Childish Gambino Thinks He’s a New Tupac Shakur in a Strange Way
Childish Gambino continues to further prove that he's one of the most multitalented creatives in the industry and now the comparisons are beginning to roll in. While many fans believe he favors a Jamie Foxx figure, shining in multiple areas of entertainment, the actor, rapper and writer believes that he relates to Tupac Shakur more.
In a new interview with Esquire to promote the upcoming season of his Atlanta series on FX, Gambino calls himself the "new Tupac" but in a "strange way." Being that he was raised with a pro-Black upbringing by his parents, his work dives into putting on for the Black community, and creating more representation on the big and small screens.
"I know everybody likens themselves to Tupac a lot,” he explains. “I am the new Tupac in a strange way. I grew up similar. I didn’t have a mom in the Black Panthers, but my parents were very pro-Black. Also, my mom made me go to performing-arts high school. She was like, ‘That’s where you need to be.’ Sometimes you have to play a role for people to understand you, even though you’re far more complex than any of that. Sometimes it’s really hard to simplify that so people can eat it.”
Also in the interview, Gambino reveals that his latest album, Awaken, My Love!, which helped him earn a Grammy Award this year for his song "Redbone," may not be his last.
“I feel like that’s not the ending—for me, anyway," he continues. "I know it’s sometimes a hard pill to swallow, but I don’t care that much about what happens to me. The vibrations that I make, that’s for the people.” He went on: “Everybody always wants to change something and go to the next thing. I would love to be something that just gives and gives and doesn’t take."
As far as making music, the rapper hopes to leave a mark that "stands the test of time," sharing his admiration for the likes of Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill and other longtime legends.
“All you really want to do is make something that stands the test of time,” he says. “That’s all that matters. I like Erykah Badu and Lauryn Hill and Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder. That’s everyday music. That’s music that people just put on and they’re like, ‘Man, this song makes me feel good. This song, it helps me get through the day.’ You listen to What’s Going On—I get a very intense feeling whenever I hear [Gaye] singing. Who’s willing to save a world that is destined to die? That’s such a real, honest thing."
While fans are more than excited to see him portray Lando in the upcoming Star Wars film, Gambino is also slated to star as Simba in the live-action Lion King movie, which is a remake of Disney's original. In the conversation, the actor says that he only wants to work with those that understand why people don't like remakes, so that they may be able to portray the story and vision for the remake properly.
“I get why people don’t like remakes and I only want to work with people who understand why people don’t like remakes," he shares.
Check out Childish Gambino's full conversation with Esquire.
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