Rapper, actor Childish Gambino’s ‘Pharos,’ ‘Atlanta’ keep fans on edge of seat

Austin City Limits Fest 2014

Donald Glover, also known by his musical alias as Childish Gambino, seems dead set on being the busiest man in entertainment. The multi-talented actor, writer and musician has done everything from starring in a hit sitcom, NBC’s “Community,” to releasing Grammy-nominated albums with 2013’s “Because the Internet.”

As mysterious as he is creative, Glover inexplicably disappeared from all social media shortly after the release of his 2014 project “STN MTN / Kauai.” He proceeded being quiet on the artistic front over the past couple of years, excluding a few small roles in movies such as “The Martian.”

However, with the premiere of his long-awaited FX dramedy “Atlanta” looming on the horizon, Glover finally broke his silence in June, tweeting out a link to an app called “Pharos” that displayed a countdown timer over an animation of a spaceship rushing through space.

While fans immediately braced for a new album, the countdown ended up leading to something no one expected.

“Pharos” was revealed to be a three-day series of live Childish Gambino shows comprised of new music, held in scenic Joshua Tree, California, and complete with a full campground.

Lasting from Sept. 2-4, the event is sure to be more than a typical concert or music festival. Glover is known for weaving deeply conceptual themes into his music, having written a full-length screenplay to accompany his last LP. Glover said that he intends for “Pharos” to put attendees in the world he was in when making the new album. Additionally, he will be partnering with Microsoft in the handling of the audiovisual aspects of the event’s experience.

Just in case a three-day campout concert showcasing a new album that will likely then be released to the public isn’t enough to satisfy fans, the good news is that “Atlanta,” in which Glover is a writer, star and executive producer, is premiering on FX on Sept. 5, just two days after “Pharos” concludes.

The television dramedy has been referenced by Glover as far back as 2013 and it’s finally hitting the small screen.

Glover has described the show as “Twin Peaks, but with rappers,” and it will focus on the struggles of two cousins as they attempt to traverse and conquer Atlanta’s cutthroat rap scene. A handful of promos and trailers have been released online, many of which show Glover and his co-stars, including Brian Tyree Henry, Keith Stanfield and Zazie Beetz, moving through various Atlanta hotspots to Tame Impala’s “New Person, Same Old Mistakes,” setting an intriguing vibe for the show.

For fans who have been along for Glover’s wild ride of a career, September is sure to be a good month. As for those who have yet to delve into the genius of this 21st century “Renaissance man,” now is a good time to start.


Featured image courtesy Flickr user ACL Festival