FX is gifting the planet with the first new episode of Atlanta since 2016 this Thursday, marking the long-awaited return of one of the most compellingly original series in recent memory. The lead-up to the Season 2 premiere, of course, has been filled with quotable insight from star/creator Donald Glover. For Billboard's turn, Glover broke down the similarities between putting together Robbin' Season and penning the follow-up to a well-received debut mixtape.
"I think this season we tried to parallel Paper Boi's career with the show, like, after you come out with your first mixtape and everyone is like, 'Yo, you're fucking awesome. Yo, when's that next mixtape coming out?'" Glover said at a recent Atlanta event at the Ace Hotel in Los Angeles. "And it better be better as good and you kind of realized, oh, you can't even give people that feeling that you gave them the first time because now there's context."
Speaking further on how this context can change the entire creative process, Glover doubled down on the music/television medium comparison. "Now that first season or that first mixtape has context for the second, so you have to decide am I in this to make money or am I going to make this thing?" Glover said. "Am I going to be as free as I was the first time? So I feel like it is just like music. You feel the same pressure but you have to…this season was us kind of being like….instead of us chasing it, us examining what that is."
Atlanta director Hiro Murai, who's also worked with Glover on multiple Childish Gambino visuals, made a similar comparison when chatting with Rolling Stone last week. "Internally we've drawn Kanye parallels," he said. "If the first season is College Dropout, this one is Late Registration."
Any way you slice it, it sounds like Atlanta: Robbin' Season is going to be another Glover classic.
As for the future of Gambino, Glover—who will become a Star Wars alum in May—recently signed a new deal with RCA Records for the "next phase" of his musical moniker. Shortly after that deal was announced, however, Glover restated his intention of retiring the moniker entirely for something new. "I think if a lot of things had death clauses in them, we wouldn't have a lot of problems in the world, to be honest," Glover said at the Grammys last month. "I think endings are good because they force things to get better."