Donald Glover Says Rap Is 'Not Able to Grow The Way It Was Growing Before'

Donald Glover suggests rap is in a world place right now, even though "the women are killing it."

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Donald Glover believes that rap hasn't been able to grow in recent years.

The multi-hyphenate Atlanta creator sat down for an interview with Complex, during which he told Eric Skelton about his thoughts on the current state of rap. "I think I'm as tapped in as I can be.  [I like] when something feels new to me," he responded when asked about how tapped in he is right now. "You get washed and old when shit just sounds the same to you because you've heard so much. You know, I think the women are killing it because they have narratives. I feel like a lot of the guys, it's harder to have interesting new narratives now."

After praising some of the women killing it in rap right now, he suggested that male-fronted hip-hop is in a strange place right now. "Also, I feel like, in general... I don't want to say 'rap is dead,' it's just, it's not able to grow the way it was growing before. It's just not able to. It's a very different time. Who's making it and why they're making it is very different, too," he continued. "I hear Sexyy Red. I hear Ice Spice. I hear Tokischa. I hear all these artists, and I'm like, this is all good shit. And it goes back to… The audience decides what the functionality of it is. And sometimes that is just to feel good. Also, people want something fresh, but people want it fast, which sometimes just doesn't happen."

Glover has been busy with a number of projects in recent years, which means that his own musical project Childish Gambino hasn't been quite as prolific as of late. However, Glover does have another new show on the way with Mr. & Mrs. Smith, an adaptation of the 2005 movie of the same name in which he portrays a spy opposite his spy wife played by Maya Erskine.

Elsewhere in the interview, Glover was asked if there were any updates regarding more music as Childish Gambino. "I feel like it'll be clear sooner rather than later. It'd be better for people to just tune in, I suppose," he said. "But I'm trying harder to not be cryptic. Tyler is always, like, 'You're so cryptic.' But I'm like, 'I'm really not.' I just like suspense, I guess. I think it makes stuff better. But that's just me."

Glover previously toyed with the idea of putting an end to Childish Gambino, a name that he has been releasing music under since 2005. Fans got a taste of some new material earlier this year with the release of Swam, the Prime Video comedy horror he co-created with Janine Nabers. But he hasn't dropped a full project as Gambino since 3.15.20 in 2020.

"You know, I don't do this shit for money and shit," he said. "There's a famous Cam'ron clip that me and my brother love. Cam is on the radio talking to Mase or somebody, and he says, 'Man, I do this because I'm nice. I don't need the money. I do this because I'm nice, man.'' And I'm like, yeah, I do this because I'm nice. I don't think I'd ever stop, because of like… I always liked it because I liked it. I never did it because it was like, man, this is a good way to get put on or something. I like the feeling of it. I do this because I’m nice. In a certain way, I think that makes me old school."

Read the full interview with Glover here.

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