career and retiring the Childish Gambino alias. Simply put, he just didn’t find it “necessary.”

“There’s nothing worse than like a third sequel, like a third movie and we’re like, ‘again?’” he said. “You know, I like it when something’s good and when it comes back there’s a reason to come back, there’s a reason to do that.”

Given the commercial and critical success of his most recent album Awaken, My Love! and the massive hit he had on his hand with the single “Redbone,” his explanation makes sense. That success demands a follow-up, but that doesn’t mean you need a follow-up to the follow-up. Glover feels capping the next album as his last would be redundant. Glover’s not about that life.

Glover also stated that he felt continuing to be Childish Gambino would mean compromising his artistic integrity. “I feel like there’s gotta be a reason to do things and I always had a reason to be punk,” Glover stated. “Being punk just always felt really good to me and we always looked at Atlanta as a punk show and I feel like the direction I would go with Childish Gambino wouldn’t be punk anymore. As much as ‘Redbone’ is a punk song because it’s a gospel song that’s on the radio, I’m like there’s only so far you can go before you just are the radio.”

There is a very present fear of things veering off on a path that is too mainstream. Given the success of his projects in the acting world, having mainstream success as Childish Gambino might be too much for the notoriously private creative.

Last year, a show he created and stars in (and sometimes writes for) called Atlanta premiered on FX. The show was well-received by critics and fans alike and garnered him a lot of trophies, as well as a season two renewal. Glover is also working on a Star Wars spin-off movie while balancing the FXX Deadpool series he co-created and produces, and voice work as Simba in the upcoming Lion King live action film.

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Sheriden Chanel is a twenty-something writer, Beyoncé enthusiast, and lover of all things visual art. Keep up with her and her musings on social via @indiebyline.